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Windows 11 leak gives us our first look at the radical new design

A new Windows 11 leak might have just spoiled Microsoft’s big surprise for its “what’s next for Windows” event on June 24.

Screenshots spotted on the Chinese website Baidu, and a fully working leaked internal operating system build showcases a newly redesigned Windows 11, complete with a new centered Start Menu and Taskbar.


As seen in the image above, this essentially confirms what Microsoft said when it initially teased its future plans for Windows last month during the rollout of the Windows 10 May 2021 Update. In a radical change, the company is porting over the Start Menu and Taskbar from the canceled Windows 10X operating system. Another screenshot also confirms recent leaks that the next-generation Windows will indeed be called Windows 11.

So, what’s new? Well, the Start Menu in Windows 11 is now centered, with static icons and no support for the classic Windows 10 Live Tiles. Even the Taskbar is changed, so that icons are more centered, away from the left side of the screen as it is in current versions of Windows. You can also spot a new blue Start Menu icon, reminiscent of the new Microsoft logo. A new search box, a power button in the lower-right of the Start area, updated Task View icons also top out the list of changes.

A separate settings page from the leaked build also showcases the version and information about the leaked build. It shows Windows 11 Pro as the SKU, suggesting that Microsoft will keep to the current “Pro” “Home” and “Enterprise” versions of Windows.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

However, it is important to note that the leaked Windows 11 build and screenshots currently surfacing are not yet final. The build number comes in at 21996.1, and reports indicate that the “RTM” or final build for Windows 11 will come in “at least 22000.”

Additionally, according to Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, this build does reveal some aspects of Windows 11 like the new desktop user interface, startup sounds, but some things can change between now and Windows 11 becomes official. Additional app design updates, more user interface updates, could still come.

More leaks might come between now and the June 24 event, but for now, Windows 11 seems well underway.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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