After months of speculation, rumors, and leaks, Microsoft has made it official: the new Windows 11 is on its way.
Nearly six years from the release of Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled the Windows 11 operating system at a corporate event on June 24th. Windows 11, featuring a cleaner, more Mac-like design and a list of new features, is expected to be available as a free download for existing Windows users. The release date has not been officially confirmed, but it is widely expected by this holiday season and possibly as early as October.
Windows 11 will include visual improvements, Microsoft Teams integration, operating improvements, and a new Microsoft store, among other changes.
The release will feature new “snap” layouts that will make it easier for users to navigate between multiple open apps. Snap layouts will give the user various window layout options as opposed to dragging multiple windows around the screen and resizing.
There will also be a new Start menu and Start button centered on the taskbar that opens a window with pinned apps, recent documents, and a search bar.
The system will feature softer visuals, a return to translucent layers, new themes and sounds, a more layered look, and promised enhanced speed and performance.
Windows widgets will offer a personalized, AI-powered feed of information — including weather, calendar, traffic reports and news.
A new, rebuilt Microsoft Store.
One of the biggest changes is the company has rebuilt the Microsoft Store. Consumers will now have more app choices including access to Android apps from the Amazon App Store.
Microsoft Teams will be directly integrated into Windows 11 and will have its own icon on the taskbar.
There will be an Auto HDR feature for gamers and Xbox Game Pass will now be built-in to give subscribers access to a library of hundreds of games.
Windows 10 is currently running on around 1.3 billion devices worldwide. Compared to the substantial change from Windows 8 to Windows 10, Windows 11 is expected to be more evolutionary than revolutionary according to company officials.