Microsoft unveiled its latest operating system, Windows 10 two years ago. This month, for the first time since it was unveiled, the company offered a glimpse into what’s next for the OS with Windows 11.
Pricing and release date
Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 is a free update for all Windows 10 users, arriving late this year and in 2022. Though there was no beta version ready for the June 24 event, Microsoft details how you can get early access on their webpage. New PC’s coming later this year are powered by Windows 11 too.
In order to get Windows 11 a good head start, it is necessary for your PC to run it. First, you will need to make sure that your PC can handle our new OS by checking with the PC Health Check app and then opt-in with Update & Security > Windows Insider Program.
A visual redesign and improved multitasking
As was predicted, Windows 11 includes some brand-new features that this article will detail. The most noticeable changes are its floating and centred Start Menu and centred Taskbar. This is a drastic change from the previous design because it eschews Live Tiles in favour of more button-style icons with touch functionality and room to add whatever you like
Under your icons, you’ll find a list of recommended documents and files powered by OneDrive or the files you most often access on your device. This includes both Microsoft 365’s cloud-enabled features as well as the new Windows 10 update; all these features are available to all users with an account.
Besides the Start Menu, Windows 11 features rounded corners and menus throughout. It also includes a redesigned Action Center with cleaner sliders and rounded buttons. Microsoft even modified the windowing process in Windows 11 so that hovering over maximize will result in new ways to multitasks apps on screen.
Microsoft has added a Snap Layouts feature to its Windows 11 OS, where your open programs will be saved for quicker access. In addition, when you return to the system on a larger monitor, it remembers the layout of your active apps and projects and keeps them running as-is.
New widgets, animations and sounds
Animations throughout Windows 11 have been updated to look more fluid and natural. This is best seen when you click on the Start Menu itself or minimize and close windows. The animations feel like what you might see on a mobile operating system — similar to what Windows Vista had before it was taken back in this latest iteration of software from Microsoft. Microsoft says widgets use artificial intelligence to curate content, which can be tailored by the user.
Run Android apps on Windows
Windows 11’s new App Store will not only be a site for downloading Microsoft-made programs and games but it can also be used to run Android apps by installing the Amazon App Store.
Apps will run natively on a desktop, without needing to be downloaded and used with your phone. Microsoft showcased TikTok running in Windows 11.
Microsoft also spoke about a new initiative to allow app developers on its store to keep all the revenue generated without any Microsoft cuts.
Microsoft Teams Integrated
Another major update to their Windows operating system with the new Chat app powered by Microsoft Teams. The chat icon can be used to jump right into video chats and conversations on Teams.
You can start a new video or chat, along with an app launch for the full experience. The chat app also allows you to connect with people on other platforms. According to Microsoft, if someone doesn’t use Teams or Skype, you can use SMS during your chats.
Speed and Security
Microsoft reported that Windows 11 has a few performance gains such as updates being up to 40% smaller and now being able to install in the background. The company also noted that it is the most secure version of Windows yet. Windows 11 will be faster, thanks to features like wake from sleep. It consumes less battery life as well.
Touch improvements and experience
Windows 10’s tablet mode is no longer present in Windows 11. There are now gestures and other features to help navigate the interface.
To improve your experience, Microsoft has added a few adjustments to the touch keyboard. For one, gestures have been improved so that you can swipe with just three fingers for more control and use two fingers on the trackpad while using pen input. The tablet mode also adds haptics that indicates your location when editing or sketching in real-time.