One of the more common reactions I’ve seen online to the Windows 11 leak is that it’s just “lipstick on a pig.” This view is misguided and incorrect. A Windows user interface refresh is overdue, and while I understand that looks are subjective, and that some are unimpressed by what they see here, my appreciation of Windows 11 has only grown over the past week. And this isn’t even the final UI, obviously.
Before getting to that, I’d like to address that phrase, “lipstick on a pig.” Like so many things Microsoft, “lipstick on a pig” didn’t originate at the software giant. But I do feel a certain responsibility for popularizing its association with Microsoft, since I’ve brought it up regularly on Windows Weekly on my websites, the SuperSite for Windows and, now, Thurrott.com, for so many years. And I feel qualified to explain what it means in the context of Microsoft, even as an outsider, since it was explained to me by Microsoft insiders who were around when the phrase was first introduced.