Microsoft announces window 11, generally available by the holidays

Windows 11 to be Avaialbe by the Holdiays; Microsoft

Windows 11 being rolled out by Microsoft
Microsoft to release Windows 11 over holidays

Microsoft announced today Windows 11, its next desktop operating system, following weeks of leaks, despite once claiming that Windows 10 OS was its final version. The company now believes that the changes made in this update – including a redesigned user interface- warrant a new version number.

Windows 11 is scheduled to be released by the end of November, so we can probably expect it around that time. Until then, we’ll likely see a flurry of public betas starting next week. Windows 10 users will be able to download the update for free. 

Many of the features you’ll see here will be familiar to those of you who followed the development and eventual demise of Windows 10X, Microsoft’s operating system for dual- and (eventually) single-screen laptops. You’d have a hard time telling Windows 11 from Windows 10X based on screenshots alone. 

New changes and features:

Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay noted in today’s announcement that the overall goal of the design is to create “an incredible sense of calm,” but that the Windows team has also sought to make it as fast as possible. Updates for Windows, for example, are supposedly faster by 40 percent; Panay also implied that the machine itself should feel much faster and even browsing should be much faster.

There is also the surprise feature of being able to run Android apps on Windows now. In the taskbar, for example, these apps will appear as native apps. Microsoft’s redesigned store will carry these apps, which will also be available at the Amazon Appstore – you might want to sit down for this.

Another new UI feature is what Microsoft calls Snap Layouts, which pops up a small toolbox when you hover over the icon that maximizes your window to allow you to move it to any corner, rather than having to drag it, which was often difficult when you used multiple screens.

Windows 11: For developers?

Likewise, there will be a new Microsoft Store, which Panay said was designed from the ground up for speed. Apparently, Panay believes Microsoft wants to give developers more options for releasing apps on its store.

A way in which Microsoft is trying to differentiate itself from Apple is that it will allow developers to use its commerce engine in their apps and that Microsoft will not take a cut.  Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, told developers that Windows 11 would allow them to build their platforms. “Windows is the stage for the world’s creation,” he said. “With this new version of Windows, we are unleashing the innovation and ingenuity inherent in each of us. […] Today, the world needs a more open platform – one that allows apps to become platforms in their own rights. Windows is the platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born — like the web. That’s our aspiration with Windows 11.”

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