Microsoft has just unveiled Windows 11 – the next version of the software giant’s operating system that powers most of the world’s computers – during its “What’s Next for Windows” virtual event.
While the virtual stream encountered some difficulties, the new exciting features of Windows 11 will no doubt ease some difficulties we are experiencing during this pandemic.
Here are 11 things you need to know about Windows 11.
1 New Start Menu – The new Start Menu – with quick access to apps – and Start button are now centred on the task bar in the middle of the display. For many of us who are using multiple monitors, this new centred Start Menu helps to ensure uniformity across different monitors.
2 Snap Layouts – This is a nifty short-cut tool that quickly snap your active apps into different layouts. For instance, you can have three apps to appear side by side. Furthermore, you can save your preferred layout into Snap Group for use later.
3 Desktops – You can customise and personalise separate desktops for different parts of your life. For instance, you can have one for work and one for gaming – each with custom wallpapers – so you know which “mode” you are in.
4 Integrated Microsoft Teams – Video calls have become invaluable for both work and catching up with loved ones during this pandemic. And the video-conferencing app Microsoft Teams will be integrated in Windows 11’s taskbar. So you can quickly jump into video calls without a hitch.
5 Widgets – This is a new personalised feed powered by artificial intelligence. When you open the personalised feed, it slides across your screen like a sheet of glass for minimal distraction of what you are doing. Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalised content from independent creators and publishers.
6 Gaming Support – Windows 11 comes with plenty of gaming features. For a start, it will feature DirectX 12 Ultimate for immersive graphics at high frame rates. There is also DirectStorage, which allows for faster load times and more detailed game worlds. And there will be Auto HDR for a more vivid range of colours for a superb visual experience. Not to mention, there will be support for millions of gaming peripherals and accessories.
7 Built-in Xbox Game Pass – With Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox app built into Windows 11, you get access to over 100 high-quality PC games with new games added from time to time. So you can look forward to new releases like Halo Infinite and Age of Empires IV.
8 New Windows Store – It features a cleaner and more intuitive all-new design for easier browsing. It also has been rebuilt for speed, so you can get to your apps faster. Plus, apps like Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, Canva, Disney+ and Visual Studios will be coming to the Windows Store
9 Android Apps Support – In Windows 11, you can run Android apps, as Amazon AppStore will be in the new Windows Store. In fact, you can even pin Android apps on to the taskbar. Microsoft will be partnering Intel to use Intel Bridge technology for Android apps to run in Windows. So, you can now watch TikTok videos while you create that awesome presentation on Powerpoint.
10 Open Ecosystem – Unlike Apple’s and Android’s app store, Microsoft is offering developers and independent software makers an 100 per cent share of revenue if they bring their own commerce system into the Windows Store. This will allow indie developers to get more revenue, instead of paying the store owners.
11 Available This Year – Windows 11 will be available this holiday season. In other words, it should roll out during Dec 2021. For those with access to Windows Insiders, they will get the first build of Windows 11 next week.