Skip to main content

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.

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.

Editors' Recommendations

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…
Ranking all 12 versions of Windows, from worst to best
Windows 7 desktop.

You can tell a person's age by which version of Windows is their favorite. I have fond memories of XP and Windows 98 SE, so you can take a guess at mine, but I have colleagues who are much more enamored with Windows 7, or Windows 95. We all have something disparaging to say about Windows 8 though, and the less said about Windows Vista the better.

Ranking the different versions of Windows is about more than what era of computing you grew up in, though. There are some very serious duds in Microsoft's back catalog, just as there are a few wins too. But whether you can look back on some of Microsoft's disastrous releases with rose-tinted glasses, or have some genuine love for Microsoft's missteps, here's every version of Windows ranked from best to worst.
12. Windows ME

Read more
One of Windows 11’s most requested features may launch soon
Windows 11 updates are moving to once a year.

Windows 11 has a lot of great features, but moving the entire taskbar to a new location is not one of them (although you can move its icons). Despite that, it’s a highly requested feature -- and one that Microsoft might be about to make a reality.

According to Windows enthusiast @thebookisclosed on Twitter, a moveable taskbar is something Microsoft is at least considering, as evidenced by a video of the feature in action that was shared on the account’s Twitter page.

Read more
PC gamers are flocking to Windows 11, new Steam survey says
Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Alienware 34 QD-OLED.

According to the latest Steam Hardware and Software Survey, more PC gamers are switching to using Windows 11. Although Windows 10 continues to top the charts, it's slowly losing users to Microsoft's newer operating system, as Windows 11 now compromises over a third of all operating systems in Steam's monthly survey.

It's happy news for Microsoft as Windows 11 continues to inch forward in the Steam Hardware Survey. While the survey doesn't include the software and hardware utilized by each and every gamer on the platform, it still shows us some significant averages. Microsoft has continued to push Windows 11 for new PCs, and the latest survey from Steam suggests that the effort is working.

Read more