- Today, Microsoft formally announced Windows 11, the first major Windows upgrade since 2015.
- Along with a new aesthetic look, the new Windows brings a slew of productivity tricks and the ability to install Android apps.
- You’ll be able to upgrade from Windows 10 to this new version in the Fall of this year.
After a few weeks of leaks that left little to the imagination, we now have the official announcement of the new version of Windows. We also have the official confirmation of the name: Windows 11. This is the first major update to the OS since 2015 when we first saw Windows 10.
During the livestream (which was plagued by technical issues since Microsoft didn’t use YouTube), the company discussed the major changes to the operating system. Most of the highlights focus on the aesthetic of the operating system, with major updates to the look and feel. Everything has rounded corners now, and the glass-like backgrounds from the Windows 7 era are back. The Start button moves to the center of the screen, and there are more ways to theme the operating system to your liking.
There are also some important new features with the new Windows.
Windows 11: New features
Outside of how Windows 11 looks, there are also some new productivity tricks. One of the more exciting updates is called Snap Layouts. This allows you to choose how your programs “snap” to various areas of the screen. For example, you can have one app on the left and then two apps on the right or three apps with equal separation across the screen. What’s more, Windows will remember this layout choice, allowing you to quickly snap everything back later.
Another big productivity change is better memory features for Virtual Desktops. You can have as many VDs as you want and customize them as you like, including the wallpaper. Windows will then remember all these tweaks for each desktop you create, allowing you to create specific VDs for different parts of your life. For example, you could have a desktop for work, for school, and for gaming, and each one could have different themes, wallpapers, and layout options.
Finally, and most excitingly, Windows 11 will also bring Android apps to the Microsoft Store. Interestingly, it will do this through the Amazon App Store, not the Google Play Store. Either way, though, it will allow you to search for and install Android apps right in Windows, just like you would for a Windows app. You can even manipulate those apps as you would a Windows app, with snap capabilities, minimize/maximize, etc.
Windows 11 will land as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users at some point in the Fall. Stay tuned for a more specific date.