Windows 11

Windows 11: What you need to know about the release date and new features.

Microsoft’s big Windows 11 update is on the way. Here’s what you need to know about features and timing.

Windows 11 is almost here. Back in June, Microsoft unveiled “the next generation of Windows” at its virtual event, and some big changes are coming to the long-standing operating system, including its first name change in six years. The announcement came just after Microsoft’s rollout of the latest version of Windows 10, In May 2021. The Windows 11 full release will begin rolling out on the 5th October.

Windows 11 includes a lot of new features, such as the ability to download and run Android apps on your Windows PC and updates to Microsoft Teams, the Start menu and the overall look of the software.

Here are a few of the standout new features in Windows 11:

A new interface. Windows 11 features a clean design with rounded corners, pastel shades and a centred Start menu and Taskbar.

Integrated Android apps. Android apps will be coming to Windows 11 and installable from within the new Microsoft Store via the Amazon App store. (There were a couple of ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone, but this will make it native. Note that Android apps will not be available upon the first release of Windows 11 in October.)

Widgets. While they’ve been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), including in a recent Windows 10 update, you can now access widgets directly from the Taskbar and personalize them to see whatever you’d like.

Microsoft Teams integration. Teams is getting a face-lift and will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 Taskbar, making it easier to access. You’ll be able to access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.

Xbox tech for better gaming. Windows 11 will get certain features found in Xbox consoles, like Auto HDR and Direct Storage, to improve gaming on your Windows PC.

Better virtual desktop support. Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops toggling between multiple desktops for personal, work, school or gaming use. You can also change your wallpaper on each virtual desktop.

Easier transition from monitor to laptop, and better multitasking. The new OS includes features called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts — collections of the apps you’re using at once that sit in the Taskbar, and can come up or be minimized at the same time for easier task switching. They also let you plug and unplug from a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are located.

When will you be able to download Windows 11?

Windows 11 is now available as an early preview but will begin rolling out to all compatible PCs and new PCs on October 5th, according to Microsoft, and will continue rolling out into mid-2022.

To find out if your PC is compatible or for more information, contact the helpdesk on 01277 280008 and press option 2 or email nick@cleartec-it.co.uk.