Microsoft is getting ready to announce the unveiling of its latest Windows release, Windows 11. Code-named Sun Valley, the update will translate to a complete redo of the current windows user interface. In a version of the build that was recently leaked, a couple of new features were noticed.

The most obvious new feature is that there is a floating and centered Start Menu and a centered Taskbar. Windows 11 has ditched its Live Tiles and instead leverages icons linking to your apps that you could pin anywhere according to your choice and convenience.

Windows 11 features a redesigned Start Menu.

The Taskbar can also be customized and reverted back to something more familiar, you’ll be able to change Taskbar alignment in the Taskbar settings, which will give you an option to left-align your Taskbar. If that’s not enough, the settings also feature options for customizing all other updated features, meaning you can go back to the classic Windows 10 Taskbar if you’re not ready to let go of it.

Window 11 is also going to be featuring:

A new Microsoft Store

With Windows 11, there should be some big changes. Developers will be able to submit their apps without packaging them, and they can also host them on their own CDN, meaning that they won’t actually have to be distributed by Microsoft, just through the Microsoft storefront. This is opening up the Microsoft Store in a big way. Previously, big-time apps like Google Chrome were left out because of Microsoft’s own rules. Now, it should be a whole lot easier to put your app in the Store.

x64 emulation for Windows on ARM

You remember Windows on ARM, right? Windows 10 devices with ARM processors have struggled with a lack of apps, since they’ve only supported 32-bit emulation. With Windows 11, those devices will finally get support for 64-bit app emulation.

A big visual overhaul, with rounded corners

Windows 11 is going to be visually different from Windows 10. Because as Windows 10 has had some subtle changes to the design over the years, it hasn’t gotten a whole new look, like the kind of new look we typically get from a new version of Windows.

And yes, there will be rounded corners. Windows has been focused on sharp corners ever since Windows 8, and those squared-off tiles made their way into Windows 10 as well. Windows 11 will follow suit with more modern operating systems like iOS and Android now.

Windows Sun Valley image

There are also new, more colorful icons throughout the operating system. You’ll find these in File Explorer, Device Manager, and pretty much anywhere else. These are available in Windows 10 previews, and they make for a pretty big visual change on their own.

It’s not just about a new look though. The way you interact with the UI will be different as well. A big focus here is making Windows better for touch, something that Windows 10 has struggled with. Indeed, while Windows 8 was all-in on touch, Windows 10 felt like it scaled back a bit too much. Windows 11 will support more swipe gestures and such, but more importantly, it should be more consistent with what happens when you tap on something.

Although none of this is official yet.

When is Windows 11 coming out?

Windows 11 is coming out this fall. The timeline is just very different from a normal Windows feature update. Microsoft is plaining on announcing something on June 24.

After it gets announced, the preview is going to go out to Windows Insiders. It should head to the Beta channel shortly after, and that’s also when OEMs are going to start to get it for installing on new laptops and desktops. In October or November, Windows 11 will be available to everyone, presumably as a free update.


Windows 11 is coming – Here’s everything we know about Microsoft’s next major software update, XDA, Rich Woods, June 4th, 2021.

This controversial Windows 11 feature is already upsetting people, Digital Trends, Computing, Dua Rashid, June 16th, 20201

While our daily online activity continues to grow, so does our exposure to online threats. Multiply this by the sheer number of devices through which we can access the Internet, and the risk of our personal information falling into the wrong hands increases exponentially.

The safety tips below will increase your online safety.

Protect your identity:

Use different user names and passwords for your accounts and make sure your passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

Turn on your firewall:

The University uses a firewall to help secure its infrastructure. Having one on your personal computer will help protect it from viruses and malware.

Use anti-virus software:

A multitude of free and paid anti-virus software exists to help protect your personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Install one on each device that connects to the Internet, and remember to update it regularly.

Block spyware attacks:

Like anti-virus software, anti-spyware software prevents spyware from making its way onto your computer.

Install the latest operating system updates:

Take the time to check for the latest Windows/Mac updates, or turn on automatic updates and let your computer do the work in the background.

Routinely back up your files:

Remember to back up your files to an external hard drive, removable media, or to the cloud so that you have access to them in the event of a system failure or virus.

Protect your wireless network:

Password protect your home wireless network, and change the password regularly if multiple people access it.

Ignore and delete emails from unknown senders:

Never open emails or attachments from people you don’t know. Ignore these messages and delete them immediately.

Surf the Web safely:

Only make online purchases from trusted sources, and make sure your privacy settings are turned on when accessing your social networking sites (Facebook, twitter, etc.…). You don’t want your personal information falling into the wrong hands!

When in doubt, get expert help:

Consult a computer expert if you need help installing software on your computer (see contact details above), and report any suspicious computing activity (scams, identity theft attempts) to the police.


General Safety Tips. uOttawa. Information Technology. June 16, 2021.