Microsoft officially unveils Windows 11

New version of Windows will begin rolling out next week to Windows Insiders.

Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, a new iteration of Windows that promises a host of visual upgrades, as well as new behaviours to the basic OS experience.

The new Windows 11 will be released as a build for Windows Insiders next week, Microsoft says. Executives did not release a timetable for general availability for Windows 11, though it will likely occur sometime in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, an early, partial build of Windows 11 leaked on June 15, allowing users a sneak peek into what Microsoft had planned. New Windows 11 features include a simplified Taskbar and Start menu, plus some visual upgrades, including rounded corners and a fresh look for familiar interface elements—even in the way light moves across pixels.

There’s also a new Widgets drawer that will become one of the centrepieces of Microsoft’s new widgets strategy. Microsoft calls these “web widgets,” and they’ll be a part of Microsoft’s new monetisation strategy, executives say. At its reveal, executives also showed off a brief glimpse of an updated Microsoft Store.

“Windows should feel familiar,’ said Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay. “It should feel secure. It must feel emotional.”

Microsoft says more than one billion users use Windows, and the company believes that the PC will play a central role as the world moves forward. Company executives said that they wanted to build a Windows that feels fresh and modern, and brings people closer to what they love, such as games and streaming video.

Microsoft did not immediately say whether Windows 11 will be a free upgrade, though all previous iterations of Windows have previously been.

For more, check out our Windows 11 superguide.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 11

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?