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Windows 11 Arrives With New Menu Design

Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s computer operating system, launches worldwide on Tuesday as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users.

Windows 11 start menu
start menu

Windows chief product officer Panos Panay, told the BBC the latest version was built to be “clean and fresh and simpler” for the user.

He promised that the new operating system would not be an “extreme departure” from what people know.

And even the least tech-savvy users can upgrade easily, he added.

“I use the frame of my father – he’s 89,” Mr Panay said. “I’m so excited for him to hit that button and upgrade, you have no idea.

“Not because he’s my dad – because I just want it to be easy for him.”

He said expert users had already tested it extensively through Window’s Insider trial programme and was confident there would be no teething issues, adding the upgrade is “ready now”.

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has some significant design changes, along with some alterations on how the system works under the hood.

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By default, the Start menu is centred on screen, along with icons in the taskbar. When clicked on, the Start button opens a menu of frequently used apps.

In some ways, it mimics the appearance of a smartphone app menu or launcher. has also dropped the “tiles” which were present on Windows 10’s start menu.

Mr Panay said the team had learned from Windows 8, which got rid of the start menu entirely, upsetting many users.

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“You learn from that, of course, and then you adapt,” he said.

Developing Windows 11’s interface involved watching how people use their computers – “what they want to click on, where their eyes are on the machine when they come into our labs,” he explained.

“You get this confidence of learning from history,” he added.

For Windows 11, “the Start button is right there. It’s right in the middle of the screen. It’s not gone.”

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