Windows 11 — here's why there's already a backlash

Windows 11 interface widgets
(Image credit: The Verge)

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.

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. 

Windows 11 leak

Nobody seems to like the look of new Windows (Image credit: Baidu)

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.

Windows 10X

Note the same rounded edges and centered Start menu that we see in today's leaked Windows 11 images appear in this 2019 promo image of Windows 10X running on the dual-screen Neo  (Image credit: Microsoft)

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.

Windows 11

Once you dig past the smoother, more rounded surface, new Windows looks a lot like old Windows (Image credit: Baidu)

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.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice. 

  • TimmyP5434
    You know, one day people are gonna catch on to what this site, Creative Bloq, MacRumors, Mac Insider, and all these other sites with either zero comment section, or a heavily curated one.

    It is blatantly obvious that someone is paying for these articles, as they all say the same thing and are not really true whatsoever. Its all deceptive marketing, and leading people to products that really shouldnt be where they are, and are HEAVILY holding us back, while conversly people think they are getting cutting edge tech.
  • GiSWiG
    "Windows fans like square — not rounded — corners "
    Windows 7 had rounded corners and most seem to love Windows 7 over Windows 10. Also, rounded corners is also found in Linux desktops so don't need to bring Apple into it.
  • mike49099
    We should revisit the initial major fail ,according to pundits, of the original IBM-PC.
    As memory serves, it was news for months that the keyboard did not have the large 'Return' / Enter key of the IBM Selectric, which had nicely rounded corners.
    (Many of you will need to look that up... best guess.)
    My first machine was a South West Technical Products SS-50 based machine with 4K of ram. 1K x 1bit @ $9.99 each. A "TV Typewriter" for a monitor and two cassette decks for data / program storage.
    I may be dating myself here a bit. :unsure:
  • russell_john
    I really doesn't matter to me because I'm just going to use Classic Shell like I have been since Vista came out ..... It's the first thing I install after I load Windows for the first time .....
  • His Majesty
    I don't care what they do with corners. Round, square, ellipsoid, cloud-like ... I don't care. Did they put start menu in the center? I could care less. What I care about is this: are the updates going to be as screwed up as they are now or are they going to hire an army of beta testers who are not us, the users? It is what I care about, especially after an update to 21H1 left my computer unable to boot. I spent a few hours attempting various of ways of repair. I had to reinstall that Microsoft garbage and now, two weeks later, I'm still feeling the pain of missing this and that app, etc.
  • Biggshoson
    A ”backlash” by whom exactly? No links to this supposed backlash are in the article. It’s the whole “people are saying” gimmick employed by a certain politician. Who are these people that are ”backlashing” Exactly? Be specific and link to some sources.
  • Solace Kane
    Biggshoson said:
    A ”backlash” by whom exactly? No links to this supposed backlash are in the article. It’s the whole “people are saying” gimmick employed by a certain politician. Who are these people that are ”backlashing” Exactly? Be specific and link to some sources.
    My thoughts exactly with all these articles floating around.
    And what kills me even more is some have to gall to equivocate "everyone" by citing a few random tweets or one or two negative comments from Reddit.