Today, Microsoft announced a new version of Windows, almost six years after Windows 10 was released. Windows 11, as it is called, comes with a new user interface and upgrades under the hood. Here is what is new with the new version of Windows:
The first thing you notice with Windows 11 is the new UI. It has been reported that the new visual changes were carried over from the shuttered Windows 10X. The start menu is now positioned in the middle of the taskbar. Open and pinned apps/programs will appear in the middle too.
Windows 11 also drops the search bar next to the Start button for a search icon. If you didn’t like tiles, then you are in luck. The feature which was introduced with Windows 8 has now been removed. The redesigned Start Menu now has a search box at the top, pinned apps, and a section for recent documents.
While tiles are gone, Widgets are the focus now. A form of widgets is already available with the recent Windows 10 update. Widgets will now slide in from the left side of the screen and can be expanded to take over the whole screen.
However, with Windows 11, users will be able to manage them. Microsoft has also switched to rounded corners for open windows.
There are also new themes for both light and dark modes.
Microsoft says that updates for Windows 11 will be 40% smaller and will happen in the background, which should mean no interruptions while you are working. Microsoft Teams has also been built into Windows 11 just the way Skype was. You will be able to call or chat for free with the integrated app.
Another new feature is DirectStorage, a feature copied from the new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles which allow for faster loading times for games. The feature was first announced last year as coming to Windows. Users will need a DirectStorage capable PC and own a DirectStorage enabled game to enjoy the feature.
Still talking about gaming, Windows 11 will also have Xbox Game Pass integrated along with the xCloud game streaming service.
Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade when it is released later this year. Microsoft says users can use the PC Health Check app to see if their current PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11.