On October 5tth, Microsoft is going to be bringing its Windows 11 platform to several computers available for purchase, as well as to existing Windows 10 PC through a structured launch expected to continue through to mid-2022.
The focus for the Redmond, Washington-based company’s new OS is getting back to simplicity and connectivity in order to inspire creativity and community. Simply put, bringing the things you need in everyday life to the centre.
There’s a new design and soundscape that will bring about calm and ease — and hopefully less loudly distorted chimes indicating a Windows notification while I’m working or in a Teams call.
Speaking of Teams, it’s going to be integrated right into the taskbar now, which is going to do wonders when it comes to chatting with co-workers while I’m working. It would be nice not to have to cycle task view or alt-tab every time I have a question for someone.
For users who rely on Microsoft 365 to manage their work and digital lives, there’s greater cloud integration that provides a home for your recent files on the Start menu regardless of the device you used to create or save them last.
There’s also a new focus on multitasking in several key areas.
The first is Snap layouts — a new display tool for your apps and documents that lets you maximize screen real estate and Microsoft Desktops.
If that’s not enough to keep you up to speed with things, Microsoft Widgets is getting an upgrade to be a new personal feed with updating access to the information you care about. It’s also linked to Microsoft Bing to allow for faster access to more information, content to watch and follow, and programs to download.
And those downloads can be done in the new Microsoft Store. The company has worked with the customers who have made its store the “most used on PC,” according to the company. They’ve also worked with Amazon and Intel to ensure that the Microsoft Store provides a streamlined experience that will help you install media or programs straight to your computer or bring it straight to your front door. But they haven’t forgotten the little guys. The new Microsoft Store will allow independent developers and software vendors to bring their apps and programs to the storefront so that it creates an easier, more creative environment.
Lastly, I couldn’t forget the gamers! Microsoft 11 is the most optimized OS for gaming to date. Auto High Dynamic Range (HDR) is coming to boost Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) games running on DirectX 11 or higher. This will help you be immersed in brighter lighting and more vivid colour seen across the new Xbox Series family of consoles. Playing Halo Infinite on PC will look stellar!
Those systems have also revolutionized download speeds for games and that same speed is now coming for PCs with DirectX 11 and Non-Volatile Memory (NVMe) SSD storage through DirectStorage.
As I said off the top, the free upgrade to Windows 11 starts on October 5th. In order to maintain a measure with a focus on quality, new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of the device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience over the coming year. Basically, keep doing your updates, and hope you are on Windows 11 before long!