*Note: Video courtesy of Microsoft*
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The start menu has a new home, the system has a new look, and there’s a bigger focus on cloud gaming as Windows 11 gets ready to launch.
Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Windows 11 and confirmed the new operating system would be coming in fall 2021. Just in time for the holidays, the software computing giant said new personal computers would be available with the new system, and that current Windows 10 users would be able to upgrade for free.
Changes for the new Windows include a refreshed design and aesthetic, and a more integrated version of the Microsoft Teams application.
The biggest visual changes for Windows will be the new location and design of the start menu and a simplified graphic set for icons and apps.
The start menu move may shock some users as it has traditionally been on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Going forward, Microsoft is moving the menu to the middle of the screen.
The announcement materials from Microsoft promises “A new Windows experience, bringing you closer to the people and things you love.”
Microsoft says the new design and features are intended to help users maximize productivity, stay calm and creative, and find new ways to connect online for fun, work, and family. The software company says you’ll be able to connect to “people, news, games, an content” from the redesigned start menu.
New layouts for multi-tasking and docking options are also coming with Windows 11, including “Snap layouts” and new ways to use Teams to call or chat, no matter what device you’re using.
Users will also be able to use widgets and apps to keep up with the “news, information, and entertainment that matters most to you.” New visual themes are also coming to the platform, and new ways to arrange workspaces and windows.
Design-wise, it’s hard not to note the similarities to the Apple software ecosystem in scope and visual cues.
The Microsoft Store is getting a revamp as well, and gaming will be prioritized by the company. Recent remarks by CEO Satya Nadella said the company is “going all-in on gaming” as it enters its next stage of development.