Windows 11 The New Generation
Windows has always existed to be a stage for the world’s innovation. It’s been the backbone of global businesses and where scrappy startups became household names. The web was born and grew up on Windows. Windows is the place people go to create, connect, learn, and achieve – a platform over a billion people today rely on it.
Unveiling of Windows 11
Windows 11 was unveiled on 24th June 2021 with a new interface, app icons, and a centrally placed Start menu. The rollout is expected to begin by December ’21 and will come pre-installed on new PCs. Microsoft has also unveiled the feature update plan for Windows 11 every year. It has been confirmed that only a single Windows 11 big feature update will be rolled out annually, whereas regular monthly quality updates will be provided for security and bug fixes.
What about Windows 10 users?
Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade to Windows 10 users. It is currently available for testing to Windows Insider members. Given that adoption of Windows 11 will likely be a prolonged affair, Microsoft assures that devices on in-service versions of Windows 10 will continue to receive monthly Windows 10 security updates through 2025, as well as incremental improvements to Windows 10 to support ongoing Microsoft 365 deployments.
Resource requirements for Windows 11
From a hardware perspective, Microsoft confirmed that it has worked with all major silicon partners, including AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm, to ensure that Windows 11 can be deployed on most devices out in the market. However, the minimum requirements for Windows 11 are not as lightweight as Windows 10.
Windows 11 will require-
- Minimum of 64-bit x86 or ARM processor,
- Minimum of 4GB of RAM and
- Minimum of 64GB of storage.
Different flavors and release policies for them
The tech giant confirmed that Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro for Education editions of Windows 11 would receive 24 months of support from the general availability date. Also, Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 11 will be supported 36 months from the general availability date.
Here are the best new Windows 11 features we’ve seen announced so far and how you’ll use them, based on what Microsoft has confirmed –
Redesigned for productivity, creativity, and ease
Windows 11 has simplified the design and user experience to empower productivity and inspire your creativity. It looks contemporary and attractive. From the new Start button and Taskbar to each sound, font, and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. Using “Start at the Center” it easier to quickly find what users need.
Windows 11 introduces Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organize your windows and optimize your screen real estate so you can see what you need just the way you want in a layout that’s visually clean.
Teams Integration – A faster way to connect to the people you care about
Another critical part of introducing a faster way to connect to near and dear ones, Windows 11 introduced “Chat” from Microsoft Teams integrated with the Taskbar. You can instantly connect through text, chat, voice, or video with all of your contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on, across Windows, Android, or iOS. If the person you’re connecting to on the other end hasn’t downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way SMS.
Windows 11 also gives you a more natural way to connect with friends and family through Teams, allowing you to instantly mute and unmute or start presenting directly from the Taskbar.
- Gaming Enhancement – Delivering the best PC gaming experiences yet: If you’re a gamer, Windows 11 is made for you. Gaming has always been fundamental to what Windows is all about. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide game on Windows and find joy and connection with loved ones and friends through play.
Windows 11 unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware, putting some of the latest gaming technology to work for you like;
- DirectX 12 Ultimate, which enables breathtaking, immersive graphics at high frame rates;
- DirectStorage for faster load times and more detailed game worlds;
- Auto HDR for a broader, more vivid range of colors for a truly captivating visual experience.
Nothing has changed in hardware compatibility – Windows 11 supports your favorite PC gaming accessories and peripherals. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate, gamers get access to over 100 high-quality PC games with new games added all the time, and it’s still just as easy to find people to play with, no matter if they’re playing on a PC or console.
- Widgets – A faster way to get the information you care about: Windows 11 brings you closer to the news and information you care about faster with Widgets – a new personalized feed powered by AI and best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge.
Even when we’re most focused and creative, we still need breaks – a moment to check in with the outside world or give ourselves a mental reset. Now, you can open a similarly curated view directly from your desktop.
When you open your personalized feed, it slides across your screen like a sheet of glass, so it doesn’t disrupt what you’re doing. For creators and publishers, Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content. Microsoft aspires to create a deep pipeline for global brands and local creators alike in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit.
- New Microsoft Store – An all-new Microsoft Store where your favorite apps and entertainment come together: The new Microsoft Store is your single trusted location for apps and content to watch, create, play, work, and learn. It’s been rebuilt for speed and with an all-new design that is beautiful and simple to use. Not only will we bring you more apps than ever before, searching any content – apps, games, shows, movies – is made much more accessible and added with the discovery of content with curated stories and collections.
Soon people will get various third-party apps like Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, and Canva in the Microsoft Store – all offering incredible experiences to entertain, inspire and connect. When you download an app from the Store, you have the peace of mind of knowing it’s been tested for security and family safety.
New windows pumped to announce that we are bringing Android apps to Windows for the first time.
Creating a more open ecosystem – unlocking new opportunities for developers and creators
This time, Windows taken steps to open the Microsoft Store further to unlock more significant economic opportunities for creators and developers. It enables developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps regardless of whether they’re built as a Win32, Progressive Web App (PWA), or Universal Windows App (UWP), or any other app framework, creating an opportunity to reach and engage with more people.
Faster, more secure, and familiar for IT
Windows 11 is built on the consistent, compatible, and typical Windows 10 foundation you all know. You’ll plan for, prepare and deploy Windows 11 just as you do today with Windows 10. Upgrading to Windows 11 will be like taking a Windows 10 update. The familiar management experiences you have in place today – like Microsoft Endpoint Manager, cloud configuration, Windows Update for Business, and Autopilot – will support your environment of tomorrow as you integrate Windows 11 into your estate.
Windows 11 is secure by design, with new built-in security technologies that will add protection from the chip to the cloud while enabling productivity and unique experiences.
Windows 11 provides a Zero Trust-ready operating system to protect data and access across devices. Microsoft has worked closely with various OEM and silicon partners to raise security baselines to meet the needs of the evolving threat landscape and the new hybrid work world.
- Compatibility with different hardware and OEMs – It’s a great time to buy a PC: Since day one of developing Windows 11, Microsoft has been working closely with its hardware and silicon partners for seamless integration across software and hardware. That co-engineering begins with silicon innovation. From AMD and the depth of the incredible graphics brought by the Ryzen processors to the astonishing performance of Intel’s 11th gen and Evo Processors to Qualcomm’s AI prowess, 5G and Arm support, the innovation of silicon partners brings together the best of Windows 11 with the most powerful hardware ecosystem in the world.
And with Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Surface, and others, working to ensure most PCs you can buy today will be ready for Windows 11 – across various form factors and price points.
Windows 11 turned to be optimized for speed and efficiency and take advantage of improved experiences with touch, inking, and voice.
- A new experience on tablet: When you use Windows 11 on a tablet without a keyboard, it improves the experience for touch, creating more space between the icons in the Taskbar, adding bigger touch targets and subtle visual cues to make resizing and moving windows more accessible, as well as adding gestures.
It also enables haptics to make using your pen even more engaging and immersive, allowing you to hear and feel the vibrations you click through and edit or sketch.
- Voice-based Commands: Windows 11 has brought forward enhancements in voice typing. Windows 11 is incredible at recognizing what you say; it can automatically punctuate and comes with voice commands. This is a fantastic feature for taking a break from typing and speaking your ideas instead.
- Dynamic Refresh Rate Support for Apps: Windows 11 is coming with Dynamic Refresh Rate for default apps that will lead to smoother scrolling and better battery life, as seen in the latest Windows Insider builds of the upcoming operating system.
The feature automatically switches between higher and lower refresh rates depending on what is on the screen at any moment, lowering the frame rate for when you’re mainly on a static page, for example. For instance, if you are using a laptop with a display capable of 120Hz with a Dynamic mode between 60Hz and 120Hz, the display will refresh at 60Hz for everyday productivity tasks, such as email, writing a document, and so forth, to conserve battery life. It will then seamlessly switch to 120Hz for functions such as inking and scrolling.
According to Microsoft, to use DRR, you’ll need a laptop with a display that supports a variable refresh rate (VRR) and a refresh rate of at least 120Hz. Additionally, DRR requires a graphics driver (WDDM 3.0) that supports it (available through Windows Update).
Microsoft says DRR is currently supported in apps like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Whiteboard, Microsoft Photos, Snip and Sketch, Drawboard PDF, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft To-Do, and Inkodo for smoother inking, and DRR also enables smoother scrolling for Microsoft Office apps. The company says more apps will support DRR for smoother inking and scrolling in the future.
- Android Apps – Dynamic Refresh Rate Support for Apps: Last but not least and the most appreciated feature that most developers and android users are eagerly waiting for is that “Android apps will be built into Windows 11 natively through the new Microsoft Store”. Android apps will be in the new Microsoft Store via Amazon’s Appstore. That means you’ll need to download the Amazon Appstore to access the nearly 500,000 apps available there, including Disney Plus, Netflix, Pinterest, Uber, and more. However, you won’t be able to access every Android app found in the Google Play Store.
You’ll need to download the Amazon Appstore and sign into or create an Amazon account to get started. Then you’ll be able to search for free or paid apps as you would on any other platform. Android apps will be integrated into the Start bar and appear on the Taskbar with their windows.
- x64 emulation for Windows on ARM: Windows 10 devices with ARM processors have struggled with a lack of apps since they’ve only supported 32-bit emulation. With Windows 11, those devices will finally get support for 64-bit app emulation.
- Virtual Desktop Wallpaper: This is a pretty small change, but it’s probably a big one if you’re a virtual desktop user. You can set the wallpaper on each of your virtual desktops now, helping you to define the look of each one that might have its purpose.
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