Microsoft has been teasing a “next generation” of Windows for months now, but new hints suggest the company isn’t just preparing an update to its existing Windows 10 software, but a new, numbered version of the operating system: Windows 11.
The software giant announced a new Windows event for June 24th yesterday, promising to show “what’s next for Windows.” The event invite included an image of what looks like a new Windows logo, with light shining through the window in only two vertical bars, creating an outline that looks very much like the number 11. Microsoft followed up with an animated version of this image, making it clear the company intentionally ignored the horizontal bars.
Microsoft’s Windows event also starts at 11AM ET, not the usual start time for typical Windows and Surface events. Following the event invite, Microsoft exec Yusuf Mehdi said he hasn’t “been this excited for a new version of Windows since Windows 95!” It’s the first time we’ve heard Microsoft specifically mention a “new version” of Windows is on the way.
The event invite also comes just a week after Satya Nadella teased a “next generation of Windows” announcement. Nadella promised that Microsoft would soon share “one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade.” Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, also teased a “next generation” of Windows earlier this year.
— Windows (@Windows) June 2, 2021
If Microsoft is truly readying to move beyond Windows 10 and towards Windows 11, we’re expecting to see big visual changes to reflect that. Microsoft has been working on something codenamed Sun Valley, which the company has referred to as a “sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows.”
A lot of these visual changes will come from the work Microsoft completed on Windows 10X, a lightweight version of Windows intended to rival Chrome OS, before it was scrapped. That includes a new Start menu, new system icons, File Explorer improvements, and the end of Windows 95-era icons that drag Windows users back to the past in dialog boxes. Rounded corners and updates to the built-in Windows apps are also planned.
Significant changes are also on the way for Windows beyond the user interface. Microsoft appears to be ready to address a lot of lingering problems, with fixes planned for a rearranging apps issue on multiple monitors, an upcoming Xbox Auto HDR feature, and improvements to Bluetooth audio support.
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SOURCE: The Verge, Tom Warren