Microsoft continues to roll out features for its latest operating system, Windows 11. The new OS includes some major changes, including an improved user interface, new Windows store, and support for running Android apps—just to name a few. Here’s a look at the some of the new OS’s top features.
Microsoft put a lot of work into reshaping the user interface, starting with a new Start menu, which is now centered on the taskbar. The centered appearance is fairly reminiscent of Chrome and Android operating systems, which many would consider an improvement over Windows’ previous aesthetic. The simplified launcher includes options for apps, recent documents, and a search tool.
The new UI also introduces Microsoft’s new “Snap Layouts” feature, which allows you to store and place apps into the various screen modes and layouts that Windows 11 supports. During the Windows 11 demo, we saw how this new feature would benefit and be particularly handy for users who have multiple displays.
In somewhat of a surprise move, Microsoft also announced it is integrating Microsoft Teams into Windows 11, including direct access from the taskbar. This is a noteworthy shift, since it seems to send a clear message that Microsoft is moving away from Skype—although to what extent is not clear.
Windows 11 will also include some new gaming features, including Auto HDR (à la the Xbox Series X / S). Similar to the Xbox Series X / S, Auto HDR adds high dynamic range (HDR) to compatible DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games—assuming you have a compatible monitor, of course.
Perhaps the biggest update Windows 11 introduces is the redesigned Microsoft Store, which now supports a treasure trove of apps never before available in the Store. Most notably, the Microsoft Store now supports Android apps on Windows, which means you will be able to run mobile versions of popular apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Adobe Creative Suite on your desktop.
Recently, Microsoft unlocked even more features and shored up some known bugs. New features include the ability to create separate virtual desktops (similar to the MacOS virtual desktop feature) for each part of your life, customizable with different wallpapers, so you can create a desk++-top for personal use, work, gaming, or anything else, and switch between them with ease. Also Microsoft has also added Widgets—an AI-powered customizable feed that slides out to show you info such as news, weather, or your to-do list.
Gamers who were initially hesitant to update to Windows 11 will be happy to know a patch addressing a major read/write issue has also since been fixed. According to the notes, the issue that has since been fixed “affects the performance of all disks (NVMe, SSD, hardisk) on Windows 11 by performing unnecessary actions each time a write operation occurs.” Even more new features are also on the horizon, such as a "focus assist" mode.
You can download Windows 11 on your device by just going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you'll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install.
What are your thoughts on the long-awaited Windows 11 update? What features excite you the most? Let us know in the Comments section, below.