Tech&Innovation

Microsoft announces Windows 11

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest announcement, refreshing the six-year-old Windows 10 operating system. This announcement was made through the recent online event hosted by Microsoft, and came alongside updates to Xbox features and other products. Windows 11 brings rounded corners, a refreshed desktop wallpaper, and a centered Start menu. Additionally, they have taken the minimalistic ideal and spread it to many different aspects of the operating system, from the new simplified logo to the new Widgets feature containing useful information to users such as news and weather. 

New Features

Windows 11 brings many new features in order to compete with other companies such as Apple and Google. Firstly is snap layouts, which allow users to create configurations of applications into specific locations on the screen. This will allow power users to quickly start up applications and enter a productive workflow. A similar feature is still absent on Apple without the use of external apps such as Magnet. Users without keyboards, or using a Windows machine such as the Surface touchscreen can now easily adjust the size of windows as there is now haptic feedback for stylus usage. Additionally, the virtual keyboard has been revamped for easier use.

Windows 11 also brings built-in Teams integration, widely used by companies during the pandemic to have virtual meetings. With a slow return to in-person meetings, the app will likely still remain in use after the pandemic, and the update allows users to instantly start video calls from the desktop. 

There are many big updates coming to Windows apps. They have revealed a new app store, which executive Panos Panay described as “the safest and most secure way for you to get your apps on Windows.” Traditional apps using the Win32 system will be supported, along with Progressive Web Apps and Universal Windows Platform apps. Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs are applications built using website development languages, such as HTML, CSS, and JS with their services provided through the web. Universal Windows Platform – UWP – applications are apps that use the UWP computing platform that can be used across Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens. 

With these new features, Windows is stepping up their game and providing a major OS update. Apple, their main competitor, has had yearly updates so each feature Windows 11 provides will be factored in when customers choose their next computer.

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