Microsoft officially confirms the name of the next version of Windows today: Windows 11. After months of teasing, hints at number 11, and a giant Windows 11 leak, Microsoft’s new operating system is official. The main focus of Windows 11 is a simplification of the Windows user interface, a new Windows store, and performance and multitasking improvements.
Windows 11 includes a new Start menu and an updated Start button which are both centered on the taskbar. This UI is very similar to what we first saw in Windows 10X, a project originally planned for dual-screen devices that Microsoft ultimately rolled back. Much of the UI work that went into Windows 10X shows up in Windows 11.
The new Start menu removes the Live Tiles originally introduced with Windows 8 and opts for more of the typical launchers you’ll find in Chrome OS or Android. There are apps, recent documents, and a separate search interface. Much of the centered appearance is clearly influenced by macOS and Chrome OS, and Windows 11 also includes the rounded corners we’ve seen in Android and iOS.
Windows chief Panos Panay said “the team is obsessed with every detail”. Windows 11 will also include updated dark and light modes, which are much better than what we’ve seen in Windows today.
There is also something Microsoft calls instant layouts, which allow you to quickly align applications in the various modes supported by Windows 11. This new version of Windows 11 will also remember the storage location. of your applications, thanks to what are called Snap Group layouts.
This seems like a useful way to support multiple monitors and ensure that apps always open on the correct screen. This is especially useful if you are using a laptop connected to a monitor or a traditional desktop machine with multiple displays.
Performance is also a major goal for Windows 11. Windows Updates are 40% smaller and more efficient because they now occur in the background. Hope this means Windows 11 doesn’t bother you in the middle of the job.
Microsoft is also integrating Microsoft Teams directly into Windows 11, for both consumers and business users. Teams is built right into the taskbar, allowing Windows 11 users to call friends, family, or coworkers. Clearly this is a big change from Skype, which was built into Windows 10.
Windows widgets and touch gestures are also a big part of Windows 11. Widgets is a personalized, AI-powered feed, and builds on the widgets we’ve seen. Microsoft introduced in Windows 10. Microsoft is also improving the gestures you can use on tablets and touch targets. Instead of switching to tablet mode, Windows 11 simply adapts to let you easily touch the operating system.
In development … we are adding more to this post, but you can follow our Live Blog on Windows 11 to receive news even faster.