Upgrading to a new version of Windows used to be a considerably more complicated procedure. People would queue up at electronics stores in the 1990s, when big, beige displays ran free throughout the nation, to pay money for a tangible copy of the latest Windows version. We just got our first glimpse at Windows 11 in 2021, and you won’t have to camp out in front of the closest Circuit City (RIP) to acquire a copy. You also won’t have to pay for it.

Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 recently in a live-streamed event that detailed the update’s top-level features. It comes with a fresh look as well as a slew of additional productivity, accessibility, and entertainment capabilities. Here’s a rundown of what to anticipate when it arrives as a free upgrade on compatible PCs near the end of 2021.

Furthermore, Microsoft claims that software upgrades will be about 40% smaller than prior versions when they arrive. I’m all for it if it means spending less time gazing at a screen that reads “preparing Windows update” when I’m meant to be working.

The look of Windows 11 has been updated.

When compared to the older Windows 10 interface, Windows 11 is a significant aesthetic improvement. The Start menu has remained in place, however it has moved from the screen’s edge to the center. It features a Mac-like look and pulls in recently opened files from a number of platforms. It appears to be less crowded and more appealing than the present solution at first glance.

Individual desktops linked with certain tasks are now possible with the OS. So, to give the experience a different vibe, you may establish a workspace that is aesthetically distinct from the game desktop.

Widgets: What You Should Know

On the side of the Windows 11 interface, you’ll notice a new panel. The Widgets section is based on Edge browser technology and utilizes AI to pull in relevant information that you might be interested in. You may also modify what appears in there if you want the weather or other particular information to always appear. If you’re coming from MacOS, this should feel quite familiar.

Without a keyboard, there are more choices for navigating.

If you utilize a touchscreen Windows device, such as Microsoft’s Surface laptops, navigating will be easier with Windows 11. Microsoft has doubled the size of the regions you touch and drag to resize windows and introduced gesture control. Furthermore, haptic feedback is now supported via pen input, so you may get tactile feedback while you draw, write, and move around the OS. Users may now modify the on-screen keyboards to match the keyboards seen on mobile devices.

Playing games on Windows 11

In Windows 11, Xbox connectivity will be considerably closer than it was in Windows 10. Game Pass, the company’s subscription service, is now an integral component of the operating system. More than 1,000 titles will now support auto HDR, which is currently available to Xbox Series X owners. This means that gamers with compatible displays will see improved color and overall image quality without having to perform any extra adjusting.

The new Direct Storage feature, which is also from the Xbox camp, allows games to transfer assets straight to the GPU without the need of the CPU. Even if you don’t understand how the process works, it will simply translate to faster loading environments in games with large landscapes. It’s always a nice thing when there’s less lag.

Finally, in terms of gaming, Windows 11 supports Microsoft’s X Cloud technology, which allows gamers to play Xbox games on the cloud and on their PC. When taken together, these aspects contribute significantly to Microsoft’s goal of a unified gaming environment for Xbox and PC gamers.

Android apps are on their way to Windows 11.

Borrowing Steve Jobs’ classic “one more thing” maneuver from Apple announcement events, Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, dropped probably the most significant piece of Windows news towards the conclusion of the presentation. Android applications will be compatible with Windows 11, and users will be able to locate and download them straight from the Microsoft Store.

That implies mobile-only applications will be simple to install on PCs, allowing you to binge on TikToks instead of gazing at your phone while sitting at your laptop. Specifics are still few, but we do know that the initiative is a collaboration with Amazon that is based on Intel’s Bridge technology. The statement expressly mentions Tik Tok, so that app appears to be a lock for inclusion, but we’ll have to wait and see what else becomes accessible, as well as how the applications really operate.

When will Windows 11 be available?

According to Microsoft, the Windows 11 deployment will begin in 2021 over the holiday season. It will be free to begin with, but will continue throughout the new year. It is not impossible that it may cost money beyond the grace period.

If you’re wondering if your machine will be able to run the new operating system, Microsoft has already released the Windows 11 system requirements on its website, so you can start preparing right away.


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