Microsoft's Windows 11 Livestream Event Is Today: How To Watch And What To Expect
As it turns out, Windows 10 will not be the last version of Windows. Plans have changed, and Microsoft is now getting ready to introduce the world to Windows 11 during a scheduled livestream. Hopefully some of the lingering questions we have will be answered during the event, and you can bet we will tuning into it. You can too, if you want.
To be clear, the "Windows 11" branding is not yet official, though a leaked build making the rounds leaves little doubt about what the "next generation of Windows" will be called. Microsoft has not exactly been subtle with its teasers, either, including a bizarre 11-minute video of slowed down Windows startup sounds from over the years. Regardless, it will be official soon enough.
How And When To Watch The Windows 11 Livestream
How soon? Less than a day, at this point. The livestream reveal is scheduled for Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 11:00 am Eastern (8:00 am Pacific). It's not clear how long the event will last, only that Microsoft is inviting anyone and everyone to "Join us to see what's next for Windows."
To watch it, just direct your browser of choice to Microsoft Event page. It might also be available on Microsoft's channel on YouTube.
This is a big deal, giving the massive footprint of Windows 10. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, over 1.3 billion people are using Windows 10 currently. You can bet that when Windows 11 rolls into view, Microsoft will make every effort to get all those people to upgrade, just as it did when Windows 10 came out.
What To Expect When Windows 11 Arrives Later This Year
Even though Windows 11 is not official yet, Microsoft is hyping its release. During the Build 2021 conference, Nadella said Microsoft will soon "share one of the most significant to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunities for developers and creators."
Nadella also said he has been using the new build for the past several months and is "incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows."
What we have seen so far has us excited too, as it relates to performance. One of the rumored features of Windows 11 is an upgraded task scheduler that is optimized for hybrid CPU architectures. This is a big deal, because Intel going the hybrid route with Alder Lake later this year, and AMD is said to be doing the same with Zen 5 further out in the distance.
Here is where things get interesting. A leaked ISO for Windows 11 has been making the rounds, allowing us to catch a glimpse of what is in store. While an early build that may not be fleshed out, we took the opportunity to run some Windows 11 benchmarks on a Lakefield-based Core i5-L16G7 processor, which was Intel's first attempt at a hybrid architecture.
What we observed was a notable performance boost over Windows 10. In Geekbench 5, for example, just switching the OS from Windows 10 to the leaked Windows 11 build netted a 5.8% performance gain in the multi-threaded version of the test. Not too shabby for an early build, with undoubtedly more refinements on the way.
In addition to better performance, Windows 11 will introduce a tweaked UI. Most notable is a shifting of the Start menu from the left side to the middle of the screen, like with Windows 10X (which is now defunct). We suspect the final build will retain the option to move this back over to the left side, but if not, there are registry hacks available to bend Windows 11 to your will, including a repositioning of the Start menu.
It also appears as though Windows 11 will offer up a clever new way to wake your PC, and specifically a new touch-to-wake feature. This is not an entirely new concept, but one that is borrowed from the Windows Phone days, in which it was possible to wake a device by double-tapping the display. There is a hidden option in the leaked Windows 11 build that suggests the same feature is headed to the desktop.
We'll have to wait and see what else is in store for the new Windows OS (like maybe better integration of Linux support). Rumor has it the upgraded build will arrive in late October, around the same time as Alder Lake. Hopefully Microsoft will clarify the release date during tomorrow's livestream.