Windows 11 — or at least, an unfinished build of whatever the next Windows ends up being called — has leaked online ahead of Microsoft's June 24th Windows event, and some people seem to be taking it personally.
Public backlash to a new idea or product is as common as mosquitos in summer, and just as biting. But this time it may be significant enough to influence Microsoft's path forward for the next big Windows release.
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Windows 11 backlash
If you haven't seen it yet, the leaked dev build of Windows that spread across the internet in mid-June reveals a streamlined new look for the venerable operating system that includes rounded corners and a centered Start button.
Those two new changes alone seem to have peeved many people, which may influence Microsoft's messaging and push the company to offer more visual customization options in a final build.
For example, there are those who feel the rounded edges of Windows' new UI are a little too similar to those you'll see in Apple's macOS. The centered Start button has also caused consternation, despite the fact that you can relocate the Start button back to the left-hand corner of the taskbar if you like.
There's also some online trepidation over how closely the leaked build of new Windows resembles the promotional shots of Windows 10X, a now defunct version of Windows 10 optimized for touchscreens and meant to compete against Chrome OS.
Announced in 2019 in tandem with the Surface Neo (a dual-screen laptop which never launched), Windows 10X was initially pitched as a touch-first version of Windows 10 redesigned from the ground up for easier use and better security. It was supposed to launch alongside the Neo, but reports from earlier this year suggested the OS was first delayed and then rolled into a broader redesign of Microsoft's core Windows product.
With a leaked build of Windows in the wild and a Windows press event on the horizon, those reports appear to be true. Many fans seem to be more than a bit dismayed that the next big thing for Windows appears to be a subtle redesign that delivers a smorgasbord of small changes, rather than a significant overhaul of the aging operating system.
Of course, the leaked build everyone is getting worked up over is unfinished and of dubious origin. It's possible that Microsoft has significantly overhauled Windows in ways that aren't evident in that build. But we'll have to wait until the company holds its Windows press event Thursday, June 24th at 11 AM Eastern.