Windows 11 Won’t Be a Revolutionary Change, Experts Say

But it will still bring significant updates

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft is expected to reveal more about the next version of Windows—tentatively called Windows 11 by many—later in June.
  • Experts say the new version of Windows probably won’t reinvent the operating system; instead, it will refine what already exists.
  • Despite not being a complete overhaul, experts expect the new version to significantly change what’s currently available.
An open Asus laptop showing an older Windows Home screen.

Erick Cerritos / Unsplash

The arrival of a new version of Windows is imminent, but experts say users shouldn’t expect it to be a huge departure from what Windows already is.

With Microsoft teasing the reveal of the next version of Windows on June 24 and with plenty of new leaks popping up that show off the new UI, many people are excited about the future of Windows 11. Will it be a massive change from Windows 10? Will Microsoft finally overtake the design schemes found in other operating systems like macOS?

If you’re hoping for something revolutionary, you’ll probably be disappointed. Everything seems to point to Windows 11 simply being a series of design overhauls for Windows 10 alongside, some new features that have made the jump from Windows 10X.

"Due to the success of Windows 10, users should expect Windows 11 to be an improvement on Windows 10, rather than an entirely new platform," Kenny Riley, the technical director at Velocity IT, told Lifewire in an email.

"Expect Windows 11 to be a more refined version of Windows 10 with modern UI design improvements, a redesigned Microsoft Store, and subtle updates to features like the file explorer, action center, and virtual desktops."

Visual Overhaul

Despite being billed as a completely new version of Windows, it’s likely Windows 11 won’t feel all that different from what’s currently on your PC. Of course, the visual design will change, taking on more of the designs seen in Windows 10X, Microsoft’s attempt to unify Windows design for its tablets and laptops. It killed off 10X earlier this year, but Riley says some of those designs will probably live on in Windows 11.

The most significant areas we’ll probably see changes in are the visuals and overall UI design. This has also been alluded to quite a bit in the multiple leaks we’ve seen for Windows 11, which showcase more rounded corners and change the way the start menu looks. Based on the leaks, it also looks like the start menu will take on more of an app drawer appearance, and the icons will be a bit softer than they currently are in Windows 10.

In fact, in the most recent leak, which included an optical disk image (ISO) of Windows 11, it appears that Microsoft has made it possible to move around the location of the app icons along the taskbar. Some screenshots showcase them in the center of the screen, similar to the Chromebook taskbar, while others show that they could move them back to the left side of the display.

Based on tweets shared by people with the Windows 11 ISO installed, it also looks like the new update will allow some additional features, like the ability to snap windows to the left or right as needed.

Altogether, the visual design will become more simplified, which may help make using Windows easier for those who struggle with the more complex parts of the operating system. Of course, all of the leaks are still unfinalized versions, so we could also see some under-the-hood changes popping up, as well.

The Elephant

But why Windows 11, and why now? That’s probably a question on anyone’s mind that remembers Microsoft’s statement in 2015 that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows ever made. While the company had plans to continue updating the OS—but never changing the naming or anything—Riley says there are a few reasons that the company could be making the move now.

"There are several reasons why it’s in the best interest of Microsoft to release a new version of Windows; the biggest one being brand recognition," he explained. "Microsoft needs to stay fresh and innovative to remain competitive with other operating system platforms such as Chrome OS and Apple OSX."

Both Chrome OS and macOS have been receiving fairly large updates in recent months, and Apple has some big plans to make macOS even more powerful in the future. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to start looking for ways to reinvent Windows without completely revolutionizing the way you use your computer.

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