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Windows 11 Leaks Online, Shows Start Menu, Startup, Wallpapers and More

Windows 11 Leaked Screnshots
(Image credit: sdra_owen on Baidu)

Windows 11 has leaked online, revealing a treasure trove of information from those who have downloaded it. Tom's Hardware can confirm the leak is genuine, but is an early build and likely not entirely representative of the final product.

First, on Baidu, a Chinese forum. The two screenshots showed off a new, refreshed Start menu as well as the settings screen, which shows the name Windows 11 Pro.

The image of the Start menu is the big reveal. It shows a new, centered task bar, similar to what was seen in Windows 10X prior to its cancelation. The menu doesn't have Live Tiles and lets you pin software in place. There's also a power icon to shut down or restart your computer. It all looks far more touch-friendly, and is likely part of the Windows 10X project being folded into Windows 11.

Windows 11 Leaked Screnshots

(Image credit: sdra_owen on Baidu)

The second image is far less revealing. It lists the name "Windows 11 Pro," suggesting that Microsoft will stick to the Home, Pro and Enterprise naming system.

The Verge editor Tom Warren posted several details on Twitter with the build, including wallpapers, Xbox and much of the user interface. 

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If the centered taskbar is too modern for your liking, one Twitter user is suggesting that there's a way to return to the way things look in Windows 10 with a left adjustment:

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Developer Steve Troughton-Smith is attempting to get the OS working on an Apple M1 processor using QEMU: 

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Here's the new startup, via Daniel Rubino of Windows Central:

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Microsoft didn't respond to a request for comment prior to publication. This story will be updated if it responds.

That being said, the Windows team's twitter account had some fun with it, writing "This is just the Start. Tune in on June 24th at 11 am ET to see what's next." That suggests there's more to show, but also verifies that this leak is real.

While the build may be floating around online, it's possible that it isn't yet finished.

Microsoft will host an event on June 24 to announce what's next for Windows. The company has been dropping hints at it being Windows 11, including an 11-minute video of Windows startup sounds and an image showing two lights coming through a window that form the number 11. It's likely we'll learn more then.

Updated 2:15 p.m. ET with findings from those who downloaded the build.
Updated 7:18 p.m. ET with details on how representative of the final product this leak is.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • revodo
    I called it 10 years ago.

    The start screen was trash, knew they would ditch it, and they did. Live tiles were trash. They were eventually going to get rid of them, and now they are. Now they're copying Linux / Mac again with a floating menu, and rounded corners.

    Not to say the design itself is bad, and as long as I can actually customize the start menu again, it'll be worth it.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    revodo said:
    Now they're copying Linux / Mac again with a floating menu, and rounded corners.
    Windows had rounded corners in XP and Vista.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    revodo said:
    The start screen was trash, knew they would ditch it, and they did. Live tiles were trash. They were eventually going to get rid of them, and now they are. Now they're copying Linux / Mac again with a floating menu, and rounded corners.
    That's a lot to conclude from just two screenshots and we don't even know what the leaker did beforehand.
    Reply
  • revodo
    USAFRet said:
    Windows had rounded corners in XP and Vista.

    Correct, which at the time was a desperate attempt to match the features of the new OS X UI. XP's UI was originally called Whistler, which I'm sure you know about. It didn't have rounded corners, and was fairly basic as far as the UI department was concerned. Microsoft realized how radical the OS X UI was and threw the Luna theme together in about 3 - 4 months. Vista ended up copying the drop shadow effect that OS X had since 2000/2001, and to their credit, pioneered the translucent UI effect. 7 polished Vista's UI, and 8 completely destroyed that work. Windows 8 even got rid of the drop shadows, when there was no reason to do. Then 10 put the shadows back, and 11 looks to add the rounded corners back.

    It's infuriating because they're basically copying the UI design that they copied over a decade and a half ago. We've come full circle.
    Reply
  • revodo
    hotaru.hino said:
    That's a lot to conclude from just two screenshots and we don't even know what the leaker did beforehand.

    There have been other leaked screenshots, and while it's not a complete image, if any of them are real, it gives a pretty clear image of the direction they are going.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    I wish they'd stop changing frivolous stuff for the sake of changing them and focus on stability, security, and optimization. Once they shake their reputation for buggy, sometimes critically buggy, updates, twice a year upgrades, shrink the memory usage bloat, and improve Windows Defender so it doesn't take an age to scan and slow down opening folders with a large amount of large files, then they can start worrying about GUI elements...

    And this goes for Mozilla too!
    Reply
  • warezme
    Maybe they finally integrate ALL control panel options in one location intelligently accessed because we're not all idiots who can't handle settings. I'm still hoping someday my AD manager doesn't keep being removed by every dang windows "feature update". This is on enterprise machines, what a joke.
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    As long as the Start button is where it's supposed to be, I don't care. Don't screw this up, like Windows 8.
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    USAFRet said:
    Windows had rounded corners in XP and Vista.

    there is way too much chatter about rounded corners. Why does anyone care? I want new features and functionality.

    JOSHSKORN said:
    As long as the Start button is where it's supposed to be, I don't care. Don't screw this up, like Windows 8.

    Yes as long as the taskbar can be put where is should be, vertical for all our widescreen monitors there will not be problems.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    I wish they'd stop changing frivolous stuff for the sake of changing them and focus on stability, security, and optimization. Once they shake their reputation for buggy, sometimes critically buggy, updates, twice a year upgrades, shrink the memory usage bloat, and improve Windows Defender so it doesn't take an age to scan and slow down opening folders with a large amount of large files, then they can start worrying about GUI elements...

    And this goes for Mozilla too!
    Sometimes I wonder what people do to their systems to get them in that state because I've almost never encountered serious problems.
    Reply