Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, holds a Surface Neo laptop computer during the Microsoft Product Event on October 2, 2019 in New York.
Mark Kauzlerich | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Microsoft said on Tuesday it is starting to release the first major update for Windows 11, the current version of its PC operating system. Installing free updates can make PCs more accessible, more convenient, more secure – and perhaps even greener.
Over the past decade, Microsoft has moved its business away from Windows by developing its Azure public cloud and acquiring assets such as the LinkedIn business social network, but Windows still generates 12% of the company’s revenue.
The updates help Microsoft show that it has spared no effort to modernize Windows, which dates back to the 1980s and is more popular than any other operating system for personal computers. But the company is giving only one major update to Windows every year as compared to two per year for Windows 10, Windows 11 Predecessors,
Microsoft’s product chief, Panos Panay, wrote in a blog post on the changes, “Our job is never done to make sure Windows evolves and adapts to you.”
Among the versions of Windows, Windows 10 is the most popular, accounting for about 72% share, according to data collected by privately held StatCounter. Support for that operating system will end in 2025, and many businesses still rely on it for their PC fleets. But Windows 11, first released in October 2021, is growing in popularity, with a 13% share in August, up from 2.6% in January.
The Windows 11 2022 Update, as the new version is called, comes with a video-editing program, new customization options for the Start menu, and access to additional Android apps. Here are some of the biggest changes:
Changes to the start menu. People have been able to pin the app to the Start menu, which now appears in the center of the screen. It is now possible to create a folder of apps in that start menu by dragging an app icon on top of another. In addition, the density of the grid of apps in the Start menu may change. In the Start section of the Settings app, you can click on the button that says “More Pins”. Alternatively, you can click “More Recommendations” to view additional suggested files in the Start menu.
A new way to organize windows. Windows 11 comes with a way to neatly arrange the windows on your screen. The new update goes further. Instead of hovering over the window’s Maximize button to see what Microsoft calls Snap layout options, you can drag the window to the top of the screen and then drop it over the visible zone on the screen. You can then place additional windows in other areas. This feature now works with touchscreens.
New video editing app. Microsoft a year ago acquired Clipchamp, a startup that built a video-editing app. It is now pre-installed in Windows. The free version will let you rotate and trim videos, apply a set of filters, draw on stock images and videos, and generate exports without watermarks.
The Clipchamp video-editing app now comes with Windows.
Energy Saving. Windows Update, a tool for downloading and installing operating-system updates, may plan to install updates when local utilities rely on energy resources that generate fewer emissions. To use this feature, your PC must be plugged in, turned on and connected to the Internet, and have information about carbon intensity in your area. Microsoft said it has also updated the default power setting for “sleep” and “screen off” modes that will reduce emissions when the PC does nothing.
Extended Android App Access. One of the most notable features of Windows 11 is its ability to run Android apps, thanks to the inclusion of the Amazon Appstore. It is now available in 31 countries, with more than 20,000 Android apps, Microsoft said. The company is promising better graphical performance for Android apps.
Don’t open that app! A feature called Smart App Control can automatically block you from opening an unsafe application or file. You can disable this feature, but Microsoft discourages it, and you won’t be able to re-enable it without reinstalling Windows.
Microsoft’s Windows 11 can now block unsafe files and applications.
Improved graphics for older games. There will also be graphical benefits for this Play Those relying on the older DirectX 10 or DirectX 11 application programming interface and not running in full-screen mode. This includes variable refresh rates, which can result in more new images being displayed per second for devices with higher refresh rates.
Better Video Calls with Upgraded PC. Some new PCs come with artificial-intelligence chips, and if you have one of those, Windows 11 will be able to remove background noise on video calls, with the camera following you when you turn around on a call and your Changes the video feed so that it looks like you’re eyeing others on your call.
If you have a compatible PC, Windows 11 can make it look like you’re always watching a video call.
better search. When you search for apps and settings in the search box on the taskbar, the results will appear faster and be more accurate.
Everything closed captioned. people are growing switch to closed captions A new accessibility feature called Live Caption in Windows makes this possible for audio or video in any application when they’re watching a video, and in Windows.
Windows 11 can provide captions for video and audio.
voice commands. Another accessibility feature, Voice Access, gives you a way to control your PC by speaking. Sometimes this can be an easier way to navigate than typing on a keyboard or clicking a mouse.
More voice options. Not everyone liked the sound of a voice reading text on the screen in Windows’ Narrator accessibility feature, so now Microsoft is introducing three natural-sounding voices that draw on artificial intelligence.
People running Windows 11 can install the new update by opening the Settings app, navigating to Windows Update, and clicking the “Check for Updates” button. On Windows 10 they can see if their PCs can run Windows 11 using the PC Health Check app, and Windows Update will show them if they want to upgrade to Windows 11 2022 Update, aka Windows 11, version 22H2. are eligible.
Not all of the Windows features that early adopters got access to through Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program will be available immediately. The ability to view multiple folders as tabs in File Explorer, a feature that came with Apple macOS Inn 2013Should be in October.