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What’s new in Windows 11

Windows 11 was released by Microsoft on October 5th. The operating system builds upon the Windows 10 operating system and will go end of life in 10 years from now. Amongst the new features or capabilities that are a part of the Windows 11, the biggest impact is in the look, feel and appearance of the Windows 11 based computers. Below, we look at some of the useful features and additions that have made their way into the Windows 11 operating system.

Windows 11 has better graphics and appearance


Microsoft’s Windows 11 has a better set of graphics. The ‘mica effect’ on the title, address and status bars makes for a vastly improved graphics and appearance of the Windows 11 operating system. And, Microsoft allows you to tweak the appearance through performance optimization. If you wish to disable the new visual effects or the graphic icons and appearances, you could do that easily through the ‘Change appearance and performance settings’ through the control panel.

Storage Sense on Windows 11


One of the focus areas for the Windows 11 operating system has been the optimization of speed and improved user experience of the Windows 11 users. Automating the mundane tasks has been one of the goals behind Microsoft Windows 11’s ‘Storage Sense’ feature. The Storage Sense feature will allow hard drive optimization on your computer, albeit in an automatic way.

You can enable or disable the Storage sense feature through Control Panel —> System —> Storage.

If you enable the ‘Storage Sense’ feature on Windows 11, the functionality or utility will offer cleanup recommendations on your computer to optimize disk performance. The cleanup recommendations will be based on:

  • temporary files
  • apps and programs that have not been used by you
  • one drive files
  • files in other storage directories including the pictures

The best part about the Storage Sense is that you can schedule it to auto-clean or auto-delete the files as per a pre-determined schedule. You could clean the files on daily, weekly, monthly or custom intervals.

Storage Sense on Windows 11

Storage sense must be utilized by everyone to keep the disks optimized, and to improve the disk performance on your Windows 11 based computer.

Microsoft Teams


‘Teams’ finds its place on the taskbar. You could chat right through the ‘Teams’ icon on the taskbar of your Windows 11 computer. In the times of remote working, this update of the task bar to place Microsoft teams on top of it is a good improvement. If you use a personal Microsoft account, you will be able to chat, make audio or video calls right through the ‘Teams’ icon on the taskbar.

If you use a business account for Microsoft Teams, you will continue to use Teams as in the past. There will be different versions of ‘Teams’ for the work or school accounts. The work or school ‘Teams’ account will continue to be managed by your school administrator or the business’s administrator.

Cortana’s relegation


Microsoft’s Cortana has been relegated from the front end to the back end of the Windows 11 operating system. It continues to be a part of the Windows 11 environment. However, unlike Windows 10, Cortana is no longer directly accessible through the taskbar. You can access the Cortana app through Control Panel and Apps.

One of the possible reasons of relegation of Cortana could be on account of performance gains and battery gains that accrue by pushing Cortana out from the active list of apps that work in the background.

You could pin it to the taskbar or add it to load automatically at the time of startup of the system.

Android Apps


Another notable addition on the Windows 11 operating system is the integration of Android environment for running the Android apps on your computer. This feature is yet to be made available as part of the Windows 11 operating system. It has been made available for the Windows Insider Program during the third week of October.

Android apps will run through the Windows Sub-system for Android. The Android sub-system will work on the concepts of virtualization and derive the supported Android apps through the Amazon app store eco-system.

You could download the Android apps from the Microsoft Store. Once you choose to load an Android app, Amazon’s app store will help you set and install the apps on your Windows 11 computer (for now, only available on the Windows Insider Program).

Kindle App


People fond of reading Kindle books on the large screens of the desktops or notebooks will be happy with Windows 11. The introduction of Kindle app on the Windows 11 operating system provides an integrated experience for the book lovers.

Kindle app will be pulled in through the Amazon’s app store to provide a better reading experience to the Windows 11 users.

Widgets for up to date information


Widgets on the taskbar allow you to pull in web feeds for the topics of your interest. You will have access to up to date information from all across the globe, for the subjects of your interest. It could be the weather reports, news, outlook calendar, stock quotes or a host of other options that are available through the widgets flyout.

Windows 11 widgets

Widgets is a useful feature as it allows you to integrate interesting topics on your desktop or laptop computer. The list of apps or feeds that you wish to integrate can be customized anytime by clicking on the Widgets icon on the taskbar. As a default on my computer, I have added the widgets for weather and sports news. My feed remains updated through the day, and I can read the latest sports news right on my widgets area of the computer.

Virtual desktops


There has been a much needed improvement on the virtual desktop implementation on the Windows 11 operating system. The virtual desktop environment is available to manage through the taskbar placement. Once you click on the virtual desktop, it will show you the virtual desktops that are available on the computer. For each virtual desktop, you will see the different tabs or pages that are in an active state.

You could add a virtual desktop on the fly through the taskbar icon for ‘Virtual Desktop’. And, you could move between different virtual desktops through the same virtual desktop icon on the taskbar. If you like to stay organized at all times, Windows 11’s virtual desktop implementation is sure to enthuse you. I simply love the virtual desktops availability on the Windows 11 computer.

Windows 11 Virtual Desktops

Virtual desktops allow you to customize apps, programs and computer appearance at the level of each virtual desktop. It provides a more balanced and organized way to segregate your work and home profiles simultaneously. Do bear in mind though, you will need a good capacity of RAM to enjoy a seamless experience with virtual desktops on the Windows 11 operating system.

Summary


Windows 11 tries to improve system performance and user experience through a slew of improvements in existing features. In terms of appearance, it strikes to maintain a balance between the legacy Windows design and the sleeker MacBook design. However, our pick would be the storage sense feature of the Windows 11 that can truly make an impact on true system performance. We believe that you should strive to use the storage sense feature and optimize your disk performance.

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