Windows 11 is available for download: what’s new

Microsoft is offering the final version of Windows 11 for free to download to all users, one day in advance. Here are the novelties of the operating system which succeeds Windows 10. It is not abandoned, at least not immediately. Microsoft will support it with security updates until October 14, 2025

New interface for Windows 11

The first thing that stands out in Windows 11 is the new interface, including the taskbar icons which are now in the center of the screen. But those who wish can go back to the old format with the icons on the left. Just take a walk in the settings of Windows 11.

Windows 11 Taskbar

As for the notification center to the right of the taskbar, Microsoft has taken charge of reviewing the interface to differentiate each element.

On the other hand, Microsoft is taking advantage of Windows 11 to make adjustments to the interface, especially with new icons and rounded corners. This is the case for example on the contextual menu.

Windows 11 Contextual Menu

Note that there are regressions compared to Windows 10. For example, it is not possible to drag / drop a document on an icon for the software of the icon in question to open it. It is also not possible to drag an icon onto the taskbar to add it as a shortcut.

Change for the Start menu

The Start menu evolves and highlights the applications on the upper part and the documents on the lower part. It is also an opportunity to draw a line on the tiles that existed on Windows 10.

Windows 11 Desktop Official Start Menu

A new version of the settings

The settings section of Windows 11 has a completely new interface. It is intended to be clearer than before, in particular with the sections which are now on the left in the form of a list.

Windows 11 Settings

The Microsoft Store is undergoing an important evolution

There is a visual change and above all a change in Microsoft Store policy. Microsoft now accepts all types of applications / software. This includes software that is downloaded from the Internet today. There are also third-party stores, such as the Epic Games Store. Microsoft’s goal is to have one place to download anything. Also, developers can use their own payment system instead of Microsoft’s. In this case, they get 100% of the sum. Microsoft does not take a commission.

Windows 11 Microsoft Store

Microsoft Teams invites itself by default on Windows 11

The Microsoft Teams Communication Tool is installed by default. Microsoft is betting a lot on it and wants to make life easier for users, who will not need to download it. It is present directly at the level of the task bar. Note that it starts automatically when Windows 11 starts.

Windows 11 Microsoft Teams Integrated

Windows 11 is better for gaming

Windows 11 includes support for Auto HDR. This feature is responsible for improving titles designed under DirectX 11 or higher which until now only offered SDR, to automatically add HDR. Also, there is DirectStorage support. Games can load their data onto the graphics card, without interfering with the CPU. In addition, the Game Pass is part of the game to access many games for a monthly subscription.

Xbox Game Pass Windows PC

Layout anchor

With Layout Anchor, Microsoft wants to allow users to quickly insert applications in different modes. It’s a useful way to support multiple monitors and make sure apps always open on the correct screen.

Windows 11 Layout anchor

Lighter updates for Windows 11

According to Microsoft, updates for Windows 11 are 40% lighter than those for Windows 10. They are also presented as being more efficient because they now run in the background, still according to Microsoft.

Best for use with a touchscreen

There are new gestures for switching between apps, improvements for resizing using a stylus or finger, and much more. These new gestures are combined with the improved touch keyboard to enrich the experience of using Windows on a tablet or touch device.

Windows 11 Use Touch Screen

The blue screen of death turns … black

When Windows 11 crashes, it will no longer appear a blue screen, but a black screen. It’s a small change, but it’s still interesting to clarify.

Windows 11 black screen of death

Windows 11 can run Android apps

Running Android apps on Windows 11 is one of the big news… but it’s not ready for launch. Indeed, Microsoft has already announced that it will be for a future update. This should normally arrive in 2022. There is not yet a specific date.

Windows 11 Android Apps Support

How to install Windows 11?

To install Windows 11, open the settings on Windows 10 and go to the Windows Update section. The operating system will offer you the update. Be careful though, there is a whole story when it comes to compatibility. All the details can be found on this dedicated article.

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