Tomorrow, June 24, is the day Microsoft will publicly present the “new” version of Windows, almost certainly dubbed Windows 11. Officials are expected to talk about some of the new features, reveal deployment plans, and (hopefully) communicate this. what IT pros can and should expect, in terms of the future of Windows 10. Microsoft is also set to talk about what developers can and should expect from Windows 11 and – according to rumors – to share more on Microsoft’s App Store update as part of the June 24 reveal.
With this next version, Microsoft has a colossal task ahead of it. Many IT pros don’t want Windows to change much due to user retraining and increased requests for help. This means that adjustments need to be made so as not to cause the kind of pushback, and ultimately failure, that has occurred with Windows 8. At the same time, Microsoft is looking to compete with manufacturers. Apple and Chromebook with this release, and the needs and wants of users running these two types of devices are quite different. (Windows 10X was going to be Microsoft’s competing platform for ChromeOS, but Microsoft dropped it, apparently indefinitely.)
Ahead of the June 24 event, here’s what we know (and don’t) so far about Windows 11:
When is the great Windows 11 revealed and how can I watch it?
Microsoft’s virtual event, led by CEO Satya Nadella and Windows Product Manager and Head of Client, Panos Panay, is scheduled for June 24 at 11 a.m. ET. Anyone can log in and watch What’s Next for Windows here. There’s also a virtual developer event that should focus on Windows 11 at 3 p.m. ET, which anyone can watch here.
Wasn’t Windows 10 supposed to be the “last” version of Windows?
It depends on how you interpret the comments from various Microsoft spokespersons. Developer evangelist Jerry Nixon sadly stated during an Ignite presentation that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows. Microsoft officials never really corroborated – or denied – his words (at least not in my opinion). But Microsoft’s new service model, introduced alongside Windows 10, definitely gave the impression that the company was planning to continue rolling out updates to Windows 10 rather than introducing a new version of Windows. Bottom line: Why are we even talking about this?
I’m more intrigued as to why Microsoft decided to upgrade to 11 now. Think about it, one of the best ways to try and get people, especially consumers, to buy new PCs is to be able to pretend there’s something new and power them better. Many users have been content to continue using their existing Windows PCs with gradually updated versions of Windows 10 over the past few years. From what I’ve heard, Microsoft and its OEM partners are counting on a “new” Windows campaign to help sell brand new PCs this holiday and beyond.
Is Windows 11 really just Windows 10 with a new UI / UX?
Microsoft should try to make the case that Windows 11 is new and different enough from Windows 10 to deserve a new version number. Along with providing a new user interface with more consistency, rounded corners, and more sophisticated icons, Windows 11 will also support better touch controls and a new store, according to previous leaks.
A late May version of Windows 11 that leaked to the web last week has led many to assume that the UI / UX tweaks from “Sun Valley” to Windows 11 are the bulk of the game. which will be new in the Windows 11 version. The new user interface largely resembles what Microsoft intended for the now-canceled Windows 10X with a centered Start menu and dock.
Will Windows 11 be a free upgrade from Windows 10?
We do not know yet. But I guess it will. I also believe that Microsoft will continue to roll out a number of additional feature versions of Windows 10 for some time, including a version of Windows 10 21H2, much to the relief of a large part of the tech pros. business / IT. Microsoft officials have already announced that there will be a Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release in the second half of this year, which the company will support for five years.
Microsoft Watcher Yellowfin (@thebookisclosed) on Twitter said he thinks Microsoft is preparing two 21H2 branches: One based on the old “Vibranium” code base and another on the more recent “Cobalt”. The first will be the Windows 10 update 21H2, which will likely be another very minor release delivered via an activation pack, while the Cobalt will be Windows 11, which will be primarily aimed at consumers this calendar year.
How and when will Microsoft deploy Windows 11?
So far, officials have not said anything. But rumors indicate that Microsoft will make Windows 11 available in two stages. PC makers and Windows Insider testers are expected to get the largely incomplete first version of Windows 11 this summer (maybe even this month). And Microsoft is expected to make it available to mainstream users this fall.
We don’t know how much (if any) Windows 11 will ship through Windows Feature Packs in addition to Windows Update channels. Former Microsoft Senior Program Manager Michael Niehaus has discovered new elements in the Windows 11 Feature Pack, including UX shell and search composables, as well as files that support a new “Get Started” app. “.
What do we know about the alleged new App Store?
Last week’s leaked version didn’t include a new App Store. But since the Store is just a universal Windows platform app, it could be introduced and updated separately quite easily, I guess.
Windows Central has posted a variety of information on what the upcoming new Store experience will likely include. It could allow developers to offer in-app purchases and submit unpackaged Win32 apps. There are rumors that the new Microsoft Store app could feature mini app stores (like a Google store or an Amazon store) right in the app.
Hopefully Microsoft will shed some light tomorrow on how it plans to support non-UWP apps in the Store. Officials have hinted that Microsoft is working on some sort of app certification / trust mechanism that would ensure that all apps that users download from the Store either get Microsoft’s seal of approval or not.
What about the ability to run Android apps on Windows (Project Latte)?
Again, the leaked version of Windows 11 didn’t provide any new clues about which Android apps run Windows (an effort named “Project Latte”). Microsoft may be considering making Android apps available through the new Microsoft app store. Some believe this will require the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which can now run Linux GUI applications (and allows them to be pinned to the Start menu). Heard from a source that Latte is probably an early 2022 thing at this point.
Will Panos have his “one more thing” moment on June 24?
Perhaps. If it does, I’m taking a risk and saying it might show a preview of the revised / updated dual-screen Surface Neo running Windows 11 instead of Windows 10X. I doubt Microsoft wants to distract from the operating system with a new device. But, on the other hand, what better way to make it clear that you need a new version of Windows than by showing off a whole new form factor optimized for it …