Microsoft's June 24 event finally revealed the long-rumored (and heavily leaked) Windows 11, delivering a new design for one of the world's most popular operating systems. With Windows 11, Microsoft is going head-to-head with Apple and Google by focusing on creating a beautiful and accessible operating system that catches the eye, but that also helps users get more done. There were plenty of big announcements from the reveal of Windows 11, so let's dig into some of the biggest highlights Here's that you may have missed.
Windows 11 takes a play right out of Apple's playbook, using rounded edges and minimalistic icons to create a "fresh, clean and beautiful" look. In a blog post, the company says that the team has intentionally designed the UI to bring you a "sense of calm and ease." A centered taskbar is only the beginning of Microsoft's shift toward usability. With people around the world working across multiple devices each day, Microsoft is adding the ability to see recently accessed files at a glance - even if they were opened on an iOS or Android device.
For the multitaskers, there are plenty of new tools on the way.
- Snap Layouts - Hovering over the maximize button in a window opens a Snap Navigator, giving you a variety of options to organize currently open windows in a way that works best for you. Email, browsers, and apps are easily navigable and displayed exactly how you want them with just a snap.
- Snap Groups - Groups of apps that are used together frequently are collected in individual Snap Groups, housed in your taskbar, are accessible with just one click or touch.
- Desktops - Windows 11 introduces Desktops, delivering a way for users to create individual Desktops for each area of their life. Having a custom desktop layout for work, school, and play keeps you focused on the task at hand.
Windows 11 Teams Integration
After incredible growth throughout 2020, Microsoft is doubling down on Microsoft Teams and baking it into the Windows 11 experience itself. Chat from Microsoft Teams is being integrated directly into the taskbar, giving users the ability to chat, call, or video call with any of their contacts across Windows, Android, and iOS via Microsoft Teams. Screen sharing is easier than ever, with the ability to start or stop presenting straight from the taskbar.
Widgets are Back in Windows 11
Widgets are "a faster way to get the information you care about." Similar to what many users have seen on Android and iOS devices, Microsoft's Windows 11 Widgets give you the most important information at a glance - but then they go a step further. Microsoft has developed an AI-powered Widgets system paired with the redesigned Edge experience that launched in 2020.
Microsoft is picking a fight with the sea of mobile devices that our eyes are glued to each day, offering a simple solution that easily delivers information through a sliding "sheet of glass" that glides across your desktop. With personalized content directly on your desktop, the news, entertainment, and information that matters the most to you is just a click away without the need to pick up another device.
Android Apps on PC in Windows 11
Mobile devices account for 70% of the total digital media time in the US, evolving into a fundamental part of the way that we connect, collaborate, and communicate with people both personally and professionally. During yesterday's Windows 11 event, Microsoft announced a collaboration with Amazon that brings the entire Amazon App Store natively into the Windows 11 experience. From virtual learning to content creation, an entire sea of applications will be available directly on the desktop through this partnership with Amazon and Intel via Intel Bridge.
While it's packed with amazing features, there is one big benefit to early adopters of Windows 11 - it's free. With more than 1.3 billion active Windows 10 devices globally, Microsoft is eager to ensure that every user around the world has the latest software and security updates that not only deliver the best experience, but that also keep their data secure. For businesses, getting on board with the latest OS updates from Microsoft is key in actively adopting the next generation of business technology.
If 2020 taught us anything, it's that the workplace is changing. Microsoft's own Work Trend Index report took a deep dive into the way that workers around the world are getting work done each day and the way that their mindset is building workplaces of the future. Remote workers, hybrid workplaces, and an increased focus on technology are here to stay, and it's the early adopters who evolve into industry leaders.