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And finally there it is, on October 5th Microsoft officially launched its new operating system: Windows 11 . In the past weeks and months we have talked about it a lot, we have shown you how to install the not yet final version, we have told you a little about its main features and finally we have shown you how to install it on your PC using many different methods. In this article, however, I want to list those that, in my view, are le 10 most important news introduced by this new version of the operating system of the Redmond giant. You are ready? Let’s go!
1 – START MENU AND QUICK CONNECTIONS
Let’s start by talking about what is probably the change that catches the eye first: the new start menu and quick links . In fact, until today we have been used to seeing these elements positioned in the lower left corner of the toolbar, Windows 11 positions them by default in the center . MacOS and Chrome OS have marked the way for this change over time but if you just can’t get used to it don’t worry, there is an option that allows you to reposition the elements to the side.
In addition to the position of the various elements on the taskbar, Microsoft has also renewed the start menu, both graphically and in the position of the elements. So the Live Tiles disappear , I don’t think we will miss them , in favor of a much cleaner and airier design, a clear step forward compared to the philosophy and ergonomics of Windows 10.
As soon as we click on the Start icon, this window opens showing a mosaic of the most used applications and a series of links to the most recent documents . By clicking on the “All apps” button, you go to a list view of all installed software, sorted alphabetically.
Also within the Start menu we then have a search bar that can also be called up via the appropriate icon on the taskbar. In addition to thanking Microsoft for having cleaned up the graphics in this section in a profound way, greatly improving the consultation of the results, we must then underline how the new algorithm provides results much more consistent . Furthermore, the search takes place globally, within our PC but also on the web and within the Microsoft store.
2 – INTERFACE
Among the most important changes we certainly have all the rethinking of the interface, which has been made extremely more intuitive and closer to what is the way of thinking and interacting of the new generations, used to dealing with touch devices and UI of smartphones and tablets (more on this later).
In general we can say that Microsoft has been good at removing where it could be removed and grouping where not nothing could be eliminated. An example we have just seen, the new Start menu reduced to the bone, but also the section dedicated to widgets and the news feed is school in this sense. The same goes for the notifications section and the new shortcut curtain: volume, brightness, WiFi, bluetooth etc. they have all been grouped into a single pop-up, a bit like what happens with smartphones.
The new Explorer , with renewed and more distinguishable icons thanks to the use of decidedly more distinctive shapes and colors. To these is added the reorganization of the context menu by pressing the right button: the most used elements such as copy, cut and paste have been moved and are displayed in the form of small icons , while the properties and all the other options remain inserted in the classic drop-down list. Depending on the element on which we right-click we then have a different context menu. If it were an image, for example, among the options we would also find the possibility to rotate it right or left without having to open it in preview.
3 – IMPROVED MULTI MONITOR SUPPORT
Among the novelties that “make your life easier” we cannot fail to mention the new advanced support for multi monitor configurations. Nothing particularly striking in terms of revolutionary functions or tools but definitely a management that is finally sensible and all height of the most used PC operating system on a global scale.
How many times have you cursed because after disconnecting an external monitor all your windows have been recombined at random on your notebook screen? And how many times have you had to reconfigure the position of the same windows by reconnecting the notebook to the second monitor? Here, forget all this. With Windows 11 by disconnecting the monitor all applications are minimized and you can manage it at will but, once reconnected to the second screen they will all return exactly where you left them.
4 – NEW WIDGETS
We know, widgets are not an absolute novelty, Microsoft has tried to offer them over and over again over the years but, honestly, without ever achieving the desired success . In this new version of Windows the widgets have been redesigned, lightened, improved and inserted in a special section ; the same one that also contains the news feed. There is that of the weather, that of sports results, the calendar, the to-do list and others. I am not sure why I would update the operating system but let’s say that they are consulted more willingly than in the past.
5 – MULTIPLE DESKTOP
And here we are talking about multiple desktops. Again, this is a function that is not entirely new but which has now certainly been made more effective and easier to reach. There is even a dedicated t rod on the taskbar which, if pressed, shows all our desktops in a single curtain , allows us to add new ones and to switch with clicks from one to the other. A real child’s play that allows us to separate the work environments in a simple and intuitive way.
Individual desktops can be fully customized, including background , and we can open the same application on more than one desktop, just as if it were a second user . A function that can be useful to separate the work environment from the personal and more leisure one or even to divide the open applications according to use. For example, I find it convenient to have apps for browsing, writing articles and managing email on one desktop, and software for video production and photo editing on another.
6 – TRANSPARENCY EFFECTS AND DARK MODE
The first ones were introduced with Windows Vista but have always proved to be a half disaster as they are too heavy to be properly managed and often abandoned in favor of better performance. The “satin” windows are therefore back and are much more manageable and better inserted within the design philosophy underlying the OS .
Same goes for dark mode and in Windows 10 gave the feeling of having been a bit “leaning there”. Now the themes related to it are much more coherent , both in the choice of color shades and in the readability of the texts in each section of the operating system. Let’s say that’s exactly what we needed.
7 – REPOSITIONING WINDOWS
I will never tire of repeating it, simplification, this is the concept with which the new Windows interface was conceived 11 and all the elements that make it up. The new tool for repositioning windows in the desktop space was therefore also included in this process.
As we all know in Windows 10 you had to drag the windows on the edges or corners to be able to resize them and reposition automatically, with all the problems associated with finding the exact activation point or in the case of multiple monitors and windows that ended left and right from one monitor to another.
Windows 11 makes everything easier thanks to a small window that appears by holding the mouse cursor for a few seconds on the icon for full-screen enlargement of our app. This pop-up menu displays the possible layouts , which vary depending on the size and monitor resolution. then just select the desired layout and the position of the application, a click and that’s it. At this point, automatically, the system offers us which apps to insert in the empty spaces of the selected layout that can be customized in a few moments as we see fit.
8 – BEST TOUCH SUPPORT
All these shortcuts, all these tools and simplifications, the cleaner interface and the functions reachable in a few steps inevitably make everything the user experience most suited to an interaction with touch controls . Thanks to Windows 11 all systems equipped with touchscreens make more sense and finally we can begin to use with greater ease all those convertibles purchased but then never really exploited at the 100% of their flexibility.
All the elements described here have also been designed for this, so much so that the so-called tablet mode has essentially disappeared. According to Microsoft, in fact, the Windows interface 11 is already considerably higher than that of Windows 10 , even in tablet mode , and is absolutely usable with your fingers without the need for a dedicated mode.
9 – BEST INTEGRATION OF TEAMS AND XBOX
Windows 11 is yes a new interface and new tools but also a greater integration of some existing Microsoft environments, including Microsoft Teams and Xbox . The first, as we all know, is the Redmond messaging and videocall service and, like all video conferencing software, it has seen a significant increase in use in this last year and a half. A new way of working which, although it is slowly returning to normal, we will not be free of it anytime soon. Also for this reason Microsoft has looked for a way to improve the integration of the service within the Windows interface 11.
By clicking on the dedicated icon inside of the taskbar we can then directly access conversations with favorite or most recent contacts, picking up the subject from where it was left at any time. But not only that, it is now possible to reply to our contacts directly from the box that appears in the notification of receipt of a new message.
Speaking instead of Xbox we find an application completely renewed in its graphic interface . Within this we have integrated the GamePass and XCloud services, and therefore, if in possession of a subscription, it will be sufficient to connect a compatible controller to be able to play with your favorite titles at any time.
But this is not the only news in the gaming field. Microsoft has in fact enabled the function Auto HDR which in the presence of a compatible system and a title that supports The technology will automatically activate the High Dynamic Range display mode, for a significantly superior visual experience. And finally, DirectStorage technology was introduced. In products equipped with compatible SSDs, you will therefore be able to benefit from this technology for faster loading and a smoother and almost seamless gaming experience.
10 – ANDROID APP SUPPORT
This is a feature that we have not yet been able to test because it will actually be made available only in a few weeks, hopefully before the end of the year, but the new Windows 11 will allow you to play android applications . To download them, simply access the Microsoft Store which, once the option is actually made available, will include all the apps that are currently available on the Amazon store.
Obviously , as we all know, Android apps are written to run on ARM platforms and not x 86 like most Windows devices. Support is therefore made possible thanks to the introduction of two technologies: Intel Bridge and Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 . In essence these technologies will work together to re-compile applications in real time , translating them into a language that is manageable by Windows 11.