Update of June 17, 2021 : the leak of a development version made it possible to learn more about Windows 11, to confirm this name and to discover its interface. This topic has been updated with all known information.
Microsoft has just rolled out the latest version of the Windows 10 operating system, the Windows 10 May 2021 Update (also known as version 21H1). The novelties are rather low-key but we expect other big changes that the tech giant is considering for a future release.
At the Microsoft Build developer conference on May 25, 2021, CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft is planning “one of the most important Windows updates of the past decade,” confirming rumors of a major overhaul for Windows 10s. 1.3 billion OS users by the end of 2021.
Here’s what we know so far about the next major Windows 11 update: potential release dates, new features, and more. This article will be updated as more rumors and revelations come to light.
Leaked version of the new … Windows 11
Eight days before the event during which Microsoft will unveil the new Windows, a version has leaked onto the web and many people have been able to test and install this version. In the parameters indicating the version number we discover that its name will be Windows 11, contrary to what Microsoft said when Windows 10 was released, which the publisher had qualified as “the last version of Windows”.
The interface appears more colorful with windows with rounded corners. At first glance, Windows 10 users will however not be disoriented. Microsoft, however, could still have changes to make by the release date of the final version that we do not yet know.
Below is the new start menu and the explorer with its new icons in dark mode.
What are the new features in the new version of Windows?
At this point the update, codenamed Sun Valley, offers a redesign of the start menu, action center, file explorer and taskbar, with a more modern look and some shy new features like the presence of widgets that replace the news and interests panel.
Another important point to consider, Microsoft has said that its Windows 10X operating system designed for dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo and Surface Neo will ultimately not be released. Instead, Microsoft will be integrating parts of that 10X release into Windows 11 and other company products, according to a May 18 blog post.
Eventually, some of these feature updates will be based on the same experiences we should have found in Windows 10X, but customized for the traditional version of Windows. The placement of the new start menu in the center of the taskbar is reversible in the settings. On the explorer side, in addition to the new icons, a tool for placing the window being viewed appears when the pointer is placed on the resize icon.
When will Microsoft release the next version of Windows?
We obviously won’t know for sure when the next Windows 11 update arrives until Microsoft officially announces it. But CNET’s sister site reported it was slated for the second half of the year, while Windows Central believes it will likely arrive around the holiday season.
At the Microsoft Build conference on May 25, Nadella said Microsoft plans to unveil the new version “very soon”. And this is indeed what he will do on June 24 at a special Microsoft Windows event. It will be open to everyone and viewable live on June 24 at 5 p.m. on the Microsoft page.
What price for Windows 11 or the update from Windows 10?
There is no reason for Windows 11 pricing to change when it comes to installable versions sold by Microsoft or by resellers. The functionalities are still close but the purchase of a version to install will be intended a priori only for users who start up a computer without an operating system.
For those who already own Windows 10, the first observations show that the development version accepts the old Windows license keys. And since Microsoft has no interest in charging those who already use Windows 10 for an update, it seems very likely that the switch to Windows 11 will be free. Once again Microsoft will likely confirm this claim during its official presentation.
Still have questions? Do not hesitate to post them in the Windows 10 and Windows 11 forum of the CNET community.