Windows 11 will launch on October 5 and is seeing many improvements and updates. With a sleek new interface and productivity-enhancing features, Microsoft’s latest operating system looks like a big improvement over Windows 10.
If you are used to Windows 10, launching Windows 11 and seeing its new layout and interface can make you lose your mind. All the apps and features you know are there, just in a different arrangement. But it won’t take you long to settle into the operating system and find out what it has to offer.
There’s a lot to see, so we’ve compiled a list of the top eight features you’ll want to try out first.
The new Start menu is arguably the best feature of Windows 11. Located in the center of the taskbar, the Star menu gives you quick access to pinned and recommended apps. Windows 10’s Start menu not only had a lot of empty space, but the layout of apps was messy and cluttered. The new Start menu is both clean and efficient. It will take some time to adjust to a central Start menu, but you will soon fall in love with it.
Android apps now run natively on Windows 11 through the new Microsoft Store. You will first need to download and install the Amazon Appstore and sign in to your Amazon account (or create an account if you don’t have one). After that, you will be able to search for apps just like you would on mobile devices and other platforms.
Games on Windows 10 were generally frowned upon by PC gamers due to its somewhat sloppy implementation. This will not be the case on Windows 11 which makes gaming an integral part of the experience.
Those with M.2 SSDs can take full advantage of DirectStorage, which allows for fast load times similar to what you would find on Xbox Series X. Xbox Game Pass is also built into Windows 11, giving you access to a library of more. of 100 Xbox games. Auto-HDR eliminates the hassle of having to turn HDR on and off for individual titles.
Working on a computer means having multiple windows and tabs on your screen. Windows 11 allows you to organize windows in different layouts. Best of all, it saves your window layout for later access. You can open up to four windows, which is a fair amount of “Goldilocks” windows to have on your screen at the same time. Windows 10 has a similar snap feature, but it looks more streamlined on Windows 11. It’s a perfect feature for multitasking people who want to maximize their productivity.
You can store multiple snap layouts in snap groups. You can access your saved layouts by hovering over them in the taskbar. You select the one you want and it will appear instantly. A preview of the Snap layout appears when you hover over them. This is a quick way to make sure you select the right group.
Found in the taskbar, widgets offer a host of personalized updates. You can keep track of everything from weather, news, traffic, and important calendar items with this AI-powered feed. A sliding panel on the left side of the screen appears when you click the widgets button. This is similar to the classic Start menu and Windows 10 news and interest feed.
Widgets sit on a separate transparent pane, which means you won’t have to bring up another window. This keeps things from getting too messy on your desktop. You can also extend the widget interface to take up the whole screen.
Another item you’ll find on the taskbar is Microsoft Teams. You can send a text, message, or start a video or voice call with someone from your contact list. You’re also not limited to Windows, as you can contact people on Android, Mac, and iOS. Now, it’ll be easier to connect with people, whether you’re using Windows 11 on your desktop or on a mobile device. Digital communication is vital these days, so it’s great to see Microsoft Teams fully integrated with Windows 11.
Since Windows 8, Microsoft’s operating systems have become more and more mobile-friendly. Windows 11 continues this trend with mobile-style interfaces and input support. While you can still use a keyboard and mouse, sometimes touch, pen, and voice input can provide a better experience.
Larger touch targets, easier window resizing and moving, more consistent touch gestures, and a new onscreen keyboard enable an intuitive touch experience. The improved haptic feedback also makes it easier to work with a pen or stylus. Voice input is also useful, especially thanks to improved voice recognition.