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Windows 11 is the first version of a new era of Windows: Satya Nadella

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 25, 2021

Microsoft has revamped design and user experience in Windows 11

Microsoft unveiled its “next generation of Windows” the Windows 11 at a virtual event on Thursday.

Windows 11 brings about a major design overhaul, an increased focus on multi-tasking along with changes to the Microsoft Store with a focus on creators and developers.

Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said: “Windows is the stage for the world’s creation. As a creator, every time you pick up a Windows device, it becomes a stage for your inspiration, so you can dream big and create something profound and lasting.”

“This is the first version of a new era of Windows. We are building for the next decade and beyond,” he said.

New design and UI

To begin with, Microsoft has revamped the design and user experience in Windows 11, bringing the new Start button at the centre. Start will leverage the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365, making it easier to find their recent files regardless of the platform that they were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device.

To simplify multitasking, the OS will bring new Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops. Snap layouts will let users quickly switch into different modes that Windows 11 supports. The OS will also remember where a user’s apps are stored with Snap Groups. With a new docking experience, it makes it easier for users who use multiple monitors or a laptop connected to a monitor.

Users can also create multiple Desktops and customise each Desktop along with its background.

The system is also focusing on performance with Windows updates being 40 per cent smaller and more efficient as they take place in the background.

Windows 11 will also have Teams integration directly into the Taskbar. With this, users can instantly connect with people through text, chat, voice or video with anyone, anywhere across Windows, Android and iOS.

With Windows 11, Microsoft has also introduced a new AI-powered personalised feed called Widgets. The feed opens a curated view directly from their desktop. For creators and publishers, Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content, the tech giant has said.

“Our aspiration is to create a vibrant pipeline for global brands and local creators alike, in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit,” said Chief Product Officer, Microsoft – Panos Panay in a blog post.

Microsoft has also improved upon touch and gestures with Windows 11 for better use on devices such as tablets. With certain pens, the OS will also support haptic feedback. It also brings enhancements to inking and voice typing.

The OS, instead of switching to a different mode will adapt to the device easily.

Gaming

Windows 11 also focuses on the PC gaming experiences bringing tech improvements including Auto HDR and Direct Storage from its Xbox consoles to its OS. It will also give users access to the Xbox app to play great games with Xbox Game Pass.

DirectX 12 Ultimate can enable better, immersive graphics at high frame rates. It also brings DirectStorage for faster load times and more detailed game worlds. Auto HDR provides a wider, more vivid range of colours for a better visual experience while gaming.

All new Microsoft Store

Windows 11 also has major updates to the Microsoft Store.

The tech giant is making all content – apps, games, shows, movies – easier to search for and discover with curated stories and collections.

The store will soon be introducing third-party apps like Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva to the Microsoft Store.

With Windows 11, Microsoft is officially bringing Android apps to Windows for the first time.

Starting later this year, users will be able to discover Android apps in the Microsoft Store and download them through the Amazon Appstore.

“We’ll have more to share about this experience in the coming months. We look forward to this partnership with Amazon and Intel using their Intel Bridge technology,” said Pranoy.

It is also enabling developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps regardless of whether they’re built as a Win32, Progressive Web App (PWA), or Universal Windows App (UWP) or any other app framework.

The tech giant also announced certain changes to its revenue share policies.

Starting July 28, app developers will also have an option to bring their own or a third party commerce platform in their apps. In this case, they don’t need to pay Microsoft any fee and can keep 100 of their revenue.

Developers can still use its commerce with revenue share terms at 85/15 for apps and 88/12 for games.

Windows 11 will be available on new PCs and through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs beginning this holiday season.

Published on June 25, 2021

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