Windows 11 is coming, but what specific reasons do you have to upgrade it from Windows 10? In this article, we answer the question by bringing you all the key new features in Windows 11 and what they mean to you.
1. Stay up to date (free if you’re running Windows 10!)
The first and most obvious incentive for users to upgrade to Windows 11 is to stay up to date, especially in the current era of ransomware attacks. Windows 11 will be the first to receive all major updates and security fixes that may affect users of earlier versions of Windows. Even if you have no interest in the new features, you should be interested in staying safe and up to date.
2. Android application compatibility
Windows 11 provides support for Android apps through the Amazon App Store and even embeds them in the taskbar during use, like a native Windows app. It should be possible to download your own APK, depending on the Windows developer, although Windows 11 has not yet made this feature possible in the preview. (Insider preview available at the time of writing does not yet have Android support.)
3. Direct recording support
Everyone knows that an SSD makes your computer faster, but most modern games are not designed to use all of that extra speed. But while the PS5 and Xbox series consoles built into NVMe SSDs are a benchmark, the games are designed with that recording speed in mind, dramatically expanding the possibilities. DirectStorage brings this technology to Windows, but is only available on Windows 11.
4. Snap layouts for enhanced Windows Snap
Snap has been a core feature of Windows since Windows 7, but not many changes have been made so far. Preset, customizable Snap layouts have been added to the Windows 11 Snap feature, allowing any number of unique window layouts to be easily accessed at any time.
5. Capture groups (remember capture settings)
In addition to new predefined and customizable Snap layouts, Snap groups have been added. Snap groups are used to store certain layouts of specific applications. For example, if you want to edit a video and have a video editor on one side and a media player on the other, the Snap group will remember it for you.
Related to: How to customize a mouse in Windows 10
If you are familiar with Windows, you may recognize some of these new Snap features from FancyZones / PowerToys. We don’t see this as equivalent to owning a feature in the operating system, but if you want to taste this feature in Windows 11, check out the PowerToys article!
6. Microsoft team integration
The reality of 2020 has made good video conferencing software even more important. Microsoft Teams has worked well in this regard, so it is built directly into Windows 11. It’s pretty a Teams turnaround that comes with starting work at home, right?
7. Auto HDR automatically adds HDR to new games
HDR can add a lot to a game, but unfortunately not all games support it naturally. This makes sense because HDR is somewhat complex, but with Windows 11, Microsoft took over Xbox Auto HDR technology and applied it to all DirectX 11 (or later) games running on the operating system.
At least for people with HDR TVs and HDR displays, this makes many games look better than ever before without the extra work of the developers.
8. Improved support for multiple offices
Previously, multiple Windows workstations had to have the same background, which prohibits the use of third-party programs. Windows 11 has built-in desktops with individual backgrounds, allowing for extra customization.
9. Ultimate DirectX 12 support
DirectX 12 Ultimate is where all the next-generation gaming features are in Windows, especially games that use features like real-time beam tracking and mesh shading. If you want the game’s highest graphics settings and frame rate, using DirectX 12 Ultimate is a must for Windows gamers in the future.
10. Last but not least: a new interface
The new interface features a taskbar with centralized icons, a focus on glassy transparency that we haven’t seen since Windows Vista, and that looks really promising, especially if you’re used to centralized taskbars. For other operating systems.
It’s okay if you’re not interested, because we’re sure the developers will streamline and create a classic-style taskbar for Windows 11 just like they’ve done for every version of Windows since Vista. That’s why we set this feature last – ultimately, this brand new interface is just that: a whole new interface.
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What do you expect most from Windows 11? Comment below and let us know.
Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns