Microsoft has just officially unveiled its next-gen Windows 11 operating system, simplifying the entire design and user experience, providing some new tools and technologies -- to a totally new Start button, sounds, fonts, icons, and a million-and-one things in-between.
Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, with minimum PC requirements not so bad... with Microsoft requiring a 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage for Windows 11. Underneath the hood, Windows 11 has a revamped UI, a totally fresh Start menu, multi-tasking improvements, and performance boosts across the board.
Microsoft has been working on Windows 11 through the pandemic, which changes millions of lives -- and the way that millions of people used their technology. Windows 11 has been fine-tuned for the desktop PC, laptops, touchscreen devices, and more -- a beautifully refreshed UI (user interface), a new Start menu, and more.
Windows 11 will have a refreshed UI, performance tweaks under the hood in virtually all areas: boot up, general use, productivity, gaming, and even Windows Updates are 40% faster... music to my ears. You can see the biggest change in the UI is that the Start menu is centered, versus being in the bottom left -- a huge, but I'm sure very welcome change inside of Windows 11.
Any seasoned PC user or gamer would expect these things from a new version of Windows... but I bet you didn't expect this:
Android apps will run on Windows 11.
Yes, you read that right -- Windows 11 will let you run your Android apps, but get this... it'll be done through the Amazon Appstore because that totally makes sense. All of your favorite Android apps will be downloaded through the Amazon Appstore, from the redesigned Microsoft Store inside of Windows 11.
The upgraded Microsoft Store will not only let you download your Android apps, but it packs a refreshed design that has been "rebuilt for speed and with an an all-new design that is beautiful and simple to use". This makes finding your favorite apps, games, TV shows, and movies easier to search for, and discover with curated stories and collections.
Microsoft is also working with first and third-party apps like Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Aoom, and Canva to the Microsoft Store. We should see a great expansion of the Microsoft Store under Windows 11.
In the words of Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices at Microsoft: "Windows has always existed to be a stage for the world's innovation. It's been the backbone of global businesses and where scrappy startups became household names. The web was born and grew up on Windows. It's the place where many of us wrote our first email, played our first PC game and wrote our first line of code. Windows is the place people go to create, to connect, to learn and to achieve - a platform over a billion people today rely on".
Microsoft was driven to make big changes with Windows 11 because of the pandemic with Panay explaining: "What was so powerful was the shift in the PC we saw and felt - from something practical and functional to something personal and emotional. This is what inspired us as we were building the next generation of Windows. To build you a place that feels familiar, where you can create, learn, play and most importantly, connect in all new ways".
"Windows has always existed to be a stage for the world's innovation. It's been the backbone of global businesses and where scrappy startups became household names. The web was born and grew up on Windows. It's the place where many of us wrote our first email, played our first PC game and wrote our first line of code. Windows is the place people go to create, to connect, to learn and to achieve - a platform over a billion people today rely on".
We don't know exactly when Windows 11 will be released, with Microsoft teasing: "Windows 11 will be available through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this holiday".