For the last couple of months, Microsoft has been teasing a “next generation” Windows continuously. According to the latest news, it seems the company is not only preparing an update to its existing Windows 10 operating system but also bringing a new operating system, Windows 11.
Microsoft announced a Windows event for 24th June which promises to show “what’s next for Windows.” The company started sending event invites which included an image of what looks like a new Windows logo with light shining through the window in only two vertical bars. It is creating an outline that looks very much like the number 11. Interestingly, the company followed it up with an animated version of this image.
The catch here is Microsoft’s Windows event also starts at 11 AM ET which is not the usual start time for Windows and Surface events so it does indicate that the company is trying to pitch something. Microsoft exec Yusuf Mehdi said he hasn’t “been this excited for a new version of Windows since Windows 95!” These statements are also boosting the spirit of the rumour because it is perhaps the first time ever that we have heard Microsoft specifically mention a “new version” of Windows.
It is to be noted that the event invite comes just a week after Nadella teased a “next generation of Windows” where he promised that Microsoft would soon share “one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade.” In line with this, earlier this year, Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay also teased a “next generation” of Windows.
If the expectations about Windows 11 come out to be true then we can expect to see big visual changes because for quite a while Microsoft has been working on something codenamed Sun Valley which the company considers will sweep “visual rejuvenation of Windows.” Microsoft will bring some of the visual changes from its recently completed Windows 10X project which is a lightweight version of Windows specially designed to out compete Chrome OS.
Some of the features include a new Start menu, new system icons, File Explorer improvements, and the end of Windows 95-era icons. Hopefully, the company will also bring significant changes beyond the user interface such as fixing rearranging apps issues on multiple monitors. Windows store could also be fixed with this new OS. For the last couple of months, Microsoft has been working on a new app store for Windows. As per rumors, it will be a significant departure from what exists today.
Some reports suggest Microsoft is overhauling its Windows app store to allow developers to submit any Windows application. The catch here is Microsoft wouldn’t take a cut from developers who use their own in-app purchase systems. Normally, Microsoft has announced a cut up to 12 percent commission for PC games in the Windows store.
Previously Microsoft referred to Windows 10 as “the last version of Windows” so moving to Windows 11 would still be a surprise move for Microsoft. Microsoft rolls out monthly updates to Windows but significant updates are hardly released twice a year. The company has struggled with naming these updates. Windows 11 wouldn’t necessarily clear Microsoft’s update naming issues but with the new OS, the company can start releasing updates like 11.1, 11.1.1, or 11.2. This will not only help consumers but also IT admins!
A new Windows OS release implies OEMs would also be happy. A new version of Windows drives new hardware sales with renewed interest. In short, if Microsoft can deliver a new UI and a refreshed look and feel, it will be good not only for the company but also for the industry as a whole.
Meta: Microsoft schedules a Windows event on 24th June.