Windows 11 brings big changes from Windows 10, including a new design.

Screenshot / Microsoft

Windows 11 is officially on the way and brings the first major update for the Windows platform since the launch of Windows 10 in 2015. new user interface and several new functions aims to increase productivity as more of the world works between home and office.

If you are currently a Windows 10 user, Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade to the Holiday season 2021as long as your computer is compatible. (Find out whether your PC works with Windows 11 here.) And if you still need to upgrade to Windows 10, don’t worry – a Free download trick for Windows 10 still works for a lot of people.

Here’s everything that changed from Windows 10 to Windows 11 our favorite new features of Windows 11 and how to use them — along with everything we wanted to see in Windows 11 but didn’t get.

Windows 10 vs. Windows 11: Every big difference in the new operating system

Design and interface


Windows 11 offers a new design with a centered start menu and a taskbar.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 brings a brand new, Mac-like user interface to the operating system. It has a clean design with rounded corners and pastel tones. The iconic start menu also moves to the center of the screen along with the taskbar. However, you can move this back to the left if necessary, like in Windows 10.

Android app integration


In Windows 11, you can download Android apps to your PC.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Android apps are coming to Windows 11, and installable from the new Microsoft Store, via the Amazon Appstore. (There were several ways to access Android apps on Windows 10 including if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, but that makes it native.) This is what Windows users have been waiting for for years and marks another step towards the merging of mobile and laptop devices.

Better support for virtual desktops


You will find that in Windows 11, compared to Windows 10, it is easier to create and switch between different virtual desktops.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 lets you Set up virtual desktops in a way more like Macs to switch between multiple desktops at the same time for personal use, work, school, or play. In Windows 10, this was harder to set up and use.

Easier transition from monitor to laptop


Snap layouts and snap groups make it easier to group different groups of windows and apps and to switch between a desktop and a monitor.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

The new operating system includes features called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts – collections of the apps you use at the same time that are in the system tray and can be viewed or minimized at the same time to make it easier to switch tasks. They also allow you to plug in and unplug a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are.

Microsoft Teams added to the system tray


Microsoft Teams is built right into the Windows 11 system tray for easier video calls.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Teams get a facelift and is built right into the Windows 11 system tray, making it easier to access (and a bit more like Apple’s FaceTime). You can access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.

Widgets (well, kind of)


Launch widgets from the system tray in Windows 11 to see information about weather, news, stocks, and more at a glance.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Josh Goldman / CNET

While they’ve been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), Including in a current Windows 10 update, you can now Access widgets right from the system tray and personalize it to see what you want.

Improved touchscreen, voice and pen support


Microsoft’s goal is to make Windows 11 easier to use on tablets than Windows 10.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

With tablets, Microsoft has set itself the goal of improving the touch experience by adding more space between the icons on the taskbar and gestures. Windows 11 also adds haptics to your digital pen so you can hear and feel vibrations when you use it to record or draw. Eventually, the operating system introduces voice input and commands throughout the system.

Xbox technology to improve the game


Windows 11 brings some tech additions from the Xbox for better gaming.

Microsoft / Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 will get certain features that can be found in Xbox consoles, like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to make gaming better on your Windows PC. This marks another step towards integrating PCs and Xbox consoles for Microsoft.

For more information, see everything we know about Windows 11, and How to download Windows 11 as soon as it is available.

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