Microsoft on Thursday announced the next iteration of its PC operating system, the Windows 11. The new OS brings new improvements, including a redesigned UI, updated window management features, and interestingly support for Android applications.
Beginning with the taskbar and Start menu, Microsoft has completely left the rigid style that we used to know, changing the design to what now resembles the macOS. The icons are now placed in a smooth layout but there still a few miscellaneous ones such as the clocks and right-sided icons.
The Start menu is now positioned in the middle and features a completely redesigned UI. When it opens up, it shows the pinned apps, recommended items below and a search bar at the top. The user profile and the power icon are much more down below.
The rest of the UI now resembles what we’ve become used to with modern designs. There is a glossy transparent look with rounded corners and various themes. With Windows 11, Microsoft is introducing Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktop making it possible to stack multiple windows on the desktop in no time.
Teams, Microsoft’s messaging/video call app is now integrated directly into the Windows 11 operating system. Teams has now been built into the taskbar and can be used from the get-go. The new OS also gets widgets that can be pulled in from the left side of the screen
Support for touchscreen devices has been improved and the OS will automatically change its layout to fit when it detects you are using tablet mode on computers with detachable displays. Auto HDR, an Xbox Series feature comes to Windows 11. It enables HDR for games that don’t feature HDR. Game load times will now be fast on Windows 11 thanks to DirectStorage and Microsoft is also integrating Game Pass subscription via the Xbox app.
A redesigned Store app brings support for Android applications thanks to the partnership with Amazon and Intel. Existing Android apps can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store and will run on Windows 11 without any additional modifications.
Microsoft is promising a holiday 2021 rollout period which will continue into 2022. All Windows 10 users qualify for a free upgrade.