Windows 11: What We Know So Far

After much speculation over the last few weeks, on Thursday 24th June 2021 Microsoft announced their next operating system – Windows 11. During the announcement, they showcased several additions and improvements in their new system.

With release expected later this year, or early 2022, here’s a breakdown of some of the main elements Microsoft discussed about Windows 11.

New Start Menu

At first glance, perhaps the most obvious change in Windows 11 is the start menu. By default, the start menu and taskbar appear in the middle of the screen, moving from the left for the first time in a Windows OS. In the start menu, tiles have been replaced by icons for a clean, simplified look.

The start menu uses the power of the Cloud, showing you recommended apps and documents, no matter which device you’re using.

Windows 11 also offers a new search experience, which appears as a separate window. It allows you to search across devices and services, and search the internet through Bing search.

Snap Layouts and Groups

In Windows 11, hovering over the minimise/maximise button lets you choose different snap layouts, based on your screen size. If you have 3 apps open, they can all appear next to each other. You can split them evenly or give one priority.

If you need to interrupt your workflow, such as by responding to incoming emails, you can restore your snapped layouts by clicking an icon in the taskbar. Icons for these groups will appear next to the app icons so you can easily switch back.

Docking and Undocking

This is ideal if you use an external monitor with your laptop or tablet. When you undock, Windows 11 will automatically minimize the windows that were displayed on the monitor. And when you dock back, they will be restored to your monitor. An excellent feature if you’re doing mobile work and want to quickly get your windows open.

Separate Desktops

Separate desktops in Windows 11 can have their own wallpaper and distinctive look. If you want to differentiate between work, free time, gaming and more, it will feel as though you are using completely different devices.

Teams Integration

Teams will integrate seamlessly with Windows 11. By default, the Teams icon will appear on the taskbar. From there, you can make calls to anyone using Teams on any device. You can quickly chat or set up an instant call, as well as chat with anyone in your recent list. Not seeing what you want? Don’t worry – simply open the full version of the app.

Windows Widgets

On the left side of the screen you’ll have a slide-out pane, showing a series of Windows Widgets. This includes useful information you may want to see at a glance, without having to open a brand new app.

New Touch Experience

Tablet mode in Windows 10 is disappearing. When you remove the keyboard from a Surface Pro, you will see a slightly adapted user interface, with more space between icons and larger touch targets. But there won’t be a drastic change. You can use the same gestures you use with the Windows Precision touchpad as well.

Come back soon for more news about Windows 11!

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