There is something to be said to stay informed. Windows 11 is the first major update to the flagship desktop operating system in seven years. When you upgrade to Windows 11, you get the latest technology and interface design. You also get capabilities and features that are only available in the latest version of the software. Even built-in apps get sleeker versions! The platform code is also making advancements that will leave you in the dust if you stick with older software.
However, making a major change to operating systems isn’t for everyone, and I’ve made my reservations about Windows 11 clear in previous articles. Don’t worry, though, you have until 2025 to stay on Windows 10 if you want to. In the meantime, here are some compelling reasons why you might want to make the switch sooner.
1. More consistent interface
PC users no longer need to hang their heads when their friends show them macOS and Chrome OS user interfaces. Windows 11 is absolutely fantastic, apart from the old-school Control Panel dialog. Rounded window corners, a built-in taskbar, and an ergonomic touch design (sorry, Apple) is easy on the eyes. It just looks nicer. Let’s not forget about the new system’s vague and cheerful sounds too.
2. Optimize the built-in apps
The apps included in Windows 11 are better than those in Windows 10. The all-new Media Player app makes watching videos, listening to music, and podcasts an even better experience. Windows 11 users will also get Clipchamp (coming soon), a simple template-based PWA video editor suitable for small businesses making videos for marketing and advertising. Windows 11 Clock deserves special praise because of the handy new Focus Sessions feature that helps you focus on projects. The Photos app also includes surprisingly video editing, with some features not even found in Clipchamp. Notepad, Paint, and Calculator apps have also been updated.
Taking screenshots in Windows 11 continues to improve, with many good options. Microsoft has updated the outdated Snipping Tool (accessible with Windows Key-Shift-S), which competes with the popular and similarly named Snip & Sketch app. The Snipping Tool allows you to select rectangular or raised areas, program windows, or the entire desktop. Then it opens a small editor for clipping and markup. The screenshot tool also has a delay timer and built-in options for saving and sharing. You can still use the tried-and-true PrtSc key to save the screenshot file to the clipboard or OneDrive.
4. Snap layouts for desktop organizer
In Windows, you’ve always been able to arrange the windows on the desktop the way you want. Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to improve on Windows 10’s already cool capabilities — which let you snap a window to the side to fill exactly half the screen or a corner for exactly a quarter of the screen space — Microsoft pops up with another window layout trick called Snap Layouts. When you hover your cursor over the zoom icon at the top right of any window, you get multiple layout options in the thumbnail view. You can also save a layout of a group of apps that you want to reuse later in a single taskbar icon.
Windows 10 has a neat News and Interests panel that pops up when you hover over its taskbar icon, but Windows 11’s Widgets are more customizable. And soon, Windows 11 will support third-party information tools. Many very useful first-party tools: news, weather, sports, traffic, family safety, stock quotes, Outlook calendar, tasks and OneDrive photos. Your news feed is customizable by topics and sources. Microsoft has also previewed a new feature of the widget that allows you to view it in full screen mode.
6. Double anti-malware
According to PCMag Lead Security Analyst, Neil J. Rubenking, Windows 11 is extremely secure. Much of that is due to its requirement of a secure processor called Trusted Platform Module. (Despite the increased security, this new requirement nevertheless raised problems for many commentators on Windows, as it meant that some older computers would not be able to run the new operating system.) Rubinking notes that, according to Microsoft, ” Secure PCs are twice as resistant to malware infection.”
7. Optimize multiple desktops docking
New docking behaviors in Windows 11 make using a large external display a more efficient experience. The operating system now remembers the locations of windows on the connected screen and reduces them when disconnected, rather than flooding the smaller screen with application windows. New for multiple desktops is the ability to use different wallpapers on each and a redesigned desktop switch interface.
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8. Run Android apps on your PC
The ability to run Android apps directly on your Windows 11 PC was a hot topic with the launch of Windows 11. However, this capability has some limitations. You can only install apps via Amazon AppStore or by sideloading, not via the largest Android app source, Google Play. Jason Cohen from PCMag put together a tutorial on how to run Android apps in Windows 11. You need an Amazon account, and supported apps are limited. More useful to me is the phone link, which lets you see and run any apps on a nearby Android phone.
9. Gaming performance and HDR improvements
Windows 11 gets two improvements when it comes to using High Dynamic Range (HDR) color on your compatible screen. You can turn it on or off via the Windows Game Bar, and even the new Auto HDR feature will save you from that problem. Another improvement for gaming comes via the new DirectStorage feature, which allows games to be loaded directly into video memory, bypassing the CPU for faster game load times.
Do more with Windows 11
To get the most out of your new operating system, read our best tips and tricks for using Windows 11. Plus, stay tuned for the latest news and coverage on our Windows 11 homepage.
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