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Windows 11 Dark Mode photos might’ve just leaked for the first time

Published Jun 28th, 2021 5:48PM EDT

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A week after Microsoft held their Windows 11 event, new screenshots have emerged which purport to show what system-wide Dark Mode might look like on the company’s next-gen desktop OS. While there’s no way to know with 100% certainty if these photos are accurate to a tee, there’s a good chance they’re an accurate representation.

The photos in question were first posted to Twitter and were allegedly relayed by a “Microsoft employee who leaks internal stuff for fun.” They look legit as far as I can tell and, on top of it all, Windows 11 as a whole looks incredibly sleek and a compelling upgrade the likes of which we haven’t seen from Microsoft in a while.

Windows 11 Dark Mode

A few of the Windows 11 Dark Mode photos can be viewed below:

Windows 11 Dark Mode

And another:

Windows 11 Dark Mode

And another:

Windows 11 Dark Mode

And one more for good measure:

Windows 11 Dark Mode

Even though these photos seem legitimate, a lot can change between now and when Windows 11 finally launches. In other words, the photos above may be representative of the current Windows 11 build, but we’re still a few months away from seeing what the shipping version looks like.

On a related note, the Windows 11 design has the Start Menu and taskbar positioned on the bottom-center of the screen, a design shift that has predictably angered some longtime Windows users. There’s no reason to fret, though, because Microsoft has made it easy for users to revert back to the familiar layout if they so choose.

That aside, when Windows 11 does eventually arrive, the update will be free for all Windows users. Still, some users with relatively current machines may be forced to upgrade if they want to take advantage of Windows 11. For reasons that still remain unclear, the CPU requirements for Windows 11 are a bit stringent and even preclude some relatively powerful PCs from 2016 from taking advantage of the update.

To this point, Noa Bailey wrote the following over the weekend:

Alas, the truly problematic requirement for Windows 11 is that it will create an unbelievable amount of electronic waste because of its arbitrary CPU specs.

A modest Intel Skylake laptop from 2016 meets all the core requirements. It is 64 bit, supports UEFI, and even contains a hardware TPM 2.0 module on board. Practically nothing has changed in five years when it comes to PCs and laptops, aside from power consumption and battery life. And if Microsoft gets their way, that machine is going straight in the trash.

Even a Haswell system from late 2013 meets most of the requirements. A high end system from that era is comparable to most mid-range systems sold today.

As to when Windows 11 might arrive, Microsoft has been a bit coy on the matter. The company hasn’t provided a definitive date but there have been a few clues that seemingly point towards an October 2021 launch. Regardless, a massive Windows update is certainly long overdue given that Windows 10 launched all the way back during the summer of 2015.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.