Windows 11: overview

Hello friends. As you know, on June 24, Microsoft introduced the new operating system Windows 11. Its release is expected to take place in October this year, 2021. In the meantime, those wishing to get acquainted with Windows 11 can try out its insider builds as part of Windows Insider, a program for preliminary testing of Microsoft products.

In this publication, I propose to consider the main novelties of Windows 11, presented in its first and second insider builds 22000.51 and 22000.65. What is the new Windows 11?

 

↑ Windows 11: overview

↑ What is Windows 11

 

So, friends, the new Windows 11. Those of its innovations, which Microsoft itself emphasizes, you can see in the review of the presentation of Windows 11 by the company. Objectively, Windows 11 is Windows 10, but:

  • With a redesigned and improved interface based on modern WinUI;
  • With a stylish system design concept,
  • With some new features that improve your computing experience, but don’t play a critical role,
  • With support for both modern UWP apps and Win32 programs,
  • No support for 32-bit system releases,
  • Without official support for processors older than 8th Gen Intel and Zen 2 AMD architecture, but with the technical ability to work on them,
  • With system requirements and an obstacle in the installation process in the usual way from the installation media.

 

↑ New interface

 

The interface of Windows 11 is beautiful, effective, fast, lightweight, with a certain amount of plagiarism – some design solutions and usability are very similar to Mac OS. The interface has new, smoother and more harmonious animation. One of the significant innovations is a completely redesigned Start menu with its button located in the center of the taskbar, for a detailed overview of the menu, see the article “Windows 11 Start Menu”. The main directions in the design concept of Windows 11 are abstraction, transparency, blurring, rounded shapes. To match the concept, the system has beautiful default themes with streamlined objects. There is support for light and dark themes, they will be applied to the design of the Start menu, taskbar, Settings app, Explorer, UWP apps, browser and Win32 programs that provide for adapting their interface to light or dark system theme. Windows 11 has a larger implementation of Fluent Design than Windows 10, and the new system adds a new Mica effect – mica, an opaque dynamic material that weakly renders the background of applications and the desktop and includes the system theme. Thanks to the Mica effect, the new Windows looks impressive without losing the performance of the system shell.

Windows 11 has a redrawn logo.

She has new fonts. She has new sounds – calm, not annoying, unlike Windows 10, the system startup melody is preinstalled. Sound schemes differ depending on whether the selected theme is light or dark. Sounds are calmer in darker themes.

Another of the significant design decisions of Windows 11 is the rounded corners of windows and menus.

↑ Taskbar

 

The Windows 11 Start menu is more minimalistic and faster than in Windows 10. It has been freed from live tiles, it has only the usual shortcuts – pinned and launch shortcuts of installed applications, there is a block of recommendations and options for shutting down the system. In the second insider build, I got the integration of in-system search. The location of the menu button can be configured in the classic way – in the left corner.

The taskbar, being transformed in the new WinUI interface, lost its former ability to be located at the top, left or right of the screen, it can only be at the bottom. But it has acquired a new function of binding groups. Snap-linked windows on the screen are remembered as snap groups. If you need to return to them after switching to other windows, you can move the cursor to the shortcut on the taskbar of one of the group windows, and two previews will be displayed – one of this window and the group of binding with other windows. We restore the groups, and it is not necessary to arrange the screen with windows on a new one.

In the context menu of the taskbar there is only a reference to the settings in the “Settings” application, where, in fact, you can customize the location of the “Start” button, remove the pinned icons of system functions and make other settings.

The Action Center in Windows 11 has undergone a major overhaul. The single panel that existed in Windows 10 along with quick settings is now separated from them. The quick settings have merged with the volume slider, a multimedia control widget has been added to them, and all this is now a single panel called by the tray button or the Win + A keys. The selection of quick settings has changed, in particular, special features have been added (magnifier, screen reader, color filters, etc.). The button at the end of the volume slider scale leads to the audio device selection menu.

The notification center, on the other hand, coexists on the same panel with the calendar, is launched by the button in the tray or by pressing the Win + N keys.

↑ Task view and desktops

In Windows 11, the task view function reverted to the original format that it was in Windows 10 without a timeline, only with desktops at the bottom.

The desktops feature has received a nice upgrade: in addition to the existing methods, you can switch between tables by simply hovering over the task view button. Now you can set different wallpapers for different desktops, in the context menu of the table, click “Select background” and select the background picture in the personalization settings – solid color, image or slideshow.

↑ Widgets

 

In Windows 11, widgets appeared, this is a slide-out panel with information blocks about the weather, exchange rates, news, etc. powered by Microsoft’s MSN news platform, with a link to OneDrive photos with a to-do list if you’re using Microsoft To Do. There is a possibility that in the future it will be possible to install third-party widgets on this panel.

↑ Explorer

 

Windows 11 has a new explorer, or rather an old explorer, it has the same functionality as it used to be, but Microsoft has changed it into WinUI. It got a nice modern look with Fluent Design, got rid of the Ribbon panel, and replaced it with an uncluttered collection of basic operations.

↑ Parameters

 

In Windows 11, the Settings app has been redesigned. Some sections and subsections of settings have been reorganized, their structure has been changed, navigation has been improved. The left panel with sections always remains visible, yet our movement occurs on the right, here we move through the subsections and their settings.

But no matter where and how deep we go in the settings structure, we will always see the path and will be able to return to a higher level.

As for the settings themselves, in Windows 11 there are many new – settings for new functions, settings transferred from the Control Panel, settings improved from those that were in the “Settings” application in Windows 10.

↑ Anchor layouts and docking

 

Windows 11 has an improved Snap on-screen layout feature with Snap Layouts, a selection of screen layouts that appear when you hover over a minimize-maximize window or press Win + Z.

Also in the new Windows there is a function of docking windows on other screens (Docking). When the second monitor is disconnected, the windows open on it are minimized, and when this monitor is reconnected, they unfold themselves.

Improved desktops, snapping layouts, snapping groups on the taskbar, docking are all a number of features from the category of improving user multitasking.

 

↑ Input

 

Windows 11 has improved input – touch, handwriting, and voice. The touch keyboard now has spectacular skins with Fluent Design support.

Added new three-finger gestures, improved work with the stylus, it has a tactile feedback and a menu with options. But the most significant improvement in terms of input for Russian-speaking users is support for voice input in Russian. In Windows 10, it was not available in Russian localization.

In Windows 11, it is available and, in general, intelligent: it correctly recognizes Russian speech, can place punctuation marks, and supports voice commands. To start voice input, you need to press Win + H in any text field and, in fact, start dictation.

The placement of punctuation marks is enabled in the voice input settings; there you can also enable the display of the widget of this function for quick access.

↑ Security

 

In Windows 11, the standard antivirus did not receive functional changes, as in Windows 10, it is built into the Windows Security application, but it began to more fiercely track threats, especially those related to pirated software and tweakers by their own disabling. Even with real-time protection turned off, the Defender zealously fights against everything that does not suit him. Friends who are interested in completely disabling the standard antivirus, see the article on the site “How to disable Windows Defender 11”.

 

Windows 11 zealously fights against piracy: it fights not only by blocking license cracking files with a regular antivirus, but also detects non-genuine software licenses and offers to purchase genuine ones.

This, friends, is the main innovations in Windows 11, now let’s briefly go through the list of other changes.

↑ Other changes and improvements in Windows 11

 

Windows 11 changes and improvements include:

  • Reorganized Microsoft Store;
  • Dynamic screen refresh rate to improve the autonomy of portable devices;
  • Information about loading the video card in the task manager;
  • Support for Wi-Fi 6E – a technology that provides 3 times more Wi-Fi bandwidth (works with the support of its Wi-Fi adapter on computers and a router);
  • HDR support for games and applications at the system level (HDR monitor required);
  • Support for DirectStorage fast game launch technology (requires NVMe SSD);
  • Integration of the Xbox Game Pass gaming service;
  • Revised application “Camera” with support for HDR-mode, timer recording, with brightness and contrast settings;
  • New functions of the clipboard – pasting data without formatting, pasting emoticons and gifs;
  • New interface for installing the operating system at the stage of primary system settings;
  • Removed Cortana preinstallation, Skype conferencing, tablet mode, task view timeline, Internet Explorer, math input panel, wallpaper synchronization function with other computers with a logged in Microsoft account;
  • The delivery set of UWP applications along with the operating system has been changed: it includes the same ones as in Windows 10, except for OneNote, 3D Viewer, Paint 3D and Skype, if you need them, you can download them from the Microsoft Store;
  • Etc.

Microsoft Teams integration and support for Android apps are expected in the near future.

 

Friends, you can see the first impressions of the site about Windows 11 in its preliminary unofficial assembly, which was leaked online even before the presentation of the operating system by Microsoft. Apart from an overview of the main features of the new Windows 11, there are some interesting details about it.    

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