Microsoft announced Windows 11 today. The new operating system from Microsoft borrows some features from its Apple counterpart, like the new Gaussian blur redesign, rounded corners, center Dock-like Start Menu, and a new Widgets and News section. The OS also features the ability to run Android apps, a redesigned Microsoft Store, and more. This is everything you need to know about Windows 11.
Windows 11 Features and Improvements
New Center Start Menu
Front and foremost, Microsoft has changed the position of the Start Menu on Windows after nearly 30 years of its introduction (barring Windows 8, which had a whole screen for Start Menu). It looks more like macOS’ Dock, with apps and windows in the center bottom of the screen. Microsoft has also gotten rid of Live Tiles it introduced with Windows 8.
Glass-Themed Redesign and Rounded Corners
Windows has evolved in general. The OS from Microsoft has borrowed background blurs and rounded corners from its Apple counterpart. There’s also a new feature called Snap layouts which allows you to quickly ‘Snap’ already open windows into various modes that Windows 11 supports.
Windows will also remember the way your apps are stored, thanks to a new feature called Snap Groups.
Ability to Run Android Apps
One of the surprising announcements at the Microsoft Windows 11 event was the Android app support in the new operating system. Windows 11 will feature an Android App Store powered by Amazon – you can run TikTok on your Windows PC without BlueStacks now.
The ability to run Android apps on Windows is powered by Intel’s “bridge technology.” Like traditional Windows apps, Android apps can now be pinned, or even snapped using the new Snap Layout. Microsoft aims to take on Apple’s M1 MacBooks ability to run iPhone apps by this new feature.
Widgets and News Section
One another feature that Windows 11 borrows from macOS is the new Widgets area. A new widgets section is available in Windows 11 that shows widgets like weather, reminders, files from OneDrive, and others. Below this widgets section is the News section, which automatically brings news and event updates from various sources straight to your Windows desktop.
Microsoft has ditched Skype in Windows 11… for Teams. Microsoft Teams is available in Windows 11 with just one click. A new dedicated Teams button is available in the center Start Menu. You can text, call, or video call all of your Microsoft Teams contacts right from this window.
Windows 11 Availability
Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users. Microsoft is expected to release the new version of Windows this fall, sometime in October. A Windows 11 Insider Preview build will be available next week for testing. You can check if your current laptop is eligible to install Windows 11 by downloading the PC Health Check app.