A user of Chinese communications platform Baidu Tieba has beaten Microsoft to the punch by leaking images of Windows 11 almost two weeks before their official reveal.

It remains unclear if this timeline is indeed accurate as Microsoft announced their June 24 event on the same day as the Windows 11 images were leaked online, suggesting that there is a possibility that the leak expedited Microsoft’s original plans.

Following the original leak of Windows 11 screenshots online, the entire operating system also made its way online, with a number of new features and changes clearly visible.

Some of the changes, including the infamous Start menu and the new user interface, appear to be heavily inspired by a cancelled project dubbed Windows 10X. Windows 10X was designed to be a stripped-down version of the original Windows 10, aimed at tablets and dual-screen devices.

The most striking modifications can be observed in the taskbar, where Microsoft has moved away from aligning the icons from left to right to centering them in the middle of the bar. The Start button has also moved alongside the aforementioned icons. That being said, users who prefer the original left-aligned Start button and taskbar can still move them back if they wish to.

The Start menu itself brings some subtle but welcome changes. Firstly, it looks less cluttered than the Windows 10 version. This has been helped by the removal of the Live Tiles. Applications and recent files can be pinned, however, so the number of icons visible at launch will depend on each user’s preferences and behaviour.

Another subtle design change can be seen in the application and folder windows, where the corners have now been rounded off to give a smoother feel to the overall design language.

While the leaked images provide a solid indication as to what we will see in the official release of Windows 11, it is still worth remembering that these leaks are of an early version of Microsoft’s new operating system. Certain features may yet to have been revealed and indeed others may be scrapped before the official release becomes available.