Microsoft has promised to reveal the “next generation” of Windows 10 at an event next week. The only problem is that it has already leaked online. An early version of so-called Windows 11 has appeared on social media …and Microsoft fans really aren’t happy with the new design changes. In fact, they’re pretty furious.
Based on what we’ve seen from the leaks, which have been widely circulated online, the new desktop operating system makes some fundamental changes. First up, the sharp edges and straight lines found across Windows 10 have been ditched in favour of softer curves and rounded corners everywhere. Every icon has been re-engineered, so that everything looks apiece – something that definitely isn’t the case if you delve deep enough in the File Explorer or Control Panel in Windows 10.
There’s also a panel of interactive widgets that can be swiped over whatever you’re doing on-screen. These small widgets can track share prices, show headlines from news websites, present the forecast for the next few days, and more. It’s unclear whether you’ll be able to interact with these widgets, or whether clicking on them will launch the corresponding app. These widgets seem to replace the Live Tiles that were found inside the Start Menu on Windows 10 and showcased some information from inside the app on the icon itself – saving you from a click if you wanted to quickly check the weather.
But it’s the Start Menu that is the biggest change in Windows 11. And it’s also the one that has caused the biggest outrage amongst fans.
With Windows 11, Microsoft looks set to centre the Start Menu on the taskbar that runs along the bottom of the screen. The rounded corners found everywhere else on the operating system have also made the cut on the new Start Menu which springs up in the middle of your screen when clicked. A grid of 18 pinned apps make up the top half of the new Start Menu design, while the bottom is taken up with Recommendations from Microsoft.
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In the top right-hand corner of the new menu, there’s a small shortcut to launch the complete All Apps menu… if you’re looking for something that you rarely open. The bottom right-hand corner has a small Power icon that houses the various Restart, Log Out, and Power Off options. And that’s about it.
Search has its own icon in the taskbar and loads up a Start Menu-like interface in the middle of the display to find the application, folder, files or contact you’re hunting down. It can also be triggered with the same keyboard shortcut Windows 10 users will be used to. Tom Warren of The Verge was one of the first to get his hands on the leaked version of Windows 11, posting clips of the new operating system revealing the new Start Menu design, icons, and the version number, which is listed as “Windows 11”.
Following the leak, which hit the internet more than a week before Microsoft is due to formally unveil the operating system during its event, fans took to social media to complain about the new look. One enraged Windows 10 user posted: “I really hope this is some kind of fake or super early prototype, and not actually indicative of the direction they’re going.”
Another summed up their thoughts by tweeting: “This….. is just garbage design”. Another added: “Windows goes to a new level of inconsistency in design.”
“Can I keep windows 10 instead…” one Microsoft fan tweeted as the screenshots and video of the new interface started to flood social media. Well, funnily enough, Microsoft has anticipated some of this backlash. After all, the Redmond-based company has had its fair share of iffy receptions to major overhauls to Windows over the years.
Clearly anticipating the main complaint around Windows 10 – the new Start Menu – the firm has already baked in a way to return the new centred design back to its rightful place in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, where it’s found on Windows 10 (ironically, itself an admission that fans were right in the wake of the new Start Menu launched in Windows 8).
When you’re running the next version of Windows, it’s pretty easy to re-enable the traditional location of the Start Menu. To do, follow the instructions below…
- Open Regedit
- Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoft WindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
- Create a new DWord called Start_ShowClassicMode
- Set its value to 1
If that sounds like too much hard work, there’s also an option in the Settings > Personalisation > Task Bar menu.