The long-awaited Windows 11 update has finally started rolling out to computers across the world. You may have already forgotten that Windows 10 originally dropped all the way back in 2015. 6 years later, Microsoft is back to change the way we use our computers all over again. But with every major iteration comes a slew of exciting new features and tweaks to (hopefully) make our computer feel a little fresh. My goal today is to highlight some of the more pivotal new features and take a look at how they’ll shake things up.
First off and probably the most immediate difference is the new interface of Windows 11. The start menu that we have lovingly enjoyed in the corner of our screens since the dawn of Windows has now been moved to the middle of the screen. It might take some time to acclimate to the new direction and it will be interesting to see how the public responds to this. Thankfully, you can switch it back to the left corner if so desired, as if nothing changed at all.
Arguably the biggest enhancement is that of Android integration. It won’t come till some time after the launch of Windows 11 but soon we will be able to use Android apps on our computer natively. The ability to use Android apps on Windows is not new, there have been emulators that allow us to use apps on the computer since the dawn of smartphones. With Windows 11, this will finally be possible without having to download external software through Microsoft's own store. This is a big win all around for app developers and users, as allowing both to easily use an app on a computer gives broader access to everyone. Smartphone apps have become such an everyday feature for billions of people across the planet; it’s a part of our lives now. Allowing these apps to be accessible on a computer is the logical next step in integrating all our technology.
A new feature dubbed Snap Groups and Snap Layouts is set to make task switching effortlessly and faster than ever before. Users will now be able to group different computer applications and windows together to minimize the number of open apps or tabs that clutter the screen at once. As computers continue to have faster processors they are able to handle more tabs and windows open at once, so instead of cluttering your workspace with tons of different applications open, you can quickly put them in specific groups that will allow you to switch between them with a click of a mouse. This will help make the ever-growing work-from-home lifestyle be more fluid as transitioning between different documents, tabs, presentations become the usual for many.
That has been a look at some of the more noteworthy changes that Windows 11 brings us. These updates can be hit or miss as sometimes the new features can be liked or disliked with many. After six years, Microsoft seems to hit its stride in what works best with Windows. 11 is looking to be a great new upgrade that keeps the core functionality of Windows while adding many incremental features that help make many lives around the world easier as many continue to work from home.