What you need to know about Windows 11

Windows 10 is arguably one of the most successful iterations of the Windows operating system (OS). However, Microsoft has never been one to rest on its laurels, which is why it will release Windows 11 this holiday season.

What can we expect from this version of the world’s leading OS? Read on to find out.

1. Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows 10

Software licenses aren’t cheap, so the cycle of old software losing support and new software being released has always been a concern for many users who feel that they’re being milked for their money. However, if you’re a Windows 10 user, there’s no need to fret because you can upgrade to 11 for free — provided your computer meets Windows 11’s minimum system requirements.

2. The new OS will feature new visuals

First of all, app icons on the taskbar will, by default, be centered instead of left-aligned, with icons for open and pinned apps appearing to the right of the Start button. This makes reaching that button with the mouse easier, since the user doesn’t have to go all the way down to the bottom left corner every time to do so. However, if you prefer to switch back to the classic left-aligned icon layout, you can do so.

Open windows will feature tightly rounded corners — visual cues that will help users differentiate one window from another. The windows will also feature semi-transparent backgrounds that allow the wallpaper beneath to be partially seen. This refreshing take on an old design is a boon for users who see their wallpapers as digital art.

3. Snap layouts will make setting windows on the screen easy

Windows users have long enjoyed the ability to manually change window dimensions. For added convenience, Windows 11 will let users choose between preset layouts so that apps will easily snap into the right size and onto the right place on the screen.

4. Each user will be able to use multiple virtual desktops

A single Windows 11 license can grant a user different workspaces in the form of virtual desktops (VDs). That is, one particular user may have two VDs — one for work and another for personal use.

To help differentiate between VDs, users can give each one a name. Users can also use different wallpapers and snap layouts so that they’ll have immediate visual cues as to which VD it is they’re using.

5. Widgets will make it easy to get snippets of info

Microsoft is bringing back desktop widgets, which are small apps that feature snippets of information like the weather or news. Widgets can also be tiny apps that let users perform quick functions like adding up numbers on the widget itself — i.e., without having to launch a new window. Users can pick their own widgets, or artificial intelligence can automatically populate widget panels by discerning users’ interests based on their browsing history in Microsoft Edge.

6. Microsoft Teams will be included

The free version of Teams — Microsoft’s popular video conferencing and chat app — will be integrated into Windows 11. By doing this, Microsoft hopes to break Teams’ image as purely a business product and crack the much larger consumer market.

The free version of Teams — Microsoft’s popular video conferencing and chat app — will be integrated into Windows 11.

7. Android apps will be downloadable

Android apps are normally for mobile devices, but now, users want to be able to use these apps on their desktops, too. This is because desktops have much larger screens and can let users avoid cumbersome touchscreen controls. Google did try to make their apps serviceable on Chrome OS, but the apps didn’t look as good or were glitchy. Windows users, on the other hand, had to rely on third-party Android emulators like BlueStacks and Andy.

Microsoft hopes to change this dynamic by teaming up with Amazon and Intel for their Windows 11 release. Users will be able to get apps from Amazon’s Android App Store, which will be added to the Microsoft Store. Downloaded apps will be usable on Windows 11, thanks to Intel’s “Bridge Technology,” which is presumed to be Microsoft’s authorized Android emulator for its new OS.

8. Gamers will gain a better playing experience

Via the Xbox app, video game players will be able play their Xbox games on their Windows 11-powered computer. Two features will vastly improve their experience: DirectStorage and Auto HDR (high dynamic range). DirectStorage prevents lag for games whose data packets are delivered to the graphics cards from storage. Auto HDR, on the other hand, significantly improves graphics quality over SDR (standard dynamic range) with enhanced brightness and a wider range of colors to make contrasting hues more pronounced.

9. OS performance will be better

Microsoft promises performance improvements, such as:

  • Faster wake-ups from sleep, sign-ins via Windows Hello, and web browsing
  • Enhanced security
  • Smaller and more efficient OS updates that will occur in the background
  • Greater energy efficiency that prolongs battery life
  • Higher-quality audio and haptic feedback for stylus
  • Improved voice typing functionality
  • Touch-optimized experience

Worried about shifting to Windows 11? Don’t fret — let our Microsoft experts at [company_short] help you out. Leave us a message or call us at 801-747-3200 today.

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