On July 29th, 2015, Microsoft released Windows 10 to the general public. It was such a massive upgrade over Windows 8 that the company decided to skip 9 altogether and jump straight to 10. Microsoft also stated Windows 10 would be “the last version of Windows” ever released, but following a series of leaks in recent weeks, we now know that’s no longer the case.
Microsoft will host a launch event for Windows 11 on July 24th at 8:00 am PT / 11:00 am ET, and you can watch the stream below to find out exactly what the company has in store for “the next generation of Windows.” Technically, Microsoft hasn’t confirmed that Windows 11 will be the subject of the event on Thursday, but just last week, an early version of the operating system leaked, spoiling the big surprise. Of course, the company had been hinting at the reveal all along.
Based on what we’ve seen in screenshots and videos of the leaked build, Windows 11 looks like much more than a typical system update, but perhaps not quite as substantial as the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10. The taskbar has been redesigned, with app icons aligned in the center rather than to the left. The Start menu is getting a makeover as well, doing away with the Live Tiles and replacing them with sleek lists of pinned and recommended apps.
Another notable change is the addition of the Widgets icon in the taskbar. The Widgets drawer appears to be a renamed version of the News and Interests feature that hit Windows 10 earlier this year. The new Widgets drawer slides in from the left side of the screen and takes over most of the display, offering updates on the weather, recent headlines, stocks, and sports scores.
Keep in mind that this is an unfinished build of the software, so there are certain to be at least a few surprises in store as well — even for those of us that have been following all of the leaks and rumors this month. Tune in to watch along below at 11:00 am ET, or you can also stream the event right on Microsoft’s website.