Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 – here are all the things that are changing

Microsoft has revealed a new-look Windows operating system with several new features, enhancements and visual changes.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 10:46 am
The new Windows 11 start screen. Picture: Microsoft/PA Wire
The new Windows 11 start screen. Picture: Microsoft/PA Wire

Windows 11 has been given a complete redesign compared to previous generations with new app icons, more translucent windows and a simpler Start menu – now moved to the centre of the screen.

It will be available for a free update for eligible Windows 10 PCs in the Christmas period.

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So, what can you expect?

Here are all the changes:

Start menu is moving

The Start menu, a staple of Windows, is the first difference many users will notice.

The Start button and menu have been moved to the centre, away from its traditional left position.

It forms part of a wider visual overhaul, which includes new-style icons and translucent, rounded windows.

Android apps

Windows users will gain access to a greater selection of apps, meaning Android apps usually meant for a mobile screen will be accessible from a PC.

A redesigned Microsoft Store will allow Android apps via the Amazon Appstore.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft is building on the growth and demand for its Teams communication platform during the pandemic by integrating it deeper into Windows.

Chat from Microsoft Teams appears in the taskbar along the bottom of the screen, providing a quick way to message, voice or video contact.

Snap multitasking

Microsoft wants to make multitasking more flexible with a series of new snap functions, known as Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops.

These are designed to better organise desktop clutter and optimise the space on screen.

Widgets

A new personalised feed of news and information widgets will be available in a standalone panel, powered by AI.

Microsoft says it will slide across your screen “like a sheet of glass” so it does not disrupt the tasks you are doing.

Gaming

No stranger to gaming, Microsoft is pushing improvements that will make playing games load faster, with higher frame rates and support for better visuals.

Performance

The tech giant says under the bonnet upgrades will make Windows 11 faster overall and more secure.

Window Updates will also be 40 per cent smaller.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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