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Windows 11 Announcement: Live Blog

We're live blogging Microsoft's big announcement.

Windows 11 Live Blog
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Microsoft is announcing the next version of Windows live at 11 am ET / 8 am PT  and, while you can watch it on Microsoft's feed, we're also live blogging below to share what's going on, along with our reactions.


Anticipation is High

It's 45 minutes before start time and we're excited to see what Microsoft has to say. Last week, a version of Windows 11 leaked, complete with a new Start Menu and some minor UI changes. We hope that Microsoft will show something more than we've seen from the leaked build which, frankly, was really underwhelming.

Key Questions Microsoft Needs to Answer

We probably won't get all the answers we seek from the event, but here are a few key questions Microsoft really needs to answer.

  • Is it really called Windows 11? We're pretty sure this is a yes.
  • Is it a free upgrade? We bet the answer is yes.
  • Are the changes more than skin deep? Right now, we're just seeing a new start menu (yawn)
  • Are system requirements changing? We think probably not, but need to know.
  • What about the Microsoft Store? Is anything new happening there.
  • Any performance improvements? We really hope this will actually make our PCs perform better, not just put a new coat of paint on an old OS.

Windows 10 Alerting People to this Event?

Windows 11 Event Alert

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Some of us got this notification on our Windows 10 Insider Build PCs last night. Did any of you?  

Hold Music

This hold music is really sedate but a little but futuristic also. It seems like a cross between the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey and what you'd hear in an elevator.

Panos Panay has gone live and is now showing off photos of his home. Saying that his home "feels right" which I guess is a metaphor for Windows. It's "a place you can always find your way back. It's a space."

Panos Panay

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We're seeing some buffering and stalling issues on Microsoft's feed. How about you?

He just said Windows 11 so now we know for sure, if we didn't already, that that is the name. Still seeing buffering issues on our end.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Wow, our ability to live blog is kind of stuck as we can't even get the Microsoft stream to work. Not a good look. And at least six of us in different locations are all having the same experience.

Windows 11 will be a free upgrade. Despite the buffering issues, we've heard that.

Remember the old spinning blue circle from Windows. Now we see it here. 

Windows 11

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We hope your viewing experience is better than ours and we apologize for not being able to keep up because of these buffering issues. We'll have all the news for you on the Tom's Hardware home page shortly.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Sarah Bond talking about automatic HDR upscaling with Windows 11.  Games will also have Direct Storage so load times will be super fast. Direct Storage-optimized Windows 11 PCs will have this.

Sarah Bond

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Android apps are coming to Windows which will be discoverable via the Amazon app store in the Microsoft store. Panos Panay showed TikTok playing. Of course, it begs the question of why TikTok doesn't just make a native Windows app.

TikTok on Windows 11

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Panos Panay says "go out today and get your Windows 11 ready PC." We're wondering if this is going to be a marketing play for PC vendors. Stickers anyone?

Satya Nadella comes on to conclude, saying that Windows has been a "democratizing" force in tech. "Windows has always stood for sovereignty for creators and agency for consumers," he said.

Satya Nadella

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)