As part of the What’s next for Windows special event, Microsoft unveiled the next version of its desktop OS: Windows 11. But it didn’t bring any surprises, as all the leaks turned out to be true. The operating system has undergone a remarkable redesign and obtained many new features.
The first thing to catch your eye in Windows 11 is the updated user interface. By default, the application icons and the Start menu now have the central position on the taskbar. Live Tiles have become a thing of the past. The Start menu now displays icons for favorite apps and recommendations. The latter contains programs and files that may be useful to the user at the given moment.
Windows 11 introduces a widget center that displays weather, calendar, stock prices, latest news, and more. Third-party developers are free to create their own widgets so that users can customize this space to suit their preferences. You have the option to expand the widget menu to fill the entire display. Besides, the widget adapts to the screen size automatically.
All app windows and menus now have rounded corners. There were introduced the so-called Snap Layouts. When you hover over the app expansion icon in full-screen mode, you see six options for its positioning on the screen. This will allow you to multitask, simultaneously working with two, three, or even four applications. Besides, the menu for switching desktops has been completely redesigned. Now you can organize multiple separate spaces for work, entertainment, gaming, and other tasks.
The Microsoft Store underwent a radical redesign. Outstanding innovations are the Amazon AppStore integration and native support for Android applications in Windows 11. A certain “bridge technology” by Intel is used to run mobile apps, eliminating compatibility issues. Launching Android apps will be “seamless and smooth,” Microsoft assures. On top of that, developers will be able to use their own payment systems to avoid giving Microsoft a 30 percent commission.
Gamers’ needs were tended to as well. Windows 11 introduces Auto HDR, which automatically enables High Dynamic Range in most DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games. Importantly, this requires an HDR-capable monitor. On top of that, the Xbox Game Pass service is now integrated directly into the system, and the Xbox app has built-in xCloud streaming service.