Microsoft has commenced the much-awaited planned rollout of its operating system for PCs, Windows 11 in its stable form worldwide, its first major update in six years.
Microsoft officially began this rollout on Tuesday by introducing its new computer operating system as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users on compatible PCs. The company also says that other PCs that come preloaded with Windows may also be able to make the switch, depending on the hardware and age of the PC.
The last substantial change to Microsoft operating system was the move from Windows 8 to Windows 10 in 2015. This new Windows 11 update creates a buzz of excitement even as it features a handful of notable design changes, including a new interface that Microsoft says is intended to bring a sense of calm and ease.
Unlike Apple Inc., which releases a new operating system for its Mac computers every year, Microsoft is known to be hesitant before releasing new operating software.
Features of the Windows 11
When Microsoft introduced Windows 10, it declared it was going to be the last version of the Windows system, but that has obviously changed since then.
The Windows 11 update offers some display modifications from the previous Windows 10 and also includes some improvements to the system’s internal workings, but the company says the new operating system will not be an extreme departure from what people are used to.
With Windows 11, Microsoft offers a new start menu that shows the recently opened files, irrespective of which device was used. The start menu, along with the icons on the taskbar, is centred on the screen by default, similarly to what is attainable on Macs.
Microsoft has dropped the tiles which were present on the Windows 10 start menu and now, in some ways, it looks like the appearance of a smartphone app menu or launcher.
The widget options were a major selling point of 2007’s Windows Vista, and Microsoft is initiating a comeback by introducing them to the sidebar on the left instead of floating on the screen as previously noticed.
Similarly, some changes in Windows 11 go deeper than the interface and design. Microsoft has now completely redesigned its Microsoft store and introduced integrations for the Microsoft teams and Xbox app, both of which feature heavily in its advertisements.
Upgrading to Windows 11
An upgrade to the new Windows 11 will be available through Windows updates which Microsoft will be introducing over the coming weeks.
Another option will be to download the Windows 11 download assistant, which works similarly to the one Microsoft had in place for Windows 10.
The company also allows the download of an installation media tool, which is essentially a USB drive that allows the installation of a fresh copy of Windows 11. Users can also alternatively download an ISO file and install it the old-fashioned way.
Users might have to wait a few months to see an option to upgrade to Windows 11, but this new operating software offers functionalities different from the existing ones.
Away from the more modern-looking windows, Microsoft is introducing in Windows 11, it also allows users to quickly connect to the Microsoft teams by integrating them directly into Windows 11.
The Windows 11 update will allow users to have a detailed breakdown of how the battery is draining, manage their taskbar widgets, use secondary displays more easily and try out the new and improved Microsoft AppStore.
Although it will not be available at launch, Windows 11 will soon be able to run Android apps from the Amazon Appstore, which the company intends to make available.
While it is still unsure if this will work similarly to the standard Windows app, users should be able to pin them to the taskbar or snap them to the screen edge.
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