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Windows 11 Unveiled

Microsoft has revealed a glimpse of what we can expect from Windows 11, the latest generation of its operating system using by systems around the globe.

Windows 11 screenshot

Windows 11 is here! Following leaked builds and rumours aplenty, Microsoft has finally taken the wraps off its latest Windows operating system, introducing a new central start menu, Android app support and much more besides.

Windows 11 features

The most upfront change with the new OS is the Start Menu that now resides in the centre of the taskbar and is being called the Dock, though it can be moved back to the left hand side if you like. Gone are the Live Tiles of Windows 10 and instead the whole menu has a much cleaner, simpler look.

Windows 11 screenshot with menu

The same can be said of the overall design, with a return to the much more translucent, softer feel of Windows 7. Corners are rounded and an element of 3D shading has returned – just in time for all those developers who took an age to change their app style to match the flat, squared-off lines of Windows 10.

Windows 11 screenshot with multiple windows open

Multi-monitor support has also been greatly improved, with window sizes and layout recalled depending on the display being used. If you regularly plug in a monitor to your laptop, it will no longer mess up all your windows each time you switch.

Windows 11 screenshot

Perhaps the biggest news, though, is the addition of Android app support that comes via the Microsoft Store and is powered by the Amazon Appstore. Apps will run using Intel Bridge technology and can be pinned to the taskbar or snapped to traditional Windows apps.

Another new feature is Windows Widgets, which essentially incorporates the Live Tiles of Windows 10 and the new weather widget that appeared in the latest update to Windows 10. You’ll be able to get news and weather updates and all the usual daily update fluff that such widgets generally provide.

Touchscreen use has been improved too thanks to UI elements like buttons increasing in size when a convertible devices are switched into tablet mode – it remains to be seen how well this will work for touchscreen laptops. Voice commands and dictation have improved too.

Less welcome changes include new system requirements such as the need to have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in your system and the taskbar can no longer be moved – it’s locked to the bottom of the screen – which is a move that may irritate many users of 1080p laptops.

Windows 11 release date

Microsoft hasn’t yet announced the Windows 11 release date, but has said new systems including the OS will be available later this year.

Windows 11 price?

Having previously said Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, suggesting all future updates will be free, sure enough Microsoft has stated Windows 11 will be a free update for previous Windows 10 users. However, new licenses are likely to cost the same £100 or so as a new official Windows 10 license.

There are also new system requirements that must be met, including having a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). There is a tool that you can download here that will tell you if your PC is eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade.