Update: After a lengthy, leaky buildup, Windows 11 release day is finally here. The new OS is available from today as a free update for Windows 10 PC users. The rollout, according to Microsoft, is scheduled to last through into mid-2022. If you already own a device running Windows 10, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get it, as new computers are to receive the update first. Here’s what we know so far about Windows 11:
Windows brings a new multi-platform approach to the user interface. The new features intuitively adapt to your choice of device, depending on if you’re using a tablet, laptop, or multi-display setup. This is made simple with the new window management system and the ability to save screen sets and workflows. Some important developments also include a completely new app store and the capability to now run Android apps natively.
Windows 11 feels like home
As Microsoft CPO, Panos Panay emotively explained at the Windows event earlier this year, the user interface has been redesigned to make you feel at home. With a familiar feel, the cleaner more simplified environment relies on functions generally more associated with Mac OS X. The Snap Layouts feature is an intuitive workflow optimization tool that allows you to create customized layout profiles for each situation. The smart and seamless integration between devices is impressive, but Mac users have enjoyed similar functionality with Expose and Spaces on OS X for many years. So this functionality is hardly groundbreaking.
What is far more promising is the move toward a more performance-focused system. Windows 11 claims to be more energy-efficient than ever, with improved security and cloud integration. Even the notorious Windows updates have been reduced in size considerably. Windows has always been favored by the gaming world as a superior graphics environment, so the revamped App store expands on this market. Integrating 3rd party and Android apps and allowing developers of games and software to run their own commerce engines are inclusive moves for Microsoft, but what are the benefits of Windows for pro audio users? If anything a cleaner, faster user interface with less bloat-ware is a definite improvement, so stay updated on DAW and Plugin compatibility. We may be entering a new era in Windows UI, but beneath it all what has really changed?
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