After months of speculation, Microsoft officially introduced Windows 11 on June 24th, the first update to Microsoft’s operating system since the arrival of Windows 10 in July 2015.
The Windows 11 redesign’s theme focuses on bringing you closer to what you love professionally and personally, since many users’ lives were so heavily impacted by the pandemic and the virtual get-togethers and remote working that followed. Some of the newest features touted in their blog include:
Simplified Design and User Experience – Windows 11 will introduce a new layout that aims to simplify the user experience with customizable apps, quick access to Microsoft 365 and a new centered task bar.
Faster Way to Connect to People – With the increased reliance on Teams throughout the pandemic, Windows 11 will introduce an integrated chat from Teams option in the taskbar that allows instant access to contact people across compatible Windows, Android and iOS platforms.
Improved PC Gaming Experience – Windows 11 will have technology options available to PC gamers including DirectX 12 Ultimate, DirectSTorage and Auto HDR.
Microsoft Widgets – Windows 11 will introduce a personalized feed powered by AI and Edge that allows users to get direct access to relevant information and news direct from your desktop view.
New Microsoft Store – The introduction of a new Microsoft Store was one of the rumored Windows 11 updates from day one. The new store provides a single location for users to access Microsoft apps, content and will support third-party apps such as Disney+, Visual Studio, Zoom and the Adobe Creative Cloud. Additionally, Android apps will be available through the Microsoft store for the first time ever.
The blog also discusses key security updates for Windows 11 and states that Windows 11 will be available through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this October and continue into 2022. To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, visit www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11 to download the PC Health Check app.
Initial Reaction to Microsoft 11
While the Microsoft Blog focused on the improvements in a positive light as expected, industry and press reaction to the announcements have ranged from positive to cautiously optimistic.
The Verge reacted favorably to the Windows 11 preview, specifically complimenting Microsoft for making calculated improvements to the operating system instead of forcing users to learn a whole new system.
ZD Net also focuses on the true percentage of Windows 10 users eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade and reviews some of the security concerns associated with running outdated versions of Windows.
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