Microsoft unveiled to the world what its Sun Valley Update was going to be – Windows 11. It will be offered as a free upgrade to all Windows 10 users. While there is some time before we can get into full details of all that the new operating system is going to offer, Microsoft has talked up several key points to hype us up in the meantime.
What is the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11?
Windows 11 has all the features, power, and security of Windows 10. The primary difference appears to be a redesigned desktop and the Settings menu. But apart from this, there are several other new features under the hood.
In this article, I will be discussing with you some of the key, new features that will be introduced in Windows 11. While several features have been Deprecated or Removed in Windows 11, it ships with many new exciting features! Keep in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of Windows 11’s features. We may see a few more make it to the list, a few may fail to make it too. Herein, we only talk about all the news features of Windows 11 we know of till now.
In short the new features in Windows 11 offers are:
- A sleeker, more productive design
- Snap Layout, Snap Groups brings next level Task Switching
- A better gaming experience
- Faster, personalized news for all
- A brand new Microsoft Store
- Android apps are coming to Microsoft Store
- Faster connectivity with Microsoft Teams
- Windows 11 will get just one annual Feature Update per year
Other things to know:
- Windows 11 will receive cumulative monthly security updates that are up to 40% smaller in size than Windows 10 cumulative updates.
- Windows 11 will have an annual feature update cadence, a change from the semi-annual cadence of Windows 10.
- Windows 11 will come with 24 months of support for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education editions.
- Windows 11 will come with 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions.
- Windows 11 will be available to commercial customers via existing Windows 10 servicing channels.
Windows 11 features
Windows is more than an OS – It is the fabric that connects our lives, said Microsoft.
A sleeker, more productive design
Microsoft says that Windows 11 is going to offer a simpler and more productive user experience. There is going to be a new Start, UI and Taskbar along with refreshed fonts and icons. This time around, the start menu is going to be placed in the center to make it easier to locate and use.
Snap Layout, Snap Groups bring next level Task Switching to Windows 11
The Start Menu is also going to be integrated with the cloud, which will allow you to view your recent files no matter the device you’re using. Along with that, they have some pro-productivity measures in place too, mainly concerning multi-tasking.
Users will now be able to access multiple windows more flexibly, snapping apps next to one another. Speaking of snapping, Windows 11 is introducing Snap Layouts and Snap Groups to help you enhance your multitasking abilities. These will help you perform and organize your work better.
You will be able to create separate Desktops for separate, unrelated tasks, again, to help organize your work better and not let it be a big fuss. You can use one for strictly professional purposes, while the other may cater to more personal needs.
A better gaming experience
Gaming is a big part of the reason why several people buy a computer in the first place, and Microsoft has shown that it understands that with Windows 11. The new OS is going to harness all that your PC’s hardware has got to give you the most premium gaming experience.
Read: Windows 11 Tips and Tricks.
They have got the latest technology in place for this, DirectX 12 Ultimate, that will allow users to access realistic graphics while keeping up with the high frame rates. Auto HDR will give gamers access to a wider, more vivid range of colors, all of which will combinatorially offer an immersive gaming experience.
It’s not just what it packs inside, but also what it supports that will lend our fellow gamers a big helping hand. The Xbox Game Pass will give gamers access to over 100 top-notch PC games. The collection isn’t saturated and additions are made to it ever so often. You can read more about how Windows 11 is going to be revolutionary for gamers on Xbox’s official blog.
Faster, personalized news for all
A couple of months back, we saw Microsoft introduce News and Interests in Windows 10, and we all picked up the hint where they were going with it. They wanted to make news quicker and more accessible for all its users. They have taken a step further in that direction with Windows 11. The new OS will serve news and information of our interests to us via Widgets – a personalized news feed.
What it seeks to do here is eliminate, and if not that, then supplement, the need of checking our phones now and then to catch up with what’s happening around us. This widget is going to show up on your screen like a glass sheen (as shown in the picture above), to not disturb what you may be working on at the time. It is too soon to say how effective it is going to be in distributing carefully curated news to its users, but it’s the personalization aspect that Microsoft is focusing on here.
Read: Windows 11 System Requirements along with Feature-wise Minimum and Recommended requirements.
A brand new Microsoft store
The Microsoft Store has been at the heart of the OS. It’s where you download your apps from, so it’s really your most trusted ally while using a Windows PC. There are apps out there for a myriad of purposes and the Microsoft Store has them all. Well, it’s being rebuilt, and for good.
We’re expecting a speedier, more beautiful, and simple-to-use store with the OS upgrade. And all this is will be accompanied by an expansion of the content offered. This time around we’ll see the Store offer us games, shows, and movies along with all the usual apps.
Android apps are coming to Microsoft Store
Microsoft has teamed up to bring on-board several third-party apps like Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, and Canva. We will also be seeing several Android apps make their way to the Microsoft Store. Users will be able to download Android apps on their Windows computers using the Amazon AppStore. This will create a lot of new opportunities for Microsoft Partners.
Faster connectivity with Microsoft Teams
The last year or so made us realize just how crucial video-conferencing platforms can be. At a time when the world seemed to be losing its sanity, video calls with friends and family over Google Meet or Zoom kept us going.
Read: Windows 11 hidden features.
Keeping that in mind, Windows 11 will introduce a Chat feature in its very own video-conferencing app Microsoft Teams. The feature will be integrated into the taskbar and allow you to connect with your contacts via text or call, no matter the device they’re on or the OS they have running.
You might want to take a look at the several new Windows 11 Settings that are now available.
Windows 11 will get just one annual Feature Update per year
Microsoft will offer only one Feature Update per year with Windows 11. With Windows 10 they are rolling out 2 feature updates every year. Microsoft said that they won’t tinker with the regular cumulative updates for patches and fixes that we often report with various Windows utilities. These cumulative updates will run throughout the year and feature updates will, too, be delivered the way there were used to. It is just that we will see updates of a much smaller size this time around.
These are just some of the most prominent features Microsoft has made public about the upcoming Windows 11. They have taken some massive strides in several directions to make this one as jam-packed with features as possible and I hope in the coming months we get to see a lot more of this.
Can I go back to Windows 10 after I upgrade to Windows 11?
Yes, you can! You have a 10 day period where you can move back to Windows 10 while keeping all your files and data intact. After 10 days you will need to back up your data and do a Clean install to move back to Windows 10.
TIP: Planning for Windows 11 Deployment? This guide will help you get started.