It is dangerous to create too many expectations because if the final product disappoints the reviews can be terrible. It is a bit what could happen with Windows 11, the operating system that is expected to be announced on June 24.
Microsoft has barely given details about what it plans to launch, but yesterday an ISO image with a preview version of Windows 11 was leaked. This has allowed us to take an initial look at an operating system that introduces visual changes, but that for the moment is not more than a Windows 10 with a bit of sheet metal and paint.
This is still Windows 10, gentlemen
Those who have tried this preliminary version of Windows 11 have been showing screenshots of the main features that have been discovered in this new operating system, and although there are certainly new features, these are aesthetic and only partial.
In The Verge he has shown a few screenshots after testing the system, and of course the most obvious change is the one that affects the taskbar and the start menu , which changes significantly.
The quick access icons are now centered on the taskbar , and when clicking on the Windows logo the start menu no longer shows the traditional animated tiles, but instead shows fixed icons of applications that we can reposition to our liking and, in addition, access to some frequent files.
Also noteworthy is the change in the edges of the windows, which are rounded and, for example, in the start menu are floating and are displayed so clearly from the taskbar. Contextual menus also change and have a sleeker, clearer and more modern design.
These improvements seem clearly inherited from the efforts Microsoft was making with Windows 10X. Although the system was initially intended to work on dual devices, that version was canceled and the advancements have certainly been integrated into Windows 11.
It is possible to reposition the start menu and the icons to the left, the same position as Windows 10, something that is a good idea for those who see that singular change as too radical.
What also changes is something we knew: the iconography is updated and that is noticeable for example in the file explorer, with new icons for the special folders that are created by default for each user (Desktop, Downloads, Documents, etc. ).
There are other curious changes in that main interface such as the one affecting Windows Widgets, which for now seem to focus on showing a section of news and current affairs – thus replacing the controversial ‘News and Interests’ component that had recently debuted on the bar. of Windows 10 tasks— that we can activate and deactivate with a shortcut in the taskbar.
More striking (at least, for those who subscribe) is the integration of the Fancy Zones of the PowerToys . This feature —which we can access by right clicking on the maximize window button— is a kind of super-vitamin version of the Windows 10 feature that allowed windows to be docked on either side (to have two application windows facing each other) or the corners (to have the screen occupied by four windows, one in each screen quarter).
With this option it will be possible to access a kind of ‘ tiling manager ‘ with which to distribute the windows in the workspace easily. The option is interesting for any user, but I see it especially useful for users of ultra-wide monitors, who surely take advantage of this feature.
The changes are curious, but many (perhaps too many) things remain the same
Although of course, the changes made are striking and remarkable, there are many things that have not changed at all since Windows 10.
Thus, we still have the old control panel in those preliminary versions that have appeared: this old development therefore continues to share functions with the Configuration application that continues to delegate some small changes to the old panel.
However, the visual jump is only partial and does not affect all applications in the same way. The file explorer continues to have the same appearance (except for the file icons), with its Ribbon and the same layout and design already somewhat stagnant.
In fact, the interface of Windows 11 applications seems to take a bit of everything, being a mixture of Windows 7 Aero (and even the design language of the veteran Windows XP) with that promising design language called Fluent Design that seemed like it was going to change everything in Windows in the short term.
There are also no changes in components that ask to move to a second (or third) plane. The traditional console (CMD) is still there, although it seems that Microsoft gives a somewhat more protagonist role to Powershell and especially to Windows Terminal.
There is also a major disappointment with the app store, which has not undergone any changes so far , at least in the preview version of Windows 11 whose ISO image was leaked and which has been the basis for those initial scans of the operating system.
The task manager, the notifications, and the system icons do not change, as do other important sections that especially surround the configuration of all the sections of the system, from the customization of the desktop – the new wallpapers of course are great – to the rest of the parameters that are controlled from Settings. Certainly, this section does not seem to need urgent changes at a visual level, but at a consistency level (especially due to the redundancy with the control panel).
Windows 11 or Windows 10.1?
It is as if Microsoft is afraid to make radical changes so as not to upset that important user base that, are companies. Many of them are guilty that Windows 7 and even Windows XP continue to have a certain market share, and their resistance to change is fierce.
What we’ve seen of Windows 11 is striking, of course, but this looks more like Windows 10.1 than Windows 11 as such. The aesthetic changes are relevant, but we’re not sure they justify Microsoft presenting this as a next-gen operating system when in reality it’s the usual Windows 10 with a bit of makeup.
Don’t feel bad at all, for the record, but be careful not to think that this is going to be a radical change from Windows 10. It is not, and perhaps that, after all, is not so bad.