Windows 11 logo on a blue, folded backdrop

Windows 11 event: All new features and Microsoft’s biggest announcements live

Update

How to watch a Windows 11 event

We’ll have all the news from the Windows 11 event here on the blog, but if you’d like to watch with us, you can find a stream on Microsoft’s website here.

We also suspect that it will be broadcast live on the Windows YouTube channel, as last time, but whether or not that will be the case will only become clear later.

We’re still two hours from the start of the action, and to whet the appetite, why not take a look at some of the latest Windows 11 stories.

We suspect some of the rumors we’ve been covering in recent weeks might get an official announcement later today.

We see that Microsoft has taken to Twitter to get some excitement ahead of the event. It looks like IT teams can expect to announce some important new management features today.

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We are now only 20 minutes away from the event. There’s no placeholder for the Windows YouTube channel yet, so it looks like the Microsoft website will be your port of call if you’d like to watch along.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft

(Image credit: Microsoft)

We live, with chief product officer Panos Panay on stage.

“Computers are playing a more important role than ever,” he says, “but our priorities are not the same as they were before the pandemic. Flexibility is becoming very important for employees around the world.”

This should give you an idea of โ€‹โ€‹the kinds of new Windows 11 features that will be announced today.

Apparently, Windows 11 saw much faster adoption among commercial customers than Windows 10, which raises questions about recent suggestions that adoption may have been stagnating lately.

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The difference in Windows 11

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Windows 11 Start Menu Folders

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Tabs in File Explorer

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Windows 365

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Ample features

Here we go, the new features. There is plenty here to unpack.

We see folders for the Windows Start menu, tabs for File Explorer, new features to improve the quality of video meetings, and more. There are also new features to help users stay focused, which is always a challenge in a remote working environment.

Windows 11 also appears to be getting a variety of new security and management features to give IT departments a helping hand, as well as new integrations with the Windows 365 virtualization service.

We missed a lot here, but Banay promised to go into more detail.

Wangui McKelvey, Managing Director of Microsoft 365, is here to tell us more. It says commercial customers were a little skeptical about Windows 11’s readiness for commercial use, but Microsoft is ready to prove that its new operating system is more than ready.

Windows 365

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 365

Well, we’re ready to hear more about the new features of Windows 365, which is the company’s offering of PC as a service. It appears that Microsoft is rolling out features to help integrate Windows 365 more closely with Windows 11.

Apparently, managing Windows 365 Cloud PC deployments will be as easy for IT administrators as managing traditional endpoints, from within Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

A new automated patch management service, called Autopatch, will apparently ensure that Windows 11 desktops are always up to date. Meanwhile, the new app management functionality will help enable secure BYOD settings, which have become increasingly popular since the move to remote work.

remote assistance

Microsoft is also announcing a new service: Remote Assistance.

The idea is to give IT departments an easy way to contact remote workers, which is usually more difficult than providing on-site assistance. There is also a new functionality that allows IT teams to temporarily elevate user privileges, to allow users to self-service in certain scenarios.

Moving on to security, which many expected would play a big role in today’s event. Microsoft is keen to present Windows 11 as the most secure operating system to work with.

We’ve opened an update to Microsoft Pluton, the company’s hardware security solution. There’s nothing new here per se, but Microsoft is eager to shout about the benefits of its new security chip.

Phishing Protection

Microsoft says it’s working to protect against common attacks like phishing.

The company has announced a new built-in system for Microsoft Defender SmartScreen that detects when users are about to enter their Microsoft account credentials at an untrustworthy website. Last Mile Protection will help users decrypt which websites are trustworthy and which are dangerous.

There is a lot from a security perspective. Here is our full writing.

Quickly see the latest productivity updates. There should be something for everyone to be excited about here.

Tabs in File Explorer

(Image credit: Microsoft)

File Explorer Tabs

Microsoft has redesigned Windows 11’s File Explorer, which gets a new smart home page that shows important files only when the user needs them most.

File Explorer also gets a tabbing scheme, which means you can finally have multiple tabs open in a single window, reducing desktop clutter.

Our download editor just jumped for joy… Here’s what he has to say about it all.

New meeting features

Microsoft is also looking at ways to improve accessibility. Namely, the company is developing a live captioning system for Windows, which will benefit hard of hearing people, as well as anyone who attends meetings in a noisy environment.

And speaking of meetings, Microsoft is also rolling out a bunch of features to improve the quality of video meetings.

There are four new Smart Meeting features: audio focus, eye contact, auto framing and background blur. Together, the new options will ensure users stay in good shape at all times, reduce interference and background noise, and eliminate clutter from streaming video.

Our full collection is here.

Cloud power

Banay says it’s time to bring Windows closer to the cloud, with new integrations with Windows 365. As Windows 11 evolves, we should expect more and more cloud-enabled features to emerge.

Massive Windows 365 Update
Windows 365 will benefit from four additional features: Windows 365 Boot, Windows 365 App, Windows 365 Switch, and Windows 365 Offline.

Overall, the upgrades are designed to provide users with a simpler path to their cloud desktop, while also preserving functionality in scenarios where no internet connection is available.

With Windows 365 Boot, users can choose to boot directly into the Cloud PC at startup, with clear gains from a speed perspective.

Meanwhile, the Windows 365 app provides easy access to the cloud desktop from the Windows 11 taskbar and Windows 365 Switch makes switching between desktops as simple as switching between regular windows.

The final new addition, Windows 365 Offline, will allow users to access some items of their cloud desktop when a connection is unavailable, or when service is out. However, Microsoft has remained secretive about the specific resources that will be available offline.

For more information, read our full book here.

Windows 365

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Wihi, Sadia Nadella is here.

“With Windows 365, we created a completely new category,” he says. “Think of it like a Windows PC with Azure computing.” “The boundaries between your computer and the cloud are fading away.”

“We were inspired by what you’ve all done with Windows. Whether it’s meeting in virtual reality, writing code, or collaborating on documents, businesses across all industries are using Windows to become more flexible and flexible.”

“Our ambition is an operating system that adapts to you, not the other way around. This will be crucial in this new world of work.”

And that’s it, folks! We’ll follow up with in-depth coverage of all the announcements, because there’s plenty to unpack here.

We also got word about new features that Microsoft didn’t touch on at the same event, so stay tuned for more.

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