Best Features of Windows 11

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When Windows 10 was launched again in 2015, Microsoft acknowledged that this could be the final main launch with a definite model quantity, as Windows would turn into extra of a service receiving fixed minor updates. Fast ahead to 2021, and Microsoft has different plans for Windows and its ecosystem. Windows 11 was introduced in June 2021, and now it is time for the official launch. Let’s see what Windows 11 brings to the desk.

Getting Windows 11:

After the announcement of the launch of Windows 11, there was rather a lot of fuss in regards to the gadgets that might assist it. Windows 11 formally requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, UEFI, and Secure Boot in an effort to run on a machine, and if yours would not meet these necessities, you won’t be able to put in it. The best strategy to test whether or not your {hardware} is eligible is by putting in Microsoft’s personal PC Health Check software.

If you have not already acquired an alert prompting you to replace, and your PC is suitable with Windows 11, you should use the Windows 11 Installation Assistant Tool to obtain and set up the replace onto your system. This won’t erase any of your private information and is just like an OTA (over-the-air) replace – nevertheless, it is all the time advisable to have backups. Similarly, you’ll be able to create a bootable USB drive or a disk picture to carry out a clear set up.

Windows 11 will probably be a free improve for individuals coming from Windows 10. Retail pricing for individuals with custom-built PCs has not been revealed but. The set up course of has been given a easy and minimalist redesign, which I personally discovered fairly nice. Microsoft’s official web site showcases the system requirements for Windows 11: a 1GHz CPU or sooner, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of free storage, a excessive definition (720p) show that’s better than 9 inches diagonally and helps eight bits per color channel, a GPU that’s suitable with DirectX 12 or later with a WDDM 2.Zero driver, and of course, the above-mentioned TPM 2.Zero safety chip, UEFI, and Secure Boot functionality.

Windows 11: Design and interface

The Windows taskbar with a Start button within the backside left nook is now acquainted to tens of millions of PC customers. However, this time round, Microsoft has modified that. The firm says “With Start, we’ve put you and your content at the centre.”

Yes, the Start button is now situated roughly within the centre of the taskbar. It took me a while to get used to the truth that it’s not within the lower-left nook of my display anymore. My muscle reminiscence virtually all the time signalled me to maneuver my cursor to the nook. Luckily, now we have an choice to maneuver the Start button again to its conventional place.

The Start Menu has been redesigned to listing all of your apps in a extra systematic and arranged method, and you’ll of course pin apps that you simply use continuously. You may see all of your put in apps right here. There’s a Recommended part, whereby you could find lately accessed information and folders. The Start Menu has been designed to be according to the frosted glass theme that you will see all through Windows 11, and it seems to be good. Oh, and say adios to Live Tiles. These had been the animated squares you might see everytime you opened the Start menu in Windows 10. They had been applied to point out you reside updates for apps resembling Weather, Calendar, and so on, however that performance has been moved elsewhere – extra on that later.

The taskbar is centred and a few functions are pinned for simple entry

If you right-click on the taskbar, you now see only one choice that allows you to enter the taskbar settings, as an alternative of the plethora of choices in earlier variations of Windows. However, this implies you can not reposition the taskbar to both facet or the highest of your display anymore with Windows 11, which is type of a bummer. The Start button follows all the brand new design fundamentals of Windows 11 with rounded corners, vibrant icons, pinned apps, and an enormous search bar. The search button feels extra helpful and responsive in comparison with Windows 10’s model. If you hover over the icon, it is going to present you your most up-to-date searches, which might prevent a while.

You will even see Microsoft Teams built-in into the taskbar. I’m not completely positive how pinning Teams right here is useful to everybody, however it’s one thing Microsoft needs you to strive. During the pandemic, many individuals have turned to video calling on platforms resembling Zoom, Google Meet and Teams, and that may very well be the explanation that Windows now has Teams positioned entrance and centre. If you favor to not use Microsoft Teams, you’ll be able to disable this from the taskbar settings.

Windows 11 brings some new themes and wallpapers which are engaging. The Personalisation settings panel just isn’t a lot completely different in comparison with Windows 10 – each setting choice is neatly organised right here, and you’ll change the wallpaper and tweak the theme colors, lock display, taskbar, font, and background to your liking.

Windows 11: Widgets

The taskbar now additionally provides you entry to widgets, which I personally am not an enormous fan of. These principally present fast updates from apps and companies, considerably changing Live Tiles. The News widget reveals present occasions from the world over of politics, finance, sports activities, know-how, and so on. This was made accessible in latest variations of Windows 10 as nicely. However, it has a special look right here and it additionally reveals up from the left facet of your display as an alternative of the underside proper.

widgets windows11 gadgets360 Widgets Windows 11

Widgets seem in a panel on the left facet of your display

You can add numerous widgets, and there are 11 choices from Microsoft to select from at launch time. These embody Outlook Calendar, Tips, Sports News and Scores, Photos, Entertainment, Traffic Updates, Family Safety, and apparently sufficient, Esports as nicely.

Unfortunately, we can’t but combine third-party widgets into this panel, which makes it much less helpful. If you click on or faucet on any of these widgets, the linked content material will open in Microsoft Edge, it doesn’t matter what your default browser is.

Windows 11: Notifications Panel and Settings

Another main design change you may see in every single place is rounded corners. These have been applied throughout the UI, and I’ve to say, I fairly prefer it. Microsoft is clearly taking some inspiration from Android and macOS with respect to design. This may also be seen within the Notification Centre which now not has its personal icon. It is now built-in into Time and Calendar. This seems to be very well finished and suits completely into the imaginative and prescient of Windows 11.

The standing icons subsequent to the clock within the decrease proper nook of the desktop have now been grouped, and a single click on will pull up a brand new Quick Settings panel. Many of the Quick Toggles that used to take a seat within the Notification Centre have additionally been included right here. This panel lets you tweak audio settings, display brightness on a laptop computer, and Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth connections. Windows 11 helps you to add extra controls resembling Casting, Mobile Hotspot, Keyboard Layouts, and so on.

wifisettings windows11 gadgets360 Quick Settings Panel Windows 11

Quick settings for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and different continuously used options are grouped on this panel

The Settings app has gone by a design overhaul too. Windows 10 made us swap between the Settings app and the age-old Control Panel for a lot of superior settings. You may nonetheless have to go to the Control Panel for some duties, however we will see that with Windows 11, Microsoft continues to be making an attempt to get rid of it. The Settings app now seems to be and feels extra nice and user-friendly. It reveals you all of the classes with icons, considerably just like a smartphone expertise, which could make issues simpler to search out for many individuals

Windows11: File Explorer

File Explorer has been fully redesigned. The icons look sensible, and the frosted glass look has been unfold over the complete UI. It feels as if Windows is making an attempt to appear to be macOS but in addition not appear to be macOS on the similar time. One factor that bugs me is the truth that folder icons now not present thumbnails of their contents, resembling photographs. The default Documents, Downloads, Videos, and Pictures folders at the moment are vibrantly colour-coded, and these look cartoonish, however they’re now extra differentiated and rapidly recognisable.

file explorer windows11 gadgets360 File Explorer Windows 11

File Explorer will get a vibrant overhaul

The Windows Explorer toolbar, which contained all the mandatory instruments and shortcut buttons, has additionally been redesigned fully and can present contextual choices relying on what is chosen. Right-clicking on any file or folder will open up a compact context menu with the normal Cut, Copy, Paste and Rename choices moved to the highest

Windows 11: Snap Layouts and Snap Groups

This might be what excites me essentially the most about this improve. Microsoft is specializing in multitasking with the launch of Windows 11, and I’m all for it. Snap is one thing that was first launched with Windows 7, permitting customers to rapidly tile program home windows facet by facet. Windows 10 improved that, including extra flexibility. This time round, Microsoft has launched Snap Groups, that are unique to Windows 11.

Hovering over the Maximise button on a window or hitting Win + Z will now allow you to select a Snap Layout. A menu reveals you completely different grid templates that you could select from, relying in your wants. Once you select a template, Windows will present you the apps you’ve gotten open within the background, so you’ll be able to assign them slots.

snaplayouts windows11 gadgets360 Snap Layouts Windows 11

Snap Layouts and Snap Groups make multi-tasking simpler in Windows 11

Windows will now bear in mind your Snap Groups and present them as a set whenever you hover over an app’s taskbar icon, making it simpler so that you can multitask. If you minimise an app when within the Snap Group, now you can return to the identical format by hovering over the taskbar icon of the app and deciding on Snap Group. The better part is that even when you generally join your laptop computer to an exterior monitor and create Snap Groups, Windows 11 will bear in mind the proper association the subsequent time you are plugged in. This is de facto environment friendly because you should not have to create one other Group every time you connect with an exterior monitor.

Windows 11: Microsoft Store

The Microsoft retailer, identical to all the things else, has additionally acquired a recent new look. The retailer classes have now been reduce all the way down to Apps, Movies, TV Shows and likewise Games. The fundamental spotlight of the Microsoft Store is the upcoming assist for native Android apps, with the assistance of Amazon’s Appstore.

microsoft store windows11 gadgets360 Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store additionally will get a model new look

Microsoft confirmed us a fast preview of this on the Windows 11 launch occasion by opening the TikTok app on a Windows 11 PC. There’s no fastened date for when this performance will probably be prepared to be used, however it is going to include a future replace. The apps at the moment accessible within the retailer are Progressive Web Apps in addition to Legacy Win32 and UWP apps.

Windows 11: For players

There is not any approach Microsoft will neglect players. Windows 11 advantages from some new gaming-centric options, together with Auto HDR, DirectStorage, and a extra built-in Xbox app.

What does Auto HDR imply and what’s going to it do to enhance your gaming expertise? In easy phrases, HDR (High Dynamic Range) refers back to the potential to breed a large spectrum of gentle between the darkest half of the show and the brightest. This can change the complete appear and feel of a sport with richer colors and better distinction. Auto HDR is a brand new characteristic that enables video games that weren’t designed from HDR to nonetheless profit from it. You’ll want a monitor or a laptop computer show that helps High Dynamic Range, and video games that run on DirectX 11 or greater.

As for DirectStorage, it helps video games to load sooner by eliminating bottlenecks between your PC’s storage and graphics {hardware}. This requires at the least a PCIe 3.Zero NVMe SSD with 1TB of house, and a GPU that helps DirectX 12. A PCIe 4.Zero SSD is advisable for optimum efficiency. This is identical know-how used within the lately launched Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Both DirectStorage and AutoHDR will probably be supported on Windows 10 as nicely, although.

Last however not least, the Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox apps have been mixed so that you now not have to juggle between them. A membership allows entry to 100+ high-quality PC video games from Microsoft and Bethesda on launch day. Additionally, you will get an EA Play Membership with Game Pass for PC or Ultimate.

Windows 11 Verdict: Does it make sense to improve?

Microsoft has restricted the quantity of gadgets that may formally run the newest model of Windows, with its restrictive {hardware} necessities. Most of the newest laptops will assist Windows 11, however you are in all probability out of luck when you constructed your individual desktop PC or use something greater than round 4 years outdated. With that stated, in case your system helps Windows 11, there isn’t a motive you shouldn’t improve.

It is certainly not a colossal enchancment over Windows 10 on the subject of performance, nevertheless it does offer you a recent new appear and feel. Microsoft has centered extra on the person expertise, and applied a couple of minor modifications right here and there. Thanks to the improved Snap Assist and Snap Groups, it’s now a lot simpler to multitask on Windows.

However, Microsoft is but to really roll out some of the key options that had been highlighted on the launch occasion, which embody assist for native Android apps by way of the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft has additionally eliminated fundamental features resembling the power to tug and drop information into functions pinned to the taskbar. Some remnants of Windows 10 and even older variations can nonetheless be seen too.

Overall, in case you are used to Windows 10, this new improve mustn’t hinder your expertise with something unfamiliar or surprising. As I stated, the replace is extra about design than perform. If you might be sceptical about Windows 11, I’d recommend ready, because you would not lose out on a lot.

Once you’ve got put in Windows 11 and want to roll again to Windows 10, you are able to do so by going into the Start menu > Settings > Windows Update > Advanced choices > Recovery after which hitting the ‘Go Back’ choice. Keep in thoughts, this may solely be potential for 10 days after the improve since Windows will delete all of the rollback information to avoid wasting house after that.

Pros:

  • Fresh and engaging UI
  • Snap Layouts and Snap Groups are very useful

Cons:

  • No assist for native Android apps but
  • Some acquainted shortcuts and customisation choices do not work anymore
  • Requires fashionable {hardware}
     

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