Microsoft is promising to show off the “next generation” of Windows at a June 24th event at 11AM ET / 8AM PT. The update, which will likely be called Windows 11, is expected to have a revamped look for the operating system as well as updates to the platform’s built-in store.
We’ve already gotten a look at the upcoming OS ahead of the announcement, as it leaked in a somewhat usable state. From what we’ve seen, 11 will be a big visual overhaul, taking inspiration from the unreleased Windows 10X, with a redesigned taskbar and Start menu and overall cleaner look throughout, including places like File Explorer and the Windows Store. Despite the leak, there are still some things we’ll have to wait for Microsoft to show off — for example, widgets appear to be back but aren’t functioning in the leaked version.
Microsoft said in 2015 that Windows 10 would be “the last version of Windows,” so hopefully the presentation will offer some insight as to why the company has decided to call the next version Windows 11 instead of something like Windows 10.5.
You can check back here for any further information we find in leaks before the event as well as for news during and after Microsoft’s official announcement.
It’s a few days short of two years since Microsoft teased 3D emoji that would eventually replace the company’s old and flat designs that look stuck in Apple’s iOS 7 era. But now the company has released a new Windows Insider Preview Build (25905) that will finally bring more modern 3D looks to your ghost, unicorn, and starry-eyed emoji throughout the OS.Read Article >
The new emoji in the preview are similar to the ones released in Microsoft Teams last year, which added a gradient style to make the emoji appear 3D.
Aug 15, 2022
Microsoft lost quite a bit of goodwill by forcing the Microsoft Edge browser on uninterested users — but maybe those days are nearing an end? For a possible preview of the future, check this GIF from Leopeva64, who has a future version of Google’s Chrome web browser on their machine, alongside the 2H22 update to Windows 10.Read Article >
As of this March, switching your default browser in Windows 11 had already been improved to take just a few clicks in a settings menu, but you can see how the older Windows 10 is even cleaner than that. And with the Chrome and Windows 10 22H2 updates, you can seemingly just hit the pop-up in the browser itself (in this case, Chrome Dev version 106.0.5231.2) to set it right away. That would sure be nice to have in Windows 11 as well.
Apr 15, 2022
It’s all too easy to allow distractions such as social media or videos to seduce us from the things we’re supposed to be doing — such as, say, writing articles about Windows 11. Features such as Focus assist are now being included with operating systems to try to help us keep our eyes on the road, so to speak.Read Article >
Microsoft’s Focus assist was first introduced in a 2018 update of Windows 10, where it replaced a feature known as Quiet Hours, and while Windows 11 doesn’t offer any radical updates, it has made the feature easier to use. Focus assist stops notifications from popping up on your screen and can be activated automatically when you put on your display on presentation mode, are playing a game, or are using an app in full-screen mode.
Oct 4, 2021
Windows 11 is now available and will be rolling out to millions of PCs worldwide. But, as with any new OS rollout, it’s not going to happen overnight, and many Windows users will be waiting for a while until that magic upgrade notice appears. Don’t want to wait? You don’t have to — you can, with just a little effort, download and install the new version of Windows right now.Read Article >
Keep in mind, though, that unlike previous versions of Windows, you may not be invited to install Windows 11 if your machine isn’t considered up to its standard. That doesn’t mean that you can’t install the new OS — Microsoft has said if you have an older machine, you will be able to access Windows 11, but you’ll have to download an ISO file of Windows 11 and install the OS manually. (However, you may not get automatic updates — you may have to install a new ISO each time instead.)
Oct 4, 2021
I don’t know what else to call it: the Windows 11 upgrade situation is a confusing mess. Depending on when your PC was built, which components you chose, and how it was configured, there’s a decent chance Microsoft will try to scare you away from installing the free upgrade, which is available a day early today. Millions of people will likely be told their systems are incompatible, and Microsoft is reserving the right to withhold security updates if you install on older systems.Read Article >
But as far as we can tell, Windows 11 is largely Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint, and there’s a strong chance your Windows 10 computer will run Windows 11 just fine. Do we recommend it? Not necessarily, but this article might help you figure out whether your PC is ready for the ride.
Oct 4, 2021
Microsoft’s free Windows 11 upgrade from Windows 10 is now rolling out. Microsoft is starting to offer the free upgrade to new devices that are still shipping with Windows 10, before making the OS available to other eligible existing hardware.Read Article >
Not every existing PC running Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11, though. Windows 11 will require Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and up, TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) support, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. That leaves millions of PCs unable to officially upgrade to Windows 11, although there will be unsupported workarounds if you really want Windows 11.
Oct 2, 2021
Microsoft’s next version of Windows, Windows 11, is coming October 5th. In many ways, it’s already here — the free update has been available for Windows Insiders to download and test for months, and recent versions like the Release Preview will likely be indistinguishable from the final operating system.Read Article >
We’ll have a full review from Tom Warren next week, but in the meanwhile we thought we’d give you a look at how The Verge at large feels about upgrading to the new OS — by asking every other prominent Windows user on the team to install the most recent version on their own home computers, and gathering their impressions.
Sep 21, 2021
Today, Microsoft officially reinstated its PC Health Check app for anyone to download, letting you easily see whether your computer is ready for Windows 11 ahead of its October 5th debut. (The company had previously removed the app because it was somewhat misleading, and when a more robust version returned in late August, it was only available to Windows Insiders.) You can find the app at the very bottom of this page if you scroll down, or click here if you don’t mind direct downloads.Read Article >
But in some ways, the new PC Health Check app is still misleading because it suggests my perfectly good 7th-gen Core i7 desktop gaming PC isn’t ready for Windows 11, despite the fact that I’ve already installed Windows 11 and am running it with no major issues. In fact, I took this screenshot of my system that “doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements” from inside Windows 11 — a beta version that’s just a stone’s throw away from final.
Aug 28, 2021
Yesterday, we wrote how Microsoft’s Windows 11 won’t technically leave millions of PCs behind — the company told us it won’t actually block you from installing Windows 11 on a PC with an older CPU, so long as you download and manually install an ISO file all by yourself. But it turns out even that technicality has a technicality. Microsoft is now threatening to withhold Windows Updates from your copy of Windows 11 — potentially even security updates — if you take that route.Read Article >
We’re not sure why the company didn’t mention it in our original briefing, but Microsoft has since told The Verge that unsupported PCs won’t be entitled to receive Windows Updates, and that even security and driver updates may be withheld.
Aug 27, 2021
In June, we wrote that Windows 11 will leave millions of PCs behind, seemingly because their processors aren’t as new and fully featured as Microsoft would like.Read Article >
This morning, Microsoft revealed a change of plan to The Verge: it won’t technically abandon those millions of PCs, because you’ll be able to manually install the downloadable Windows 11 ISO on whatever you want. The company’s also extending its official CPU compatibility list to a bunch of Intel’s most expensive Xeon workstation processors and its most expensive line of Core X desktop CPUs — and, tellingly, the less powerful Intel chip it shipped in its Surface Studio 2, so it no longer has to defend the idea of abandoning a flagship product that it still continues to sell brand-new.
Jul 20, 2021
When Microsoft announced Windows 11 in June, it revealed that Microsoft Teams would be integrated directly into the operating system and that you’d be able to connect with other people via a new Chat window. The first preview for the new operating system didn’t have that new functionality, but Microsoft is starting to roll it out in a limited way starting Tuesday with the newest Windows 11 preview for Windows Insiders.Read Article >
The rollout of all of the promised features will happen over time, Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog post. “In this first stage, you’ll be able to sign in, add contacts, and connect via individual and group chats,” he said. “Over the coming weeks, we will enable audio and video calling, meetings, screen sharing and other capabilities.” He also noted that Chat will roll out first to a “subset” of Insiders. To get started, click the Chat icon on the taskbar and sign in with your Microsoft account.
Jun 25, 2021
Microsoft has updated its PC Health Check App to show more information about why your computer won’t be able to run Windows 11, to help deal with some of the confusion that’s sprung up around compatibility. If you’ve already downloaded the app, it should auto-update when you go to run it again, and if you haven’t downloaded it yet you can get it here.Read Article >
There’s been a bit of confusion about what Windows 11 will and won’t run on, and the previous version of the tool didn’t necessarily help clear any of it up, mainly showing users a pass/fail message with no details. Now, it should at least give some clue as to why your computer isn’t compatible, be it an issue with storage, secure boot compatibility, or your processor.
Jun 25, 2021
The world is waiting to see whether the United States Congress, and a US judge, crack down on Big Tech’s monopoly power and decide the future of Apple’s App Store. I don’t think readers have ever cared so much about revenue share, market definition, and anti-steering rules.Read Article >
So it’s a wild time for Microsoft to be pitching the tech industry on a new-and-improved app store, too. Remember, this is the company that famously got sued in the ‘90s for bundling Internet Explorer with its operating system, dominating the nascent web browser market, Some might say it’s up to its old tricks with the new Windows 11 — which similarly bundles the company’s Microsoft Teams video chat and collaboration software at the potential expense of rivals like Slack and Zoom. (More on that in a bit.)
Jun 25, 2021
We’ve got a special episode of Decoder today — I’m talking to Satya Nadella, the CEO and chairman of Microsoft. Satya’s always been one of my favorite tech execs to talk to, and Microsoft has some big news for us to discuss: it announced Windows 11 yesterday, which comes with an all-new design, a bunch of new features, and the ability to run Android apps.Read Article >
That’s all wrapped up in some big changes to how apps are distributed on Windows: Microsoft is opening up the Windows app store, allowing developers to put more kinds of apps in the store, and it’s allowing developers to bypass the fees in the store if they want to use their own payment systems.
Jun 25, 2021
Windows 11 is arriving later this year as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, but many are discovering that their hardware isn’t compatible. Microsoft has altered its minimum hardware requirements, and it’s the CPU changes that are most surprising here. Windows 11 will only officially support 8th Gen and newer Intel Core processors, alongside Apollo Lake and newer Pentium and Celeron processors.Read Article >
That potentially rules out millions of existing Windows 10 devices from upgrading to Windows 11 with full support, and even devices like Microsoft’s own Surface Studio 2 which the company is still selling right now for $3,499. Older devices that aren’t officially supported will be met with a warning during the Windows 11 install that the upgrade is not recommended, but the OS should still install.
As part of its Windows 11 announcements on Thursday, Microsoft revealed a major policy change to incentivize developers to make apps for the Microsoft Store: starting on July 28th, if a developer uses their own or a third-party payment system in their app, Microsoft will let them keep 100 percent of the revenue. But the deal has one important caveat: it doesn’t apply to games, Microsoft confirmed to The Verge.Read Article >
That omission further muddies the ongoing debate about the differences between an app and a game and app store policies around each — a distinction that is one of the core issues in the ongoing legal battle between Fortnite-maker Epic Games and Apple.
Today’s Windows 11 news is all about where Microsoft sees computing going over the next few years, but it’s just as much the story of how Skype has flourished and ebbed since its $8.5 billion acquisition a decade ago. Five years ago, Skype was the big name in internet calling and video, and Microsoft made it an “inbox app” for Windows 10 that was included at installation and launched at startup by default.Read Article >
Now, after a pandemic year that has had more people using their PCs for voice and video than ever before, Skype was nowhere to be seen in the Windows 11 presentation or materials. Instead, Microsoft Teams gets a highlight spot in the new center-aligned taskbar and deep integration into Windows.
Jun 24, 2021
Microsoft announced Windows 11 today, and one of the headline features of the “next generation” operating system is its visual overhaul. It’s released an entire video about how it designed its new OS, which shows off the new rounded corners, icons, and more.Read Article >
Here’s a look at some of the UI changes Microsoft showed off in its presentation today (along with some that we got a look at from subsequent videos), and how they compare to Windows 10.
Jun 24, 2021
At the end of a surprisingly eventful, exciting presentation of Windows 11, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came on the video feed to deliver some closing remarks. He laid out his vision for Windows 11 as a “platform for platform creators,” and in doing so, he issued a subtle but nonetheless stinging critique of Apple.Read Article >
Nadella’s speech was almost entirely about building a case that Windows would be a better platform for creators than either macOS or (especially) iOS. He argued that “there is no personal computing without personal agency,” insisting that users should be more in control of their computers.
Microsoft just announced Windows 11, which brings a new design, a centered Start menu, the ability to run Android apps, and a whole lot more. But alongside everything new revealed on Thursday, Microsoft also shared details on features that will be deprecated or removed, and you might want to check out what’s changing in case there’s anything you might have to adjust to in your day-to-day use.Read Article >
Here are some big changes:
Jun 24, 2021
Windows 11 was announced today with a load of new features, and if you’re a Windows enthusiast, you are no doubt eager to give it a try. If you want to install a real version, rather than the leaked version that hit the internet on June 15th), Microsoft says it is going to share an early build of Windows 11 through its Windows Insider Program starting next week.Read Article >
If you want to play with early versions of Windows (and we strongly suggest you do it on a machine that you are not using for your day-to-day computing), you can join the Windows Insider program here — just click the Register button and sign in with your Microsoft account.
Now that Microsoft has announced Windows 11, you may be wondering what you’ll need to install it. Confirming information pulled from last week’s leak, all you’ll need to run it is a 64-bit CPU (or SoC), 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, specs that are only slightly higher than Windows 10’s current requirements. This marks the end of Windows support for older 32-bit hardware platforms, even though it will continue to run 32-bit software.Read Article >
The fastest way to find out if your system can handle Windows 11 is to download Microsoft’s PC Health App (click here), which will automatically tell you if your specs and settings are ready for the new OS.
Jun 24, 2021
Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 on Thursday, and its least expensive version Windows 11 Home will now require an internet connection at setup — and a Microsoft account. Previous versions would let you opt out of Microsoft accounts by creating a local account instead, though the company didn’t necessarily make it easy to find and pushed you to use Microsoft’s login instead. It’s possible you’ll still be able to use a local account afterwards.Read Article >
The internet requirement may make sense since Windows 11 will largely be delivered via a Windows Update, like many of the updates to Windows 10, so you’d need an internet connection to install it on your PC. You’ll need to make sure your machine has enough free storage space to install the updates, Microsoft notes in its spec sheet for Windows 11.
Supporting local news sources is suddenly something the tech industry worries about, and with Windows 11, Microsoft is adding integration with local news “content creators and authors” front and center.Read Article >
In an expansion on the weather and news taskbar widget it recently added to Windows 10, it not only highlights sources in your areas, but it has a payment feature built right in. As shown in the video stream, you can support people with straight cash donations or Microsoft points, and it shows how many tippers are contributing to each person.
Jun 24, 2021
Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 11 today, and the software maker is committing to make it a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Much like how Windows 10 was free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, this new Windows 11 version will be free for existing Windows 10 users.Read Article >
All you’ll need is a PC that meets the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11, which is now a 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Windows 11 will be delivered through Windows Update in much the same way as Windows 10 updates have been made available previously.