Microsoft officially confirms Windows 11 with integrated Teams and support for Android apps
We’ve had teases and leaks already, but today at a special 'What's Next for Windows' event Microsoft officially confirmed the successor to Windows 10, and as expected it’s Windows 11.
The new operating system is based on the now cancelled Windows 10x design, but it’s much more than that. As you’ve have seen from the leaked screenshots, it has a centered taskbar and Start menu, rounded corners across the design, no live tiles, and web widgets for creators.
New features include Snap Layouts which are tailored to the size of your screen so you can arrange multiple windows in a way that suits you, and Windows 11 will remember your preferences.
Windows 11 also lets you pick up where you left off after an interruption thanks to Snap Groups. The collection of apps you’re using can be accessed through the taskbar.
Widgets replace live tiles and come in the form of an AI-powered personalized feed.
You can switch between devices using the new docking feature and you can create multiple desktops on the one system with different looks and wallpaper to keep them separate.
Microsoft Teams got a major boost as a result of the pandemic, and Chat from Teams will be integrated in the taskbar allowing you to connect through text, chat, voice or video with all of your personal contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on.
Everything -- from using the OS to updating it (updates are 40 percent smaller and run in the background) -- should feel faster. Even the Microsoft Store has been redesigned to make it faster and easier to use and that's where you can find and run Android apps like Instagram and TikTok.
Gaming also gets a big boost with DirectX 12 Ultimate, which can deliver quality graphics at high frame rates; DirectStorage for faster load times and detailed game worlds; and Auto HDR.
Announcing Windows 11, Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices, said:
Windows has always been about helping you work how you want, by offering flexibility of multiple windows and the ability to snap apps side by side. New in Windows 11, we’re introducing Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organize your windows and optimize your screen real estate so you can see what you need just the way you want in a layout that’s visually clean. You can also create separate Desktops for each part of your life and customize them to your liking -- imagine having a Desktop for work, gaming or school.
A big theme in the presentation was how Windows 11 can make your life easier. Or as Panay phrased it: "Windows 11 cuts through complexity and brings you simplicity."
The first Windows 11 Insider builds will arrive next week, although most of the new features announced today won’t make an appearance until later in the year.
Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this holiday. To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, visit Windows.com to download the PC Health Check app.