Microsoft announced on Thursday (24) that the next Windows version will be called Windows 11. The announcement was made in an online event marked ironically by technical difficulties that interrupted the transmission at various times.
A new look
The operating system will have a renewed look, with a new design for the start menu. The taskbar is pretty much what we have already seen when a beta version of the new OS leaked on the web about a week ago.
New features like Snap Layouts and Snap Groups will offer new ways to organize open windows and apps and return to them later. A new feature minimizes all windows on an external monitor when it is disconnected from the micro, and restores them when it is reconnected.
There are also some changes to make using touch screens easier, including support for gestures on the screen, a new virtual keyboard (which appears to be derived from Swiftkey, acquired by Microsoft in 2016), support for pens with “haptics” (tactile feedback of actions on the screen) and a new voice recognition system that allows commands and texts to be dictated, with automatic recognition.
To facilitate communication between users, Windows 11 has Teams pre-installed. The tool, which was launched focusing on the corporate market, is apparently being redesigned to the general public as an alternative to Apple Messages. The Teams button in the taskbar brings a list of the most recent contacts, facilitating the beginning of a conversation, either by voice, text or video call.
Changes to gaming
Windows 11 also has news for gamers. Microsoft is integrating GamePass on Windows, offering fast access to hundreds of games, from their own studios like Bethesda and Electronic Arts, but also lots of selected games from small and large developers.
Microsoft’s game’s streaming service, the “xCloud”, is also included on Windows 11. With it, users of any PC, no matter the configuration, can play the latest games for Xbox and PC with maximum graphics quality, without having to wait for a download or occupy space on the micro.
In addition, the Auto HDR feature promises to improve graphical quality in supported games and hardware, and DirectStorage will allow games, on compatible machines, to access the disk and load data at high speed, without delaying system performance and reducing “Loading” time.
New store with Android apps
The Windows app store, Microsoft Store, has also been redesigned and now allows apps of any kind, from “progressive web apps” (PWAs) to traditional desktop apps. Microsoft will allow companies to add their own distribution platforms to the store, such as Steam or Epic Store. In this case, the company will not charge commission for apps sold in these stores.
The store will also support Android apps, which will now run “natively” within Windows, with integration with the Amazon App Store. One of the apps demonstrated was the popular TikTok.
When is Windows 11 coming?
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 will be a free update for those who already have Windows 10. However, a release date was not informed.
The current system, Windows 10, will be supported until October 14, 2025