Around 35 years ago, first version of Windows was released by Microsoft, and ever since it has become the most used operating system for personal computers. For the last three decades Windows has dominated nearly everyone’s life and career. With such a rich history like this Windows has not changed dramatically since the Start menu interface was introduced in Windows 95. Windows 11 is not that different from its earlier versions,
There is no drastic change in the new Windows 11. Panos Panay the chief of Windows has compared the New Windows to his family home, a which has been renovated and changed over the years, but still manages to stay familiar and feel just like…..home.
That’s really what Windows 11 feels like. Microsoft has a new design, a new Start menu, and a new app store, but underneath it all, it’s still the Windows you’ve been used to using for years. Windows 11 is a new and refreshing approach to an old and familiar home.
The Changes in New Windows 11
The biggest changes in Windows 11 are immediately obvious. In Start menu, Microsoft has taken inspiration from macOS, Chrome OS, Android and even iOS which now appears alongside a taskbar centered. The Live Tiles with their widget-like information are no more and are replaced instead with a launcher and the recent documents and files. Start menu looks like a front door that invites and to explore a refreshed and simplified version of Windows.
“Setting” Interface of Windows 11
In the Setting interface of Windows 11 the simplifications done by Microsoft are more obvious. Ever since Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to change its Control Panel traditional view and after almost 10 years Microsoft have finally Settings area that is easy to use. It takes a few hours to get used to the new Windows 11 settings, but its a lot better as Microsoft has carefully renewed it to make it easy to find the settings you need. There’s a panel on the left that helps in quickly navigating between sections, an action that wasn’t possible on Windows 10.
A setback of in the Settings is that if “add or remove” option is searched for, the Settings does not appear to exist anymore. Though a special dedicated section is created, with options to uninstall apps. Instead of building additional mouse settings into the main devices section, Microsoft will teleport to a control panel applet that looks like it hasn’t been touched since the Windows XP days. It’s a far cry from the beautifully simple Settings interface.
File Explorer Of Windows 11
File Explorer of Windows 11 looks similar but still different at the same time. Microsoft has tried to renovate the icons in Windows 11 and added a command bar instead of the ribbon interface. Its better as it leaves more room for the files management. In pursuit of simplification in File Explorer the Microsoft could have added tabs for power users, but there are some subtle changes that will take some time to get used to. A new context menu is present across File Explorer, it’s a tiny change, but it alters the way you use Windows 11 daily.
Widgets section of Windows 11
Another obvious change to Windows 11 is the new Widgets section. In Windows 10 the weather Widget was added to the task bar, and now its shifted to a dedicated section that flies out from the left-hand side of the screen which is a lot similar to Windows Vista, but these Widgets can’t be pinned elsewhere or dragged and dropped onto desktop. Widgets might be useful for some people, but not for everyone.
Edge Browser of Windows 11
The Microsoft directs the user into its Edge Browser if clicked on links in Widgets, with no regard to default browser in the Operating System. The search interface in Windows 11, which has still remained almost the same also still forces the user into Edge Browser. This change is not a positive change.
Multitasking in Windows 11
The Multitasking renovations are worthy of appreciation in Windows 11. Windows has had many different ways to arrange and snap Windows, accessible through the UI, keyboard shortcuts, or context menus. In Windows 11 Microsoft has collected these all together and presents them in the form of Snap Layouts, a button that appears when hovered over the maximize button on most apps.
Microsoft Store for Windows 11
The last significant change to Windows 11 is the new Microsoft Store. Earlier i.e. for the last 10 years the App Store for Microsoft was of no good. Now Microsoft has allowed developers to submit any win32 traditional desktop app, and Microsoft Store has already become far more useful during a beta than it ever was before. Hours after the launch of Microsoft App Store, Apps like Zoom, OBS Studio, and Canva appeared in the store. With such positivity and encouraging start Microsoft has promised Adobe Creative Suite and others will also be available soon. There is a hope that the developers will list their apps in the App Store and the users will be facilitated in finding the Windows App to download and the users will no longer be searching for .exe files across the web.
Other Improvements in Windows 11
Microsoft is also bringing some positive changes to improve the gaming experience and that is due to the company’s Xbox work. Windows 11 will be offering a much better way to download and install games from Xbox Game Pass, and eventually xCloud game streaming too once the new Xbox app gets integrated into Windows 11. Dynamic Refresh Rate is also among the changes, which will save the battery life of Laptops with 20Hz displays. Microsoft is even adding in haptic feedback for stylus support in Windows 11, which means we’re about to see new hardware that will make inking an even better experience.
In the end Windows 11, it’s still fundamentally Windows. Microsoft has done some impressive surface-level work here to make Windows 11 feel new, fresh, but still familiar. This is only a preview, but it’s clear this OS isn’t quite finished. Still there are some glitches across the built-in apps and areas of the Operating System that makes the merging and the fusing of the 10 years old Window with the new modern UI, visible.
Just as Panos Panay said about Windows being a home, the Windows 11 preview is a home renovation phase where Microsoft is letting us get an early look at what the builders are crafting.
Windows 11 feels like a really solid foundation and it is hoped that all these minor inconsistencies and glitches will be cleared. Microsoft Teams integration in Windows 11 isn’t here yet, nor is the universal mute for microphones, or the Android apps in Windows. All of those are big changes to Windows 11 that will undoubtedly make the OS feel like an even bigger step forward beyond Windows 10.