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October 04, 2021

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9 min

Windows 11: The Ultimate Guide

Windows 11 is on the horizon and full of impactful changes. Here's all you need to know about the best new features of Windows 11 and how to get it on your PC.

What's Inside
  • How and When to Get Windows 11

    The new OS is coming to the public in phases, starting on October 5th, 2021.

  • Before You Upgrade

    Learning everything you can about compatibility, new features, and Windows 11's workflow will make the upgrade transition as smooth as possible.

  • New Features

    Whether you use your PC for work or recreation, Windows 11 has new tools designed with the sole purpose of improving your experience.

  • New Design

    Easily the most noticeable change coming with Windows 11 is the new design and layout of the operating system.

  • Changes to the Microsoft Store

    Along with the fresh design comes a brand new and improved Microsoft store.

Windows 11 is on the horizon and full of impactful changes. New features aim at making the operating system as efficient and user-friendly as possible. From gaming to productivity, the new OS is optimized for all your needs. The release of Windows 11 is a little different than previous versions and will be arriving in different phases rather than released at a single uniform time. While this may mean you have to wait a little longer for Windows 11, this also means a more stable and serviceable product when you do gain access. Please keep reading below to learn all you need to know about the best new features of Windows 11 and how to get it on your PC. 

New Features

Windows 11 comes jam-packed with new and exciting features aimed at improving daily use. These new features are designed for users of all levels and range from intelligent snapping of application windows to quick access to video calls and remote workspaces. Whether you use your PC for work or recreation, Windows 11 has new tools designed with the sole purpose of improving your experience. These are the most prominent new features coming in Windows 11 and what they can do for you.

Health Check

One of the most significant and beneficial new features in Windows 11 is the latest PC health check app. This program works with Windows 11 to give users insights into both their computer's immediate and long-term health. The program features concise, easy-to-understand language that offers numerous recommendations for improving the health of a PC. Problems such as insufficient storage space or excessive start-up apps that slow boot up can be quickly addressed and managed within the Health Check app. Detailed information will also be available within the app to provide insight into specific problems or repairs, such as a still-operational battery slowly losing overall health. Windows 10 users can also download the Health Check app from Microsoft to see if their machine can run Windows 11. 

The New Task Bar: The Dock

With the recent boom of work from home positions and the need for remote work, Windows 11 has put a massive focus on connectivity and productivity. Formally known as the Taskbar in Windows 10, the Dock in Windows 11 is now home to a collection of new program integrations which make access to software quicker and more accessible than ever. Microsoft Teams has been directly integrated into the taskbar so that communication can be as rapid and efficient as possible from any location. 

Multi-Monitor Improvements

Dual displays are an incredible tool that can significantly boost performance, but have been complicated or troublesome to set up in the past. Windows 11 has been created with a major focus on multi-monitor support. It will make setting up dual displays more manageable than ever before. One of the more substantial changes is that Windows 11 machines will remember the position, orientation, and resolution of external displays. This allows users to easily switch between workspaces, or transition between the home and office without losing time to annoying monitor setup and configuration. Design improvements will also allow for the better organization of multiple programs on a screen and remember what displays specific programs operate on.

New Design

Easily the most noticeable change coming with Windows 11 is the new design and layout of the operating system. While many features will operate the same as within Windows 10, this new design aims to improve functionality while being as intuitive as possible. Overall, the operating system has taken on a more modern look with rounded edges for windows and programs. Without a doubt, the first thing new users will notice is that the start menu is now located at the center of the screen. However, the start menu position can be changed and is ultimately up to user preference. Along with the minimalist new look comes a collection of new system sounds, fonts, and icons. 

Snap Based Design

At the core of Windows 11 is productivity. New tools available in Windows 11, such as Snap Layouts and Snap Groups, work to give users complete control over their desktop and orientation of program windows. These new features optimize screen space and make it easy to switch between multiplelayouts for different tasks or projects. With these tools, users can have a distinct desktop for work, gaming, or school and effortlessly switch between the three.

Return of the Widgets

Windows Widgets are making a triumphant return in Windows 11. Unlike before, the new Widgets will be powered by Microsoft's powerful dynamic AI and work to provide a personalized experience for every user that changes the more they use their PC. Widgets will learn what programs you use at specific times and adjust accordingly to provide the most efficient user experience possible. The power of Microsoft's AI will also allow widgets to recommend content to users based on their interests and activity. Widgets can then create a personal and unique scrollable feed for anyone with Windows 11.

Gaming Improvements

PC gaming is bigger than ever, and Windows 11 has been carefully designed to provide the best gaming experience possible. Gone is the temperamental Game Bar app, and in its place is the new intuitive Xbox Game Pass app and its impressive collection of games. Other features such as DirectStorage technology and Auto HDR also work to improve experiences in any game, new or old. 

DirectStorage

Introduced in the latest generation of gaming consoles, DirectStorage is a powerful new technology that uses the power of NVMe storage to load assets to the graphics card directly. What this does is bypass any processor bottlenecks or tedious load times between levels. This feature will, however, require the PC to have an NVMe SSD. 

Auto HDR

Older games can also benefit from the upgrade to Windows 11. Auto HDR adds high dynamic range or HDR enhancements to any older games as long as the title was built using DirectX 11 or higher. This feature is achieved by rendering more diverse levels of brightness and color to improve the richness and depth of older graphics.

Changes to the Microsoft Store

Along with the fresh design comes a brand new and improved Microsoft store. Upon first opening the store, users will see new and exciting apps curated specifically for them by the Microsoft team. The store not only features visual changes which make it easier to navigate but comes full of powerful technical improvements as well. The most substantial new feature is the inclusion of third-party apps and the ability to run Android apps natively from within Windows. The ladder is not available initially, but Microsoft has said it is coming in future updates. Extensions for Microsoft Edge will also now be found within the Microsoft Store, which makes the new store a neat central location for managing a wide range of software and plug-ins.

Windows 11 Coming Soon

Switching to a new operating system can be a daunting task. New features and designs can be confusing at first, but they ultimately work to improve user experience and will only become more efficient over time. Windows 11 is packed to the brim of new and exciting features that benefit users of all skill levels and interests. Gaming improvements work to take Game Pass to the next level and revitalize old gaming titles. New Snap Layouts work to optimize workflows and make working from anywhere as comfortable as possible. While Windows 11 is being released in phases, it will be available to everyone by mid-2022 and offers countless improvements to all users.