Is your desktop ready for a facelift?

Microsoft Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, the latest edition of its 37-year-old operating system for PCs throughout the world.

Available as a free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs, Windows 11 is set to introduce a full suite of new features to help users and businesses stay more productive, organized, and connected.

Here are some of the tentpole features of Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows 11:

Refreshed user interface

As with most new operating system releases, Microsoft went back to the drawing board to rethink how users interact with their screens. The result is a brand new (and yet totally familiar) user interface, giving everything from the Start menu to individual icons a new layer of thoughtful polish. The overall design of the OS has also been re-optimized for both touch and mouse input, allowing users of convertible devices to interact with Windows in the method that feels most natural.

Taking a page from MacOS and Chrome OS, the new Windows 11 Dock centers apps in the bottom taskbar. Frequently used apps and documents populate the new Start menu, making it easier to access suggested or recently used items. And for those not ready to cope with this new paradigm, the Dock and Start menu can be left-aligned, just as it’s been since Windows 95.

Convenient window layouts

Managing an ever-expanding screen of application windows and tabs can be a productivity-sucking challenge, especially when working with multiple displays. Windows 11’s improved Snap Layouts seek to enhance window management even further, enabling users to tile windows into a variety of different and intuitive arrangements.

Depending on the width of your display, Snap Layouts — which are accessible from mousing over the Maximize button at the top of the title bar — will present a series of options to re-tile the open windows on your desktop. From column views to sections, this richly improved interface tool makes it easy to group applications by task, theme, or any other productivity-focused layout.

Android apps

Windows 10 introduced “Your Phone,” a phone syncing tool that enabled Android users to receive notifications and send texts directly from Windows. But Windows 11 ups the level of Android integration with built-in Android compatibility, allowing users to download and run popular Android apps without any additional hassle. In partnership with Amazon, Android apps from the Amazon Appstore will appear alongside traditional windows apps in the Microsoft Store.

Functioning just as any other Windows app would, Android apps can be pinned or minimized to the Dock, enabling anyone to integrate popular mobile tools into a desktop or laptop workflow. Although this is a key feature of Windows 11, it won’t be immediately available in the first version of the OS but is set to debut sometime in 2022.

Microsoft Teams integration

With the necessary expansion of remote work in 2020, Microsoft Teams quickly become one of the most popular workplace collaboration tools. Capitalizing on its popularity, Microsoft has integrated Teams capabilities directly into the Dock. Based on Microsoft Teams 2.0, Windows 11 offers easy-to-access video chat and text chat options from the Teams icon for quick messaging. Contacts can conveniently be synced from Teams, Skype, and Outlook accounts, and texts get delivered via email or SMS. This lightweight Teams client also provides quick access to the full Teams app for screen sharing, live emojis, and more.

New upgrade schedule

In 2015, Windows 10 introduced a new feature update cadence that saw the release of two or three annual updates to the OS. Windows 11 rolls back that change, adopting a single annual update to improve and refine system features. Of course, critical patches and updates will continue to be deployed through the year as needed, but for IT pros tasked with maintaining a fleet of devices, upgrading to Windows 11 will make life a whole lot easier.

Get Windows 11 on October 5

Windows 11 will be available to download directly from Microsoft on October 5 for devices that meet the basic system requirements:

  • 1 GHz processor with 2+ cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage space
  • UFEI, Secure Boot capable firmware
  • TPM 2.0
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics
  • 9″+ display resolution
  • Internet access

Is your small or medium-sized business ready to adopt Windows 11 in October? Contact DWD Technology Group today for a free software consultation!