It looks like all of the rumors are true, including that leaked developer build that was making its way around the net. Microsoft has officially announced the next generation of the Windows OS, officially called Windows 11 (so much for Windows 10 being the last of the numbering system).
The new operating system focuses on a more simplistic user interface with a heavy focus on transparency throughout all of the panels. The announcement of it all having a similar feel to when Aero made its way into the world with Windows 7.
There is also a turn toward widgets again. Only instead of these widgets floating directly on the desktop, these widgets are isolated into their own panel. This is the next step for the “News and Interests” panel that was recently added to Windows 10. It slides in from the left side of the screen and can be resized to cover the entire screen (in case you are obsessed with using widgets).
You get an upgraded snap experience for spreading windows around the screen in various patterns. The Taskbar features all of the icons brought toward the middle as if you were using the TaskbarX app from the Microsoft Store.
There is a huge focus on touchscreen support throughout the build. From panels that slide up from the taskbar, to a heavy focus on widgets and large touch-friendly interactions. The Task View is still there but with a slightly upgraded interface with larger thumbnails for the desktops and apps to switch between.
You can now also customize the desktop of each individual desktop created within the Task View. Allowing you to personalize each environment to its use (ie, school, work, personal).
The Microsoft Store has had a facelift as well, with a new interface that blends in with the surrounding environment.
Everything is a strong focus on visual design. From the smoothness of transitions to the animations of the icons, to various transparencies and rounded corners. You will find that GUI is the biggest upgrade (or, at least “change”) within the new operating system.
It doesn’t just stop with visual design through, thankfully. Microsoft does claim that it is faster than Windows 10 when it comes to browsing the internet, playing games, and other activities. Although we won’t know real-world results until all of the benchmarks come flowing in, the news does come with some welcomed enhancements that can help greatly improve your experience with the OS.
Windows Updates will be around 40% smaller than they have been in the past, which will lead to less bandwidth and (hopefully) a quicker update process overall since they refer to them as “happening in the background”.
There is also a heavy reliance on the cloud this round. For example, your recent and recommended documents are cloud-driven. Allowing the options displayed to be generated across multiple devices. So if you recently viewed a file from one, it may show up on another device you operate (mobile, desktop, etc).
New features have also been added, such as Snap Groups, so if you get interrupted by something, you can bring back your entire spread of apps that were on the screen from being minimized to a single icon in the taskbar.
In addition to this, Windows 11 will remember what windows were where when you disconnect from an additional or external display. The windows on a disconnected screen will be minimized instead of thrown onto your main screen creating a mess. Then, when you plug that additional/external monitor back in, those apps will automatically be restored to it.
Microsoft Teams will now be integrated directly into the OS for quick options to features, notifications, and more. Completely shadowing Skype features as it takes over from here.
So the keywords to take from Microsoft’s announcement is Windows 11 is faster, simpler, and more secure. The focuses you’d like to find with any new next-gen OS.
Windows 11 will be releasing later in the year, or possibly early 2022, as Microsoft is still working on the rollout plans. It will be a free upgrade for PCs coming from the latest version of Windows 10 and will likely be automatically suggested via the Windows Updates platform. You do have to meet certain hardware requirements though. In order to check if your system meets these requirements, you can download the PC Health Check app from Microsoft.
Minimum system requirements
|1 gigahertz (GHz)?or?faster with 2 or more cores on a?compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
|4 GB RAM
|64 GB or larger storage device
|UEFI, Secure Boot capable
|Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
|DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
|>9” with HD Resolution (720p)
|Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home
What do you think about the new Windows 11? Feel free to use the comments below to share your thoughts. Do you like the direction Microsoft is taking with Windows?