Microsoft revealed yesterday, 24 June, Windows 11, the new version of its desktop operating system (OS). Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay unveiled features and details on the new OS, which will be released at the end of 2021.
The new Start menu design
New features include Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops. The Snap feature allows users to place different windows in preset areas around their display. Chat from Microsoft Teams has also been integrated into the taskbar. Windows 11 will also serve 40% smaller updates that can run in the background.
"We’ve simplified the design and user experience to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity. It’s modern, fresh, clean and beautiful. From the new Start button and taskbar to each sound, font and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. We put Start at the centre and made it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device," said Panay.
Requirements for Windows 11
The minimum hardware and firmware requirements needed:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- Storage: 64GB
- RAM: 4GB
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9-inch diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
Gaming on Windows 11
Windows 11 promises DirectStorage for faster load times, DirectX 12 Ultimate, Auto HDR, and supports various PC gaming accessories and peripherals.
"With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate, gamers get access to over 100 PC games with new games added all the time, and it’s still just as easy to find people to play with, no matter if they’re playing on a PC or console," said Microsoft.
Released at the end of 2021
Windows 11 will start rolling out at the end of 2021 and Windows 10 users will be able to start upgrading from early 2022.
“The upgrade rollout plan is still being finalised, but for most devices already in use today, we expect it to be ready sometime in early 2022,” said Panay.
The first Windows Insider preview of the OS will be available next week. This means Microsoft will release the first preview build to Insider programme members sometime between 28 June and 3 July.