Windows 11

in Technology Insight

Whether you’re a business owner, IT manager or home user, the days of being excited about new operating system releases seem to have faded from view.

They’re costly to implement, in terms of time, nerves and worries about backwards-compatibility. However, they’re entirely necessary as cyber crime marches on into every nook and cranny of life as criminals find and exploit new ways of causing misery while enriching themselves.

It’s against this backdrop that Microsoft has announced the latest iteration of Windows. Windows 11. There is a glaring mistake in the press release from Seattle, however. It proclaims “the web was born and grew up on Windows”. Except it wasn’t. It was born on a NeXT computer and Internet Explorer was very, very late to the internet party – only making up for lost time using practices that landed Microsoft in court. But we digress.

It is prettier than Windows 10. It seems to adopt a more simplistic, clean approach to rendering the windows and menus, called Acrylic. There is a redesigned Start menu and better font depiction. In a feature reminiscent of Apple’s Handoff, you will be able to work on projects on an iOS or Android device and pick-up where you left off on a Windows 11 desktop. There is also a promised cloud version of the operating system. Yes, an OS in the cloud. So perhaps all those worries and niggles about upgrading can be parked for one second, and a try-before-you-install-for-real approach taken? What would be even cleverer would be to do that first and then restore from the cloud to a local disk installation. That would be an IT manager’s dream for mass deployment, bandwidth permitting. Windows 365 will be available later this year (and will also offer Windows 10 as an option).

Wangui McKelvey, general manager of Microsoft 365, admitted that it was already in the works before COVID-19, but “what really put the firecracker behind it was the pandemic, it accelerated everything,” McKelvey said. She explained that customers were asking, “’How do we create an experience for people that makes them still feel connected to the company without the physical presence of being there?”

Gaming also gets a massive overhaul with cross-compatibility for Game Pass with its Xbox cousin. It doesn’t end there. The Microsoft Store will also start to offer Android apps to run natively on your PC through a collaboration with Amazon and Intel. That really is pretty neat.

There isn’t a definite release date yet, but you can join the Windows Insider programme to keep up-to-date.

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