What Is On the Radar with Windows 11?
While Microsoft had in the past assured users that Windows 10 was going to be their sole version of operating system (OS) for several years to come, the tech giant announced on June 24 the release of the new Windows 11 operating system. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Windows 11 is the first version of a new generation of Windows operating systems.
The Windows 10 successor will likely be out in late November or December this year. Microsoft will initially offer the operating system for free with a yearly update, similar to Apple’s offering with macOS.
How Much is Windows 11?
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 will be availed as a free update for existing Windows users. So, you’ll need to connect to the internet to download, install, and activate your Windows 11 Home version. Additionally, you’ll need to have a Microsoft account to install the OS on or upgrade your tablet or PC.
Microsoft has already released the hardware spec requirements for Windows 11, although there’s confusion regarding Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and whether Microsoft is pushing for stringent minimum thresholds for eligible devices to be updated to the new version.
Windows 11 New Features
Microsoft Windows 11 comes with multiple improvements across the board, with the tech mogul reiterating that updates will be 40% lighter. They also tout Windows 11 as “the safest version ever.” It comes with a taskbar (renamed the dock) that is optimized for both touch and mouse peripherals.
Also, the new version comes with new multitasking features powered by Snap Layouts, enabling you to arrange multiple windows across the screen in sections, columns, and more. With a Snap Groups feature, you can go back to your previously snapped windows right from the dock. For example, you can go back to your browser windows or email app without snapping them back to the previous view.
Moreover, the new windows version comes with improved multi-monitor support. When you reconnect an external monitor, the operating system recalls the previous positions of various windows previously on that monitor. Surprisingly, Windows 11 integrates Teams to the dock, enabling you to easily join in with family calls and meetings, an indication that Skype might ultimately disappear from Windows.
A Fresh New Look For Windows 11
The most significant change users will notice with Windows 11 is the Start menu that has moved to the center of the screen. Since it’s now “cloud-powered,” it dynamically shifts depending on the time of the day and the type of content you’re working with. There are official Light Mode and Dark Mode, with a unified design and rounded corners across the operating system. It also offers multiple colorful wallpapers to work with.
Microsoft has also included AI-powered dynamic features to enable widgets. With the touchscreen, desktop users can slide from the left to bring out the widgets. You can select weather, news, Bing maps, and more. Additionally, Windows Widgets are back and are accessible via the dock.
Exceptional Gaming Experience with Windows 11
Windows 11 will significantly improve gaming experiences. The new version has replaced the sluggish and frustrating Windows 10 Xbox app with a fresh Game Pass app that enables users to purchase, manage, and remove games. It’s also easier to access and download various games from Doom Eternal as well as Halo Infinite.
Besides, Windows 11 will support HDR on compatible machines, ensuring improved lighting and contrast for viewing data and gaming. It also provides direct Storage, so you can download and install main game assets and play your games much faster than before.
Microsoft Windows 10 and other previous versions have always struggled with the tablet mode. The new tablet features included in Windows 11 could turn around the operating system’s fortunes. Besides, there are multiple proposed future Surface products from Microsoft. Having a new operating system for a myriad of upcoming tablets will be a great selling point for today’s tech-savvy users.
Microsoft has touted massive touch targets and simpler ways to move windows around. The touch keyboard has been redesigned to feature a smaller keyboard for thumbs, and there are impressive emojis ready for use. Additionally, there will be rotation optimizations to manage how windows are rearranged to ensure users don’t lose track of the apps they were using.
Android Apps Finding Home in Windows 11
Yes, Android apps are coming to Windows 11. With help from Amazon and Intel, your favorite mobile apps will have a new home. The apps will be fully integrated into the latest version of the operating system, allowing users to discover and search for their favorite phone apps in a new Microsoft Store. Moreover, the apps will live right alongside the regular Windows apps in the Start menu or integrated into the proprietary taskbar.
Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay made the announcement to cap off the virtual event on June 24 for Windows 11. Although Android apps have been in the works for a long time, the integration with Windows 11 is actually going to happen when the new OS is released towards the end of the year. The best part is that you might not need to invest in anything other than upgrading to Windows 11 to get your favorite Android apps working.
What the Future Holds
Over the last couple of decades, Windows has evolved to become more than just an operating system. It’s a fabric closely woven into our work and daily lives. Regardless of the Windows version you’re currently using, it’s where you work, learn, play, and connect with the world. You’re probably as excited as we are about the upcoming Windows 11.
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