Six years ago, Microsoft’s Jerry Nixon stated unequivocally that “Windows 10 is the last version of Windows.” Microsoft skipped over Windows 9 to get to a nice, round number, and the plan was to update the product known as Windows 10 for decades to come. But as we approach a June 24th event during which Microsoft will reveal “the next generation of Windows,” it’s becoming difficult to ignore all of the signs that Windows 11 is coming.
One of the first obvious hints came in the invitation to the June event, which featured the same image that you see at the top of this page. The window in that picture clearly has horizontal and vertical bars running through it, but the light being cast through the window ignores the horizontal bar altogether, which just so happens to leave what appears to be an 11 on the ground.
That was just the beginning, though, as Microsoft then uploaded a video of remixed Windows startup sounds to its official YouTube channel on Thursday. The video is exactly 11 minutes long. At this point, Microsoft is either confirming that Windows 11 will indeed be the branding of the next major version of the operating system, or the team in Redmond, Washington just loves trolling us.
Here’s the video’s description, which you can watch below: “Having trouble relaxing because you’re too excited for the June 24th Microsoft Event? Take a slow trip down memory lane with the Windows 95, XP, and 7 startup sounds slowed down to a meditative 4,000% reduced speed.”
Microsoft has been doing much of the hinting itself, but there was an interesting leak earlier this week that might have spoiled the real name of the operating system — and it isn’t Windows 11. As spotted by Windows Latest, Microsoft recently published a support document that had mentions of Windows 10 and something called Windows Sun Valley. The two products were mentioned separately, which would seem to suggest that Sun Valley is a standalone entity.
The support document has since been edited to remove any mentions of Windows Sun Valley, but the company also set up a support page for the mysterious product on its website as well. Sun Valley may very well be an internal codename for Windows 11, but it’s also possible that this will be the name of the next Windows update, despite the fact that it sounds more like a new macOS version.
Whatever the next version of Windows ends up being named, it is expected to include a redesigned Windows Store app, a Start menu without live tiles, and a Settings app with an improved layout. You can watch along as Microsoft shows off the next generation of Windows during a live-streamed event on June 24th at — you guessed it — 11:00 a.m. ET.