Windows 11 leaks online ahead of official announcement - reports

The leaked, incomplete version is receiving mixed reviews online.
The leaked, incomplete version is receiving mixed reviews online Photo credit: YouTube

Windows 11, the presumed upcoming version of Microsoft's operating system software, has been leaked online ahead of its official launch, according to reports.

The company had previously announced a livesteam event for June 24 (US time), inviting viewers to 'join us to see what's next for Windows', with speculation Windows 11 would officially be announced then.

Screenshots of the new-look user interface for Windows 11 first appeared on Chinese site Baidu earlier this week, before a file containing an installable version of the software started circulating via sites like Reddit and Twitter.

Microsoft has been teasing big news regarding its updated operating system for a few weeks now, including CEO Satya Nadella telling the Build developer conference he'd been testing it himself.

"Soon we will share one of the most significant updates of Windows of the past decade, to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators," Nadella said.

"I'm incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows."

Windows 11
Photo credit: YouTube

Tom Warren, senior editor at technology news site The Verge, is one of the people who has been able to get hands on with the new software.


He reported that large parts of the cancelled Windows 10X operating system, Microsoft's lightweight Windows originally designed for dual-screen devices and then single screen laptops, had been preserved in Windows 11.

That move was telegraphed in a blog post earlier this year from John Cable, vice president program management, Windows servicing and delivery.

"Following a year-long exploration and engaging in conversations with customers, we realised that the technology of Windows 10X could be useful in more ways and serve more customers than we originally imagined," he wrote.

"We are leveraging learnings from our journey thus far and accelerating the integration of key foundational 10X technology into other parts of Windows and products at the company."

Other features of the new operating system include centred app icons, a new Start button and menu and rounded corners throughout. The Xbox app for Windows also appears to have been integrated into Windows 11.

The leaked version of the software apparently isn't complete, however, with some of the new functionality - including Widgets accessed via a new taskbar icon - not fully operational.

Reviews of the pre-release have been mixed so far with the WindowsCentral website saying it's a "refreshing change from the same-looking OS we have been using for the last six years" while Michael Muchmore at PC Mag says the new look isn't for him.