Recently, Microsoft released a preview of Windows 11, the latest operating system for personal computers. Its final release is scheduled for late 2021, running into 2022. PC owners will experience some significant changes to their windows software with the installation of windows 11.

According to Microsoft’s chief product officer, Panos Panay, the upcoming changes came about due to changes in how consumers utilized the PCs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the changes emanated from a surge in remote work. As such, Microsoft felt inspired to build the next generation of Windows. Panay continues to say that the platform will continue to feel familiar, allowing users to learn, create, play, and most importantly, connect in all-new ways.

Key Features of Windows 11

One of the notable features of Windows 11 is the sleeker interface compared to the previous Windows versions. The software comes with bolstered Snap layouts, allowing you to snap an application to your screen quickly. It also supports multiple configurations depending on what you like. The operating system is designed to simplify the docking and redocking process, a feature that eliminates the need to reconfigure apps.

Other exciting features of this new OS are as follows:

Start Menu

Unlike with Windows 10, you will no longer be able to pin things to the Taskbar in Windows 11. Instead, what you will see is a group of apps placed under a category called Pinned. Some of the icons will appear here automatically, but you have the option to remove them if you wish. If you don’t want to struggle with reproducing the set of programs you have on your Start menu list in Windows 10, a screenshot will come in handy. The Start menu also has a “Recommended” section that features the apps, programs, and files you recently access.

Start Button

Another significant change in Windows 11 is the movement of the Start Button. Microsoft has moved it from the bottom left corner of the Taskbar to the center position. Together with the button are icons for open applications and pinned icons. This change may be a little confusing at first, and the challenge is that it’s not possible to move them to the left side. However, if you have a large computer monitor, the location of the icons might be convenient for you.

Settings

The Setting app comes with a new form of organization that adds a prominent link to rename your PC. It also allows you to add flourishes such as widgets to display paired devices. The new setup also allows you to see the subfolder you are currently looking in.

Additionally, the left rail of options remains unchanged when you move from one section to the next, which is different from what happened previously. This is a feature that makes navigation easier. Microsoft has also provided six desktop wallpapers for you to choose from, the menus have taken new positions, and some have new names. There’s also a new option that makes the OS remember where windows were if you reconnect an external monitor.

Widgets

Windows 11 comes with a whole new selection of Widgets. All these come from AI and Microsoft Edge to help you check your photos, weather, news, to-do-list, and calendar apps at a glance. The widgets bring you adequate information to help you personalize and reorganize your desktop. You can have them slid out to cover a portion of your desktop, depending on what you want.

Better Touch, Voice, and Pen Support

The new OS comes with several tweaks to inputs, especially the touch input. For example, it provides more space between pictures on the touch bar, allowing you to touch the right thing each time. Additionally, Microsoft will also add bigger touch targets while inputting graphic cues to help you resize and move easily and quickly.

The virtual keyboard also comes with a new and customizable design. It provides more haptics that feel like an actual pen when interacting with your Windows 11 using a pen.

The enhanced voice recognition is also an input advantage. Microsoft is promising more accurate automatic punctuation and voice-to-text transcription. The platform also supports voice commands when you’re working on a document.

Will Your Computer Be Compatible with Windows 11?

Microsoft provides a list of all eligible PCs on its website. Here, you can check if your current Windows 10 machine will work with Windows 11. Initially, the company was directing people to use the PC Health Check app for this purpose. However, the app had some shortcomings, failing to give adequate details about compatibility. Microsoft has temporarily removed it to address the gaps. Overall, if you buy a new PC between now and the final release of Windows 11, it will be eligible for the free upgrade.