What’s New On Windows 11?
New Windows 11 comes at the end of a long course for its predecessor, Windows 10, the operating system that according to Microsoft was supposed to last “forever”. Launched in July 2015, Windows 10 has been the go-to operating system for most PC users around the world for 7 years, at least until the launch of the all-new Windows 11.
But what are the novelties introduced by the new Microsoft operating system? And is it worth upgrading to the latest version of Windows?
Right now millions of users are still waiting to upgrade, and a big part of the ones who already did have noticed only a few of the many new features introduced with Windows 11.
Those range from a new UI (User Interface) with a redesigned centered taskbar, a new font and round-shaped icons, a whole new Microsoft Store, and a great number of revamped integrated apps. There are also some interesting new gaming features on Windows 11, that now rely on a built-in gaming ecosystem to take full advantage of the benefits of the Xbox Game Pass. Speaking of gaming, check our article “Should I upgrade to Windows 11 for gaming” to learn more. Going further, if you dig deeper, there are many other new features to discover on Windows 11, and today we’re going to outline the main ones.
Before we start – Should you buy a Windows 11 license?
To access all the aforementioned features, you’ll need to buy a Windows 11 license or a Windows 10 product key for a free upgrade. If you want to save money you can buy it from Mr Key Shop, an independent web store that specializes in digital products where you can save up to 70% on software licenses. The website is backed by a strong reputation (you can check it on TrustPilot) and offers secure payment methods, a full money-back warranty, instant delivery via email after each purchase (good to avoid shipping costs), and free English-Speaking Technical Support both before and after any order.
Just in case you’re interested in cheap product keys, Mr. Key Shop also sells verified licenses for Office productivity suites (you can buy Office 2021, Office 2019, and many other versions), the best Antivirus subscriptions, and professional-grade tools like MS SQL Server, Windows Server, and Windows Storage Server.
If you already upgraded to Windows 11 but you’re having trouble finding out all the new features, or you’re stuck with Windows 10 and wondering if it’s worth upgrading or not, this article could save you a lot of time.
To answer the opening question: yes, you should get a Windows 11 license, especially if you wish to try all its new features by yourself.
Windows 11 apps and customization
Windows 11 boasts new features in terms of apps and customization, and you’ll be surprised with all the possibilities of snapping your windows around, sorting your most-used apps, and more. Let’s check what’s new in deeper detail.
A whole new design
As we mentioned before, one of the main changes you immediately notice when using Windows 11 is the new design of the User Interface. With its latest OS, Microsoft introduced the new “Fluent Design” which replaces Windows 10 “Metro Design” prioritizing productivity and creativity, but also giving an overall better user experience by adding a more intuitive way to manage and organize menus and windows.
At first sight, the new design looks fresh compared to the previous one, with a revamped taskbar, a new start button, rounded corners icons, and pastel shades.
The taskbar is easier to reach (looks better than ever) and utilizes both the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show recent searches and files, no matter what platform or device you’re using. That new feature works also with iOS and Android devices.
Windows 11 also introduces new features like Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktop to improve multitasking functions and ensure a cleaner layout. Now you can also create separate desktops for different tasks, like gaming, work, or school.
Gadgets are still available, but they’re now called Widgets; you can find and organize them from a dedicated section (like on macOS) accessible by scrolling through the menu on the left side of the screen or by clicking on the dedicated Taskbar button.
You can also choose from a whole lot of Windows 11 inspired themes and styles to customize the UI and the general aspect of your desktop.
One of the most important updates on Windows 11 is the new Taskbar. You’ll immediately notice that Microsoft has changed the layout of the Taskbar to simplify it by centering system buttons and pinned or running apps. This is a whole new approach from Microsoft since the Taskbar has always been left-aligned.
On top of that, all the system icons like Start, Task View, Search, Teams Chat, and Widgets now have some animations that play when you click on them. Pinned or running apps also have subtle pulse animations that play when you click on them.
Microsoft has recently updated the entry-point for the Widgets feature. Now the Widgets button is located to the far left of the Taskbar, where the old Start button used to be, and shows weather information directly on it.
When using Microsoft Teams, you can now present an app window directly when hovering over an open app icon on the Taskbar, besides being able to mute and unmute your microphone directly from the Taskbar.
The Action Center has been split up into two separate flyouts: one for notifications and the other one for quick settings. Clicking on the date and time button you can easily access your calendar and notifications. Clicking on either Wi-Fi, Volume, or Battery will open the new Quick Settings panel, where you can configure Wi-Fi without being sent into the Settings app first.
A new and better File Explorer
Microsoft has upgraded its File Explorer with a new navigation header and a cleaner look while maintaining alle the legacy File Explorer features from the previous Windows OS. The top of the UI now has a spaced-out selection of File Explorer’s most common tasks, like creating a new file or folder or copying, pasting, renaming, sharing, and deleting files.
There’s also a new context menu design that clusters all the older legacy context menu options into a secondary menu for those who may still need access to it. Now developers can also update their apps to put their options into the new modern context menu.
New Windows 11 integrated apps
Windows users have always been very critical of Microsoft’s built-in apps like Paint, Capture Tool, etc. To the delight of many, these apps have received substantial updates in Windows 11. The new Paint app is fun to use and the Capture Tool is finally the only app you need to take, crop, share and save screenshots of all kinds.
Now the Clock app includes a new feature called “Focus” to help users during their work time. The feature can be automated using a Windows calendar and allows you to create different profiles based on your location, time, or task. If you need to check a document, for example, you can create a profile in which notifications are disabled to focus on your reading.
That’s a useful feature that allows you to create a sort of “Silent Mode” like the one you can find on Android phones, but can also be used to set your OS.
Integrated Microsoft Teams
Windows 11 also has a greater integration of Microsoft Teams. The video conferencing software has seen an important increase in use in the last year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s the main reason why Microsoft has been looking for a way to improve the integration of the service within the Windows 11 interface.
You can now access Teams by clicking on the dedicated icon in the taskbar and joining conversations with most recents or favorite contacts, picking up where you left off at any time. It is also possible to reply to your contacts directly from the box that appears in the notification when you receive a new message.
Revamped Media Player
A new version of Windows Media Player has been introduced on Windows 11 to replace Groove Music. Now, Media Player allows you to pick a music file, play it, and go on from there. There’s no integration with Spotify and no visualizer, but there is basic functionality for both audio and video playlists.
The app’s well integrated with Music, Videos, and Downloads folders making it easy to find and reproduce audio and video files. The app can also play content from OneDrive from any music folder in the music library.
Notepad, one of the most loved and useful Microsoft apps, makes its comeback on Windows 11 with some interesting new features. Now you can choose between Dark Mode or Light Mode, type emojis, and use the super useful multi-level undo function.
Some options have been moved, and the Format menu has been replaced by File, Edit, and View menus. You can also find a new “Find and Replace” feature integrated into the app.
New Microsoft Store
Among the most important updates in Windows 11, there is undoubtedly the new Microsoft Store, which (unlike on Windows 10) finally appears accessible and secure.
The design is quite simple, with the search bar placed at the top and a sidebar that allows you to choose between three categories of apps. Thanks to the new Store, it’s easier to navigate and find the apps you need, and the simplicity of the user interface helps a lot with that.
Other features and changes on Windows 11
Windows 11 has more features and got even more changes, some of them being subtle or “hidden”. Among the best new features, we want to focus on some very strong selling points, like the following.
Android Apps Integration
With the all-new Microsoft Store comes the Android apps integration. The feature was initially limited, but now you can download hundreds of Android apps from the new Microsoft Store via the Amazon Appstore (and there will be more and more in the future).
That means you can get most of the apps you’re using on your Android smartphone like Instagram, Whatsapp, Kindle, and many mobile games from the Store to use them on your PC, laptop, or tablet.
New Tablet Mode
When utilizing the new tablet mode on Windows 11 you won’t see any difference, since, according to Microsoft, the interface is perfectly designed for both pointer and finger use. This translates into greater cohesion and cleanliness.
The big change is represented by the software keyboard. This new feature can be used with a single hand, reducing the size or moving it from one area of the display to another by dragging it with your fingers. In addition, you can use different “sliding” writing methods, widely used on smartphones.
Wi-Fi Dual Station
Windows 11 introduced a new feature called Wi-Fi Dual Station to help reduce latency and jittering when connected through Wi-Fi. This feature uses 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz (if available) and can also connect to multiple Wi-Fi bands and antennas.
New Gaming Features on Windows 11
Microsoft stated Windows 11 would have been “the best Windows OS yet for PC gaming”, bringing new gaming technologies only seen on consoles. Even though when the first build came out it was very hard to see any in-game differences, the latest updates introduced some very appealing features to improve game performance and are still working to optimize others like Auto HDR and DirectStorage.
Additionally, Windows 11 relies on a built-in gaming ecosystem that improves performance and removes many of the bugs affecting Microsoft Game Pass.
Microsoft’s flagship gaming product is now more stable and allows players to enjoy an overall better experience when playing or navigating the menus.
Also, Windows 11’s Game Mode can deprioritize non-game processes to get the most out of your hardware with the support of the latest drivers and gaming technologies.
A new Windows 11 feature allows you to choose between different options for hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling and variable refresh rate. The former should reduce latency and improve performance while the latter is a sort of universal V-Sync.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.