Microsoft has officially debuted Windows 11 with an all new user interface, the ability to run Android apps from the Amazon App store, and more.
Microsoft says that the Windows 11 redesign puts a focus on productivity, social, and entertainment features. The new design places the Start menu in the center of the dock not dissimilar to the macOS approach, and other additions allow for easy multitasking.
Live tiles have been removed in exchange for a simple app menu. As users open apps the Start button shifts to the left, and apps can be pinned to the bar.
Animations, sounds, and design have all been optimized for a more fluid experience. Snap Assist has a new UI that shows up when arranging windows in a grid.
Microsoft has committed fully to Teams, so Skype is no longer pre-installed. The "Chat" app in the Taskbar is powered by Teams and gives users the ability to chat with anyone on Windows. Connect an iPhone or Android smartphone to the PC to have texts relayed to the computer as well.
In a conversation with Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said he'd like to have improved iPhone compatibility on Windows. However, bringing iMessage or other services to Windows 11 would depend entirely on Apple, according to Nadella.
Tablets have improved window control and bigger touch targets. Microsoft has also added new swiping gestures for minimizing and maximizing apps.
The new Widget view houses calendars, weather, news, and other important information for easy access. Customize this view and use it as a personalized news feed.
Microsoft also says that it wants to encourage open commerce on its operating system. It will allow apps downloaded from the Windows Store to have independent commerce systems within the app. This differs from Apple's requirements to tie in-app purchases from App Store apps to Apple's commerce system.
Amazon's Android app store will also be available on the Windows 11 platform. After users sign in with their Amazon account, and install the Amazon Android App store through the Microsoft App Store, Android apps download and work as if they were Windows apps.
- A "modern 64-bit processor" according to Microsoft
- 1Ghz clock speed
- 2 cores
- 64GB storage
- 4GB RAM
- UEFI, Secure Book capable & TPM 2.0
- 9-inch display with 1366x768 resolution
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
The system requirements state a 64-bit processor is required, but this doesn't mean 32-bit apps aren't supported. Windows 11 is still capable of running 32-bit apps, but the operating system itself will not run on 32-bit processors.
Microsoft's requirement of TPM 2.0 and other requirements will limit processors to ones delivered in approximately the last six years.
Microsoft says a beta period will begin for testers before the end of June with the release deploying in the fall of 2021. Anyone who owns Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free as long as their computer meets the minimum requirements. Windows 7 and Windows 8 installs will not be eligible for the free update.
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If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple's Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.