Windows 11 is here! The innovations to watch

Windows 11 has been on the market since October 5. Compared to Windows 10, Microsoft is relying on a more open concept and a completely new design. What Windows 11 brings in detail all new, reveals atechbook.

Six years after the launch of Windows 10, there is now a new operating system from Microsoft. Windows 11 is intended for PCs and laptops as well as tablets. In addition to a new design, the highlights are the stronger integration of gaming and Microsoft Teams for communication as well as the new Microsoft Store, which now also offers Android apps.

New design with central start button

Microsoft does away with the tiles in Windows 11 and places the Start button in the center of the taskbar. It used to be on the far left, but now the quick launch bar is reminiscent of Apple’s macOS. Overall, the look of the new operating system has become more straightforward and fresh. Thanks to the connection to the cloud and Microsoft 365, users can directly access the most recently used files via the Start menu – even if they were previously opened on an Android or iOS device. Microsoft also introduces new sounds, icons and backgrounds.

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Windows 11 snap desktop screen
Desktops can be customized with the new Snap functions Photo: Microsoft

Also new in Windows 11 are “snap layouts” and “snap groups.” They are intended to provide even more overview when multitasking by helping to better organize open windows and thus optimize the screen space. The windows can be positioned individually with one click – whether next to or below each other. Users can also create separate desktops for different areas such as work, personal or school.

Faster access to programs and new widgets

Microsoft Teams has become an important communication tool for many people in the Corona pandemic – not least because of home offices. In Windows 11, the program is integrated directly into the taskbar, making it quicker to access. Teams functions such as mute or screen sharing will also be directly accessible via the taskbar in the future.

Microsoft hat sein neues Betriebssystem aber auch mit neuen Widgets bestückt. Mit ihnen lassen sich auf einen Blick die aktuellen Nachrichten aus unterschiedlichsten News-Sources oder Wetter-Informationen anzeigen. Eine integrierte KI (künstliche Intelligenz) erkennt laut Microsoft dabei die Interessen der Nutzer und passt den Feed entsprechend personalisiert an. Für ungestörtes Arbeiten bietet Microsoft erstmals den “Fokus-Modus” an, der sich in der Uhren-App aktivieren lässt.

Widgets in Windows 11
The new widgets in Windows 11 Photo: Microsoft

Windows 11 with new gaming focus

Not only working, but also gaming takes a special role in Windows 11. According to Microsoft, the new operating system should unlock the full potential of the computer. “DirectX 12 Ultimate,” for example, provides immersive graphics while maintaining high frame rates, and “Auto HDR” provides a wider, more vibrant color spectrum. “DirectStorage”, on the other hand, offers faster loading times as well as more detailed game worlds.

Windows 11 also supports popular PC gaming accessories as well as peripherals. Users who own an Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate will have access to more than 100 games, with Microsoft adding more titles on an ongoing basis.

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Android apps on Windows 11

A highlight of Windows 11 is the integration of Android apps. For the first time, the company is opening up the Microsoft Store to offer select Android apps for Windows. However, users can also download the apps via the Amazon app store as part of a partnership between Amazon and Intel.

The Microsoft Store itself appears in a new light. Microsoft has made the design clearer, so that programs and apps, games, series and movies can be found even faster. The new store also offers a wider selection of apps – applications from Microsoft and third-party providers such as Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva should soon be available via the Microsoft Store. All apps available in the store will be vetted for security and family-friendliness.

System suitable for tablet, PC and laptops

Like Windows 10, the new operating system version can be installed not only on PCs and laptops, but also on tablets. Together with manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung, Microsoft has worked on making the operation via touchscreen or with a stylus even more effective and faster. For example, the company has created more space between the icons in the taskbar and integrated larger icons. Moving windows has also been made easier and gestures have been added.

There are also optimizations in voice control. Accordingly, Windows 11 recognizes what users say even better than before and is even able to automatically set punctuation marks during dictation.

For an overall impression of Windows 11 in video, click here:

Who gets the free upgrade to Windows 11?

Windows 11 is officially launched on October 5, 2021. It is available as a Home and Pro version (for business users). The update is gradually rolled out to eligible PCs, laptops or tablets. As a rule, the new operating system runs on all devices that have already supported Windows 10, 8 or 7. However, the devices have to support the security standards TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) and Secure Boot. To check whether a PC, laptop or tablet is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, owners can download the “PC Health Check app” via Windows.com. On the website, Microsoft also lists the requirements for Windows 11, saying devices should run at least a dual-core processor at 1 GHz, have 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, as well as a DirectX-compatible graphics card and an HD display.

Since the update comes in waves, it may take a while for it to reach all devices. Users can also check the availability manually. To do so, they need to click the “Check for updates” item under “Windows Update” in the settings. The upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is free of charge.

Sources

  • Windows 11 website
  • Windows 11 system requirements
  • Windows 11 comparison