Microsoft has officially introduced the new Windows 11 operating system. Most of the leaks that appeared in the first place were real. We present in detail the most important innovations of the Windows 10 successor.
In a bumpy live broadcast with interruptions that lasted for seconds, Microsoft presented its new operating system, Windows 11, which now comes with many exciting innovations compared to its six-year-old predecessor.
The first thing that catches your eye is the complete overhaul of the design, which in places strongly resembles Apple’s macOS 11 Big Sur. It’s clear that Microsoft’s goal is to streamline design and user experience to foster user productivity and appeal to creativity.
the taskbar now resembles the familiar dock from macOS, as the images move towards the center of the screen. Applications can still be pinned via the start icon, while the operating system offers suggestions for frequently used documents or programs. Here, Windows 11 harnesses the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show objects regardless of which platform or device they were last opened on.
It’s also notable that all UI elements float above the background and are no longer directly adjacent to the taskbar.
Especially in terms of multitasking features, Windows 11 is increasing noticeably. The layout of windows has been simplified considerably, and matching windows can also be grouped into additional groups and virtual desktops (including their own wallpapers).
Windows 11 needs to provide the same user experience on every device, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, convertible or tablet.
In addition, the operating system should be able to better remember different scenarios and the programs arranged on them, and restore the design faster when a laptop is connected to a monitor.
Windows Ink pen and handwriting support is also said to feel natural in Windows 11 and also includes haptic feedback. Accordingly, the widgets have also been overhauled and moved to their own notification area, which has similarities with iPadOS.
The widgets are individually configurable and adjustable in size, while the system informs about key innovations via AI. Here, it is clearly inspired by the smartphone world to make important information available with one click.
Android apps on PC
It’s also exciting that Android apps are finding their way into the new OS – a corresponding Amazon Appstore is directly integrated into the new OS. So apps like Instagram or TikTok can be used directly from the PC, for example, to post new videos or pictures.
The Microsoft Teams communication platform was integrated directly into the system with the release of Windows 11 and is set to become the central point of contact for business and private conversations. Thanks to the new Snap Groups, for example, a workspace consisting of PowerPoint presentations, Excel spreadsheets and a conversation in Microsoft Teams can be opened simultaneously in side-by-side windows.
Game: Auto HDR, DirectStorage and Game Pass
Windows 11 also has some exciting new features for PC gamers. Thanks to the Auto-HDR already known from Xbox Series X/S, games can be developed automatically with High Dynamic Range (HDR) based on DirectX 11.
The new DirectStorage technology is also known from existing consoles and will now allow Windows 11 computers to load content from games faster to the graphics card without straining the CPU or RAM.
In addition, the Xbox Game Pass for PC flat game fee will be integrated directly into the Xbox app on Windows 11, including the xCloud game streaming service where even the weakest entry-level PCs can play the latest games in the browser.
Windows 11 Availability
Participants of the Windows Insider Program will be able to try the first test version of the new operating system as early as next week. The final release will take place later from the US Holiday Season, i.e. Q4 of 2021. Windows 11 for most devices will be available in early 2022.
Windows 10 owners will be able to upgrade for free until the end of 2022. But there’s no rush: Windows 10 will continue to be fully available until October 14, 2025.