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Windows 11 is now officially announced: Here’s what we know

With all rumors and leaks surfacing the internet, the new version of Windows is now official. Microsoft’s next Windows operating system launched nearly six years after the July 2015 release of Windows 10. The update, branded the “next generation” of Windows, features a major overhaul over its predecessor, including a whole new boot screen and startup sound, as well as a more centrally located Start menu and updated widgets. The unpleasant “Hi Cortana” welcome screen and Live Tiles have also been removed from Windows 11. Microsoft, the US-based company, aims to compete with macOS and Chrome OS with its next operating system.

What’s new in Windows 11

Start Menu & New Desktop Design

As soon as a machine running Windows 11 boots up, you’ll discover right away that the operating system has a substantial UI redesign. The reimagined Start Menu is, without a doubt, the most significant improvement. Compared to Windows 10, it’s also floating (i.e., it’s not attached to the taskbar) and has a new pop-up animation.

Windows 11 Start Menu light mode

People who use macOS or Chrome OS will be more familiar with Windows 11 thanks to this updated positioning of the taskbar. You may, however, adjust the position of the Start button by going into its settings and moving it to the left.

Widgets in Windows 11

It seems like every OS maker wants to present their own taste to widgets; first, Apple brought in iOS 14, then Google redesigned in Android 12, and now Microsoft added in Windows 11. So the new widgets panel will have to be the next big noticeable change in Windows 11.

Windows-11-Widget-Pane

It’s easy to find, thanks to the new centered taskbar icons. It’s a customizable feed that shows you weather updates, the most recent news tailored to your preferences, and more. However, we don’t know yet if Windows 11 will accept third-party widgets from other app developers.

Snap Layouts

Microsoft has also introduced a new “Snap Layouts” feature that makes snapping apps on your Windows 11 PC much smoother. For example, in apps, you can now access the layout options by hovering over the maximize button, as shown below:

windows-11-snap-layouts

New Action Center & Settings App

Furthermore, Microsoft has redesigned the Settings UI to make it look cleaner and easier to use. In Windows 11, the ‘Action Center’ has been updated to provide instant access to specific settings and notifications.

New Action Center & Settings App

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Battery Saver, Focus Assist, and other important settings are all toggled there. In addition, the music player window will now appear in the Action Center as well.

Renovated Microsoft Store

Windows 11 will also include a new and more powerful Microsoft Store, as reported for quite some time. The most significant change is that you may now download UWP apps, PWAs, or Win32 applications directly from the Store.

Although this is incredible news in the new Microsoft Store, developers will also find value, as the company does not compel them to share revenue. Instead, developers can use their own CDNs network to host apps and payment engines and keep 100% of revenue.

The support for Android apps provides another great upgrade to the Microsoft Store. Earlier it was rumored that “Microsoft is working on Project Latte” to run the android app natively on the Operating System. Amazon Appstore has been integrated into the Microsoft Store to allow you to download Android applications on Windows 11. To make this a reality, Microsoft uses Intel Bridge technology. You can then select the Start menu, the Taskbar, and other areas to pin these Android apps.

Wrapping Up

Windows 11 also includes new sounds and alerts, including a new boot sound. There are also subtle tweaks in gestures. You’ll also get new themes, wallpapers, and a dark mode that’s been tweaked.

Starting next week, Windows 11 will be available to Windows Insider members for testing purposes. It is also available later this year as a free upgrade to Windows 10; as we said earlier, it will be preinstalled on new hardware.

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