Microsoft has officially confirmed the name of the next version of its operating system today, which is Windows 11. After months of suspense, hints and leaks regarding the number 11, the new operating system from Microsoft is official.
The major focus of Windows 11 is on a simplified Windows user interface, the new Microsoft Store, and improvements in performance and multitasking.
Windows 11 includes a new Start menu and an updated Start button, both centered on the taskbar.
This user interface is very similar to what we first saw in Windows 10X, a project originally planned for dual-screen devices that Microsoft scrapped.
Much of the user interface work that was introduced in Windows 10X appears in Windows 11.
The new Start menu abandons the Live Tiles that were originally introduced with Windows 8 and moves toward the typical launcher you’d find on Chrome OS or Android.
There are modern apps and documents and a separate search interface. Much of the central appearance is clearly influenced by macOS and Chrome OS.
Windows 11 also includes the rounded corners we’ve seen on both Android and iOS.
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“The team has thought through every detail,” says Panos Panay, President of Windows. Windows 11 also includes updated dark and light modes, which look much better than what we’ve seen in current Windows.
There’s also something Microsoft calls Quick Layouts, which let you quickly view apps in the different modes Windows 11 supports.
This new version of the operating system also remembers where your apps are stored, thanks to so-called Snap Group layouts.
And it seems like a useful way to support multiple screens, and to make sure that apps always open on the right screen.
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This is especially useful if you are using a laptop computer with a monitor, or a traditional computer with multiple monitors.
Performance is also a big focus for the operating system. Windows updates are 40 percent smaller and more efficient because they now happen in the background.
Microsoft is also integrating Microsoft Teams directly into Windows 11 for both consumer and business users.
Microsoft Teams is integrated directly into the taskbar, allowing users of the operating system to connect with friends, family or co-workers.
This is clearly a major shift away from Skype, which was bundled as part of Windows 10.
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Windows widgets and touch gestures are also a big part of Windows 11.
Widgets are a custom feed, powered by artificial intelligence, and based on widgets Microsoft introduced in Windows 10.
Widgets slide from the left side of the operating system and you can also make them in full screen mode. Built-in tools include news feed, weather, and maps.
Interestingly enough, these tools also include a tool that allows you to tip local content creators directly from within Windows 11.
The company is also working on improving the gestures you can use across tablets. Rather than switching to tablet mode, Windows 11 adapts to allow you to easily touch the operating system.
In addition, improvements are made to inking and voice typing. Windows 11 also supports haptic feedback with certain styluses.
As a result, we may see a lot of new devices that support stylus-related changes in Windows 11.
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The company is committed to making the new operating system a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Much like how Windows 10 used to be free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.
You need a computer that meets the minimum requirements, which is now a 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
In addition, Windows 11 is provided through Windows Update in the same way that Windows 10 updates were previously provided.
There is no release date for the operating system yet. But Microsoft promised to provide it as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users.
Windows 11 is expected sometime in October, along with new devices running the operating system.