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New Features Coming To Windows 11

In the words of the great musician and poet Bob Dylan, ‘the times, they are a changin”.
I’m not sure which operating system update Bob was referring to in that song, but I’m talking about Windows 11.
Windows 11 has been released into the wild. At the moment only some very new computers will have it preinstalled, and usually with an option to roll back to Windows 10.
Enthusiasts can upgrade now for free, but there’s no rush as Windows 10 will be supported until 2025 at this point.

Windows 11 on a laptop

A Fresh New Look

For most people the changes will be mostly cosmetic, in that the graphical user interface, or GUI, has been updated and while familiar enough to be an easy transition the interface has been softened at lot to make it easier to look at and interact with.

The Start Menu has been simplified at lot and instead of the tiles that were not often utilised there’s a Start Menu with less noise and more easy access to the applications and files you use more frequently. The Start Menu has also been moved to the centre of the screen, but if you’re too used to living on the edge you can move the menu back to the left hand side again.

Windows 11 Snap Layouts

Snap Layouts

One feature of Windows 10 I’ve been appreciating for a while, in fact I’m using it now, is the window snapping, whereby you can use a hot key to snap windows to half, top, bottom or full screen, and in Windows 11 this has been upgraded so you can arrange windows on your desktop much more easily and with a click.

Windows 11 Virtual Desktops

Virtual Desktops

Another change with the GUI is one that users of Linux have been used for a while, Virtual Desktops. This means that you can set up a desktop for various tasks, like one for work task, one for hobbies, and then another for entertainment. For some people this might not sound like much but for others with perhaps a few too many icons on the desktop or windows open, this can be a great feature because rather than search for a file on a messy work desktop or flick through too many windows you can simple have a separate virtual desktop for your hobbies, one for just watching Netflix or reading the news or any other purpose.

Windows Teams

A change that some may notice is the change from Skype to Teams, which is a part of Windows now. Anyone using Microsoft 365 for their business email and application suite will probably know Teams as the central point from which you can access a few Microsoft applications like SharePoint and messaging, and calls and video conferencing has been a part of that for a while. Now it seems that Skype has been combined into that for the home users too, so a Windows 11 user will now have the opportunity to mix up a few more products in their quest to have a Zoom, I mean, Skype, errrm Facetime, dammit Teams chat with friends or family.

Some Final Thoughts

For the most part, as I understand it, that’ll be most the changes that an average user might notice. There are some more changes in the pipeline but for the moment it seems about it. I have limited interaction with Windows 11 at this stage but will be building a Windows 11 machine to play with in time for anyone having issues that need addressing. In my interactions so far, I’ve found it to be a good interface but the administration tools I’ve needed so far are accessible the same way they have been for a few versions of Windows.

As I said, Windows 11 is available for an upgrade on certain computers, namely those with a processor that’s 8th generation or above. There’s a compatibility checked that will tell you if that’s your computer or not. Check here for details on that.
I’m sure that Microsoft will release more features as the product matures and there’ll be more discuss, for good or bad to come.

Interested in upgrading to Windows 11? Channel Tech Support can assist with the transition with our excellent software support services.