The most important things Microsoft announced today
Today, Microsoft officially introduced Windows 11, the next major version of its operating system (after a leak officially presented in the first week). It will bring a revamped home menu, better multi-monitor and touchscreen support, tighter integration with the Xbox Game Pass, and a new boost for the Windows Store. If you missed the ad talk, here’s what you need to know.
Windows 11 is similar to previous versions, but (thankfully) better
Sorry if new features in Windows 11 are known. It’s Microsoft adding widgets, translucent windows, and retaining the window. All of these features have been around for a long time, but the Windows 11 view looks better, better. In fact, it seems that most of the new features are designed around the topic of incremental improvement instead of wholesale review (which is good, because we all remember Windows 8.)
Except for a small change that can be quite polarizing.
Start menu and task are now in the middle of the bar
At first glance, the biggest difference with Windows 11 is that the taskbar and the Start button are centered at the far left of the screen. If you’re not ready to re-train your corner memory, you’ll be able to go back to the corner, but it looks like Microsoft wants the feature to match the look of MacOS and Chrome OS.
The new start menu, which will also appear in the middle of the screen, has been reworked to remove Live tabs (which were only a few useful in the past), including a set of anchored apps and recent documents. At the top of the menu, a search interface will appear, similar to the Menu, which will intelligently search for the documents, applications, or settings you are trying to find.
Widgets returned (again)
Microsoft widgets were tried for years before being abandoned, but this may (perhaps) be the remaining version. A new button on the taskbar will open a widget panel with a list of tasks, weather, traffic, calendar, and other basic gadgets. This is not very different from how widgets work on macOS, it is available when you want to take a look but disappears when you don’t need them. Eventually, the feature will be open to developers so they can add their own widgets, but we’ll have to see what the feature actually takes.
Using multiple monitors is much easier
Those who associate laptop users with a separate monitor are well aware of the problems involved in managing all windows. After disconnecting the monitor, all the windows on that monitor are resized and shuffled, creating a mess on your desktop. Windows 11 puts an end to this. When you disconnect your laptop from a second monitor, the open windows on that screen will shrink, but they will remember their place. When you reconnect the screen, they will return to where they were before.
Snap groups will make Windows a more intuitive rearrangement
The current Windows snap-in feature is useful if you want to place two windows next to each other, but do any other adjustments you may need to make yourself. Windows 11 will change that. Now, when you hover over the Maximize button in a window, you’ll see a small layout selector that shows you the different layouts that you can hold the windows in, including three or four window layouts. Then you can choose which window to fill out the rest of the designs and work faster.
Transparent windows are all the rage again
In the category of features that Microsoft only left to bring back, Windows 11 will once again feature a translucent window design. The edges of the apps and windows — the Start Menu and the widget menu themselves — will be semi-impressive, like a frozen glass window. It looks nice and probably won’t Aero had the same interpretation problems in low-end hardware Microsoft tried this trick last time.
Touch screens should work easier
While Microsoft’s hardware team does some great laptops and convertible tablets, the software has not maintained enough. Windows 11 hopes to fix some of the most annoying issues by adding larger touch targets to resize windows. There’s also a smaller touch keyboard that can sit in the corner of the screen for one-handed typing, unlike how you can type on your phone. If you use leather, the operating system also supports haptic feedback, which makes it feel more natural. It remains to be seen whether these changes are enough to make the Windows touch screen a natural experience, but it can’t be any worse to completely change it to Tablet mode the way Windows 10 does now.
It’s free this holiday season
As Microsoft recently announced a new major version of Windows, the Windows 11 update will be free if you have Windows 10, the only other caveat is that your system must meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11. check Downloading the PC Health Check app here.
Computer games get some of the best features on the Xbox
Since Microsoft has the two largest gaming platforms in the world — for Windows computers and Xbox games — you’d think combining the two would be a higher priority. Well, in the end, Windows 11 is becoming a reality.
For starters, Windows 11 will bring two improvements to the Xbox game on your computer. The first is the company’s DirectStorage API, which allows games to load data directly into GPU memory, which can dramatically reduce load times. It’s the process a little more complicated this brief description provides, but if you have hardware and games that support this, you will spend much less time waiting to play.