Windows 11 recreated in a browser

If you want to see for yourself what Windows 11 looks like without registering as a Windows Insider or reinstalling your operating system, there’s a preview version of it you can try in your browser. It already has a working desktop, Edge browser, Start Menu, the Microsoft Store, and Notepad, with other features coming soon. It’s only a mockup and not a real OS, but a neatly built one at that.

In development since last month, this Windows 11 demo was built in React and JavaScript along with CSS. The project has a GitHub page detailing its progress where you can already try it out. It doesn’t have much other than some basic functionality in the start menu and desktop, and it’s pretty slow. Still, you can already browse the web with Microsoft Edge within this browser OS and even log into Edge with your Microsoft account.

Downloading files through Edge downloads them onto your real OS rather than the mockup. The Windows Store is still just a basic front page. Clicking certain things like the Discord and GitHub icons opens up an invite to the developer’s Discord and the project’s GitHub page, respectively. Functions like the file browser, lock screen, and themes are still coming.

According to the creator, “Blue Edge,” initial development only took a few days. They spent a couple of days collecting Windows 11’s art assets such as UI icons, another couple of days planning, and almost another week programming. The original inspiration was a video (in Hindi) in which the YouTuber “Code With Harry” runs through how he built a version of Windows 11 in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Ever since Microsoft unveiled Windows 11, it has come under criticism for its somewhat unusual system requirements, including TPM and a relatively recent CPU. Apps like this recreation might give some users a way to demo Windows 11 before taking the plunge for real since Microsoft plans to provide users only 10 days to revert their systems to Windows 10 if they don’t like 11.

Microsoft will roll Windows 11 out to the general public later this year, with automated updates on Windows 10 systems starting in 2022.