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Microsoft Windows 11 New features and improvements: Everyting you need to know

Microsoft has officially rollout the latest windows 11 as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 devices with tons of new features and improvements around security, productivity and design. The company also published windows 11 ISO images you download for a clean install or troubleshoot your PC. Unlike previous windows 10 updates, the new operating system mainly focuses on improve productivity and aims at streamlining your PC. After upgrade to windows 11 Version 21H2, you will notice many things changed including a new desktop interface, centered start menu, new Fluent Design materials, rounded corners and more. Here in this post, you will get to know the best new Windows 11 features, most interesting design changes you should check out after installing the latest version of the OS.


Windows 11 Features

After upgrade to Windows 11, you notice the start menu is centered, and its live tiles have been replaced by icons. There is a new snap layouts feature for multitasking in Windows 11. Also, there are new windows widgets on the desktop that allows users to view Microsoft newsfeed, daily updates on weather and traffic. New redesigned Microsoft store, File Explorer Layout Update, Microsoft Teams is integrated and more. Let’s take a look at the most interesting windows 11 features introduced in the latest release.

Redesigned Start Menu

Windows 11 has some significant design changes, along with some alterations on how the system works under the hood. By far the Biggest change on Windows 11 is the redesigned Start menu that ditches the Live Tiles in favor of traditional icons and introduces a new minimalistic design.

Windows 11 start menu

By default, the Start menu in windows 11 is centered on screen, along with icons in the taskbar. When clicked on, the Start button opens a menu of frequently used apps. If you prefer the left-oriented layout,  You can move the start button and apps back to the left.

  1. Right-click on the taskbar then select taskbar settings,

  2. Scroll down and locate taskbar behaviors then change taskbar alignment left.

  3. It swaps over to the left and you can also go back to the center if you want.

Left start menu on windows 11

And, as always, you can open start menu with a tap of the Windows key. The layout has changed and the features that are included have been streamlined for a cleaner, hopefully, more intuitive, user experience.

The notifications sidebar is now accessed by clicking the date and time, with other Quick Actions toggles, as well as volume, brightness, and media playback controls moved to a new settings pop-up displayed by clicking on the system tray.

On Windows 11 the Segoe UI font has been updated to a variable version, improving its ability to scale between display resolutions.

Snap Layout

Snap layouts are a new Windows 11 feature to help introduce users to the power of window snapping.  Replacing the drag-and-drop snap assist feature of Windows 10, snap layouts let you arrange your apps quickly and neatly on your desktop, making it much simpler to see all and use all at once. When you first start to use snap layouts, it may take a little getting used to, especially when it comes to deciding which app goes where. Once you’re set, however, you may find that snap layouts make it a lot easier to, say, monitor your Twitter or Slack account while working on a document or watching a video.

windows 11 Snap Layouts

Snap layouts are easily accessible by hovering the mouse over a window’s maximize button or pressing Win + Z. “Bring together groups of apps and windows with Snap Layouts, and easily maximize and minimize the entire bunch with Snap Groups in Windows 11” Microsoft.

Snap Groups

Windows 11 brings many new features to play with, and one of those is known as Snap Groups. We have already used the snap feature on Windows 10, but Windows 11 takes that feature to the next level. Snap Groups are actually the groups that are saved when you create a layout via the Snap layouts feature in Windows 11. Once you create a Snap layout in Windows 11, you can head down to your Taskbar. Hover the mouse over your Taskbar to see the newly created Snap Group. The group should be clearly labeled, and you’ll see a preview of the group in the same layout you just created. Snap layouts and Snap Groups have been turned on by default in Windows 11.

Widgets On Windows 11

A new button in the taskbar will open a widget panel on windows 11 with a to-do list, weather, traffic, calendar, and other basic widgets. This isn’t too different from how widgets work in macOS, available when you want to take a glance but disappearing when you don’t need them.

Widgets On Windows 11

New Settings App On Windows 11

Windows 11 has introduced a new settings app for its users. When you launch Settings in Windows 11 you’re greeted with the System panel first. Its sleek, uncomplicated design makes finding a particular setting fairly easy.

Unlike Windows 10’s Settings, there’s no overview screen that shows all of the sections as a large menu of icons. Instead, a new sidebar has taken its place. The settings pages will be listed on the right side instead of the left. As you go through the pages, at the top, you will find the new breadcrumbs system to indicate your current location in the app. You can click each breadcrumb to jump back to a previous page.

Settings App On Windows 11

As long as the sidebar is visible, you’ll always have access to a search bar in Windows 11 Settings. Upon typing in a term, you’ll see a small pop-up menu below it with top suggestions. The Control Panel is still present in Windows 11, It includes a nearly identical layout to the Windows 10 Control Panel (with a few options changed here and there), but it uses new icons.

Improved Microsoft Teams Integration

Microsoft Teams is now integrated directly within Windows 11, allowing you to chat with friends and colleagues easily.

In Windows 11, Teams will live in the Windows taskbar, and starting a call will be as simple as using FaceTime in MacOS. Teams will also become more accessible on Mac, iOS, Android and Windows PCs. The new button in the taskbar will replace the Skype Meet Now button from Windows 10. On Microsoft Teams In Windows 11 the Chat icon in the taskbar launches a list of your recent contacts where you can pick up a conversation where you left off, or start a new one. When you receive a message, you’ll even be able to reply directly to the notification itself.

Microsoft Teams

Redesigned Microsoft store

The Microsoft Store, which serves as a unified storefront for apps and other content, is also redesigned in Windows 11. Microsoft is extending that flexibility to everyone. Now app developers can upload win32 versions of apps, as well as any other app framework.

Several desktop apps, including Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Teams, TikTok, Notepad and Paint are now available in the Store.

Redesigned Microsoft store windows 11

Modern File Explorer

With Windows 11, File Explorer introduces modern icons with new styles, colors, and orientations to align with the latest design changes. All File Explorer windows have rounded corners, there’s a new toolbar, and many files and apps use new icons. Also, you’ll find that the right-click context menu is quite different.

Windows 11 file explorer

Compared to Windows 10, Windows 11’s File Explorer features a dramatically simplified toolbar. Gone is the complex, compartmentalized ribbon interface with tabbed “File,” “Edit,” and “View” options, while its context menus have been redesigned to move common tasks (such as copy and paste) to a toolbar along the top of the menu, and hide advanced operations under an overflow menu. The whole design of the Windows 11 file explorer was done using the Windows UI Library. Furthermore, on Windows 11 file explorer, there is an updated Share experience, scrollbar, and now the file manager integrates with the Windows Subsystem for Linux to allow you quick access to your Linux distros files.

Multiple Desktop On Windows 11

You will find that Windows 11 version 21H2 does a better job handling windows on a multiple display setup. Windows 11 lets you more easily create separate virtual desktops for each part of your life, and customize them with different wallpapers, so you can create a desktop for personal use, work, school, gaming or anything else, and easily toggle between them.

You can manage your desktops by clicking the Desktops icon on the taskbar—it looks like two gray squares—which will display all your open programs and any virtual desktops you have created.

Multiple Desktop On Windows 11

To create a new desktop on windows 11, click the New desktop button and a new desktop will be added to the list. (Or use the keyboard shortcut Win + Ctrl + D). Windows 11 lets you add a custom background to each Virtual Desktop. Right-click on a desktop, and select Choose background to open the Backgrounds menu for that desktop. Choose a background or upload your own, and the background for that desktop will change, while other open desktops retain their original backgrounds.

Dictation With Auto Punctuation

It is one of the best features of Windows 11. The native voice typing tool in Windows 11 is a system-wide utility and works in all apps and environments, be it a browser, Notepad, or an Office app. The best part about voice typing in Windows 11 is that it comes with support for “Auto punctuation“, and again, it works really well. Keep in mind, you will need an active internet connection for voice typing to work. When Voice Typing for the first time on Windows 11, you’d have to turn on auto-punctuation. Go to the Voice to Typing pop-up, and click the ‘Settings’ (gear) icon within the box. A menu will pop up. Turn on the toggle switch next to ‘Auto-punctuation’.

Gaming Experience In Windows 11

Windows 11 could come with a decent upgrade to your device’s Wi-Fi capabilities, as Qualcomm announced it has worked with Microsoft to bring Wi-Fi Dual Station with Qualcomm 4-stream DBS technology to compatible machines. It will be particularly useful for gamers, as it will use multiple Wi-Fi bands at once to help reduce latency.

Windows 11 is also bringing some major improvements for gaming, including support for Auto-HDR for gaming, DirectStorage, and much more. Once you enable the feature, you will get a more immersive and realistic gaming experience with an increased range of color and luminance in more than 1000 DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 PC games. This is one of the biggest features on Windows 11, However, it’s only supported on specific hardware, i.e, you will need a monitor that supports HDR.

Gaming Experience In Windows 11

The Xbox app also enables Game Pass subscribers to stream games from the cloud via the company’s xCloud technology. The app provides access to your library of games purchased through the Xbox Store, including those that are a part of Microsoft’s wildly popular Game Pass subscription.

System Security On Windows 11

The new set of hardware security requirements that comes with Windows 11 is designed to build a foundation that is even stronger and more resilient to attacks.” Microsoft says Windows 11 will have improved capability to deliver chip-to-cloud zero trust protection by requiring Trusted Platform Module version 2.0. As part of the minimum system requirements, Windows 11 only runs on devices with a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 security coprocessor. With hardware-based isolation security that begins at the chip, Windows 11 stores sensitive data behind additional security barriers, separated from the operating system. As a result, information including encryption keys and user credentials are protected from unauthorized access and tampering.

Some other Windows 11 features include

  1. Windows 11 will also remove unnecessary apps and bloatware.

  2. Microsoft also redesigning the Windows Clipboard panel with a new panel for inserting GIFs and emoji into your apps.

  3. With Windows 11 the company is introducing improvements for the captions settings, You can find the new controls within Settings > Ease of Access > Hearing > Captions.

  4. The company adding new features to the Bluetooth audio tool to streamline the wireless audio experience and offer better control.

  5. With Windows 11 Microsoft also introducing support for AAC codec, which enables premium audio streaming quality on your Bluetooth headphones like AirPods.

  6. Windows 11 can now monitor the storage health of NVMe SSDs and notify users when their data is at risk.

  7. In addition, some legacy features like “Optimize Drives” are also getting minor improvements.

  8. Microsoft is also introducing new emoji designed to support Emoji 12.1 and 13.0.

  9. Microsoft is updating the default font UI Segoe across the system

  10. With windows 11, Microsoft using Windows 10X technology to power both Windows Sandbox and Microsoft Defender Application Guard.

  11. Apps like MS Paint, Windows Notepad and Snipping Tool can now be updated via the Microsoft Store.

  12. There is new “Windows Tools” folder that would open in File Explorer with links to advanced apps, such as PowerShell and Windows Accessories.

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