Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it is starting to roll out the first major update for “Windows 11”, the current version of its PC operating system. Installing the free update will make computers more affordable, more convenient, more secure; and maybe even greener.
Over the past decade, Microsoft has diversified away from “Windows” by developing its “Azure” public “cloud” and acquiring assets —such as business social network “LinkedIn”— but “Windows” still generates 12% of the company’s revenue.
The updates help Microsoft show that it hasn’t given up on modernizing “Windows”, which dates back to the 1980s and is more popular than any other PC operating system. However, the company only delivers one major “Windows” update each year, compared to two a year for “Windows 10”, the predecessor to “Windows 11”.
Our work is only complete when we ensure that “Windows” evolves and adapts to your needs,
wrote Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, in a blog post about the changes.
Among the “Windows” versions, “Windows 10” remains the most popular, with around 72% share, according to data collected by “StatCounter”. And while support for this operating system ends in 2025, many businesses still rely on it for their PCs. But “Windows 11”, which was first released in October 2021, is growing in popularity, with a 13% share in August, up from 2.6% in January.
The “Windows 11 2022 Update”, as the new version is called, comes with a “video editor”, new customization options for the “Start” menu, and access to additional “Android” apps.
Here are some of the biggest changes:
Changes to the “start menu”:
Users could pin apps to the “menu”, which now appears in the center of the screen. They will now be able to create an app folder in that “Start” menu by dragging one app icon on top of another. In addition, the density of the grid of applications in the “Start” menu can be changed. In the “Start” section of the “Settings” app, users will be able to “click” a button named “More pins”. Alternatively, they will be able to “click” “More suggestions” to see additional recommended files in the “Start” menu.
A new way of organizing “windows”:
“Windows 11” comes with a way to organize windows on the screen. The new update goes further. Instead of hovering over a window’s maximize button to see what Microsoft calls “Snap Layout options”, you’ll be able to drag a window to the top of the screen and then snap it into a band displayed on the screen. He can then put additional windows in other zones. This feature now works with a touch screen.
New video editing app:
A year ago, Microsoft acquired “Clipchamp”, a “startup” that built a video editing application. It is now pre-installed on “Windows”. The free version will allow the user to rotate and crop videos, apply a set of filters, draw stock images and videos, and export files without watermarks.
“Windows Update”, the operating system’s download and installation tool, can schedule updates to be installed when local utilities rely on lower-emitting energy resources. To use this feature, the computer must be connected, turned on, and connected to the internet, and there must be information about carbon intensity in the area. Microsoft said it has also updated the default power setting for “Sleep” and “Screen off” modes that will reduce emissions when computers are idle.
Expanded access to “Android apps”:
One of the most notable features of “Windows 11” is its ability to run “Android” apps, thanks to the inclusion of the “Amazon Appstore”, which is now available in 31 countries with more than 20,000 “Android apps”, said Microsoft. The company promises improved graphics performance for “Android” apps.
Do not open this app!
A feature called “Smart App Control” can automatically prevent the user from opening an unsafe app or file. This feature can be disabled, but Microsoft does not recommend it, and to re-enable it, you will need to reinstall Windows!
Better graphics for older games too:
Better graphics will also be available for games based on older versions of “DirectX 10”, or “DirectX 11” applications and will not run in full screen mode. This includes variable refresh rate, which may result in more new images per second being displayed for devices with higher refresh rates.
Better video calls with advanced computers:
Some new PCs have built-in artificial intelligence chips, and if someone has one of those, “Windows 11” will be able to remove background noise in video calls, have a camera follow you as you move during the call, and change the video stream for appear to be making eye contact with others in calls.
When someone searches for apps and settings in the search box, the results will appear faster and be more accurate.
Capable of subtitles in any application:
More and more people are turning on subtitles when watching videos, and that’s why Microsoft is giving a new accessibility feature in Windows called “live subtitles” that makes it possible to use audio or video in any application.
Another accessibility feature, “voice access”, gives an additional way to control the computer using voice commands. Sometimes this can be an easier way to navigate than using a keyboard or mouse.
More voice options:
Not everyone liked the sound of the voice reading text on the screen in the “Windows Narrator” accessibility feature, so now Microsoft offers three different artificial-intelligence-based, natural-sounding voices.
How to get the “Windows 11 2022” update:
People using “Windows 11” can install the new update by opening the “Settings” app, going to “Windows Update” and “clicking” the button that says, “Check for updates”.
Those using “Windows 10” can see if their PCs can run “Windows 11” using the “PC Health Check” app, and “Windows Update” will show them if they are eligible to upgrade to “Windows 11 Update 2022″, also known as “Windows 11, version 22H2”.
Please note that not all “Windows” features that early adopters have access to through Microsoft’s Windows Insider program will be immediately available. The ability to view multiple folders as tabs in “File Explorer”, a feature that arrived in Apple’s “MacOS” in 2013, is expected in October.
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