Microsoft has officially launched Windows 11 today during a live event. The company may have hinted that Windows 10 was going to supported to infinity and beyond with twice-yearly updates, today's event proves there is a new number being attached to the popular operating system.
A new visual style is a big part of what Windows 11 will offer. New glass effects and rounded corners will bring the operating system a bit more up to date. The taskbar is getting a new look, although there will be customisation options for people who don't want a Mac-style launch bar in the middle of their screen.
Windows 11 event - how much will it cost, and when can I get it?
According to Microsoft's blog (opens in new tab), "Windows 11 will be available through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this holiday and continuing into 2022. And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program – this is a passionate community of Windows fans whose feedback is important to us."
Windows 11 event - will my PC run it?
You can test your current PC to see if it can run Windows 11 by going to the official site and downloading the Health Check app (opens in new tab) Microsoft says.
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Windows 11 event - gaming
Gaming is a big focus for Windows 11. Auto HDR will take care of ensuring that you always see the best image, if you have a compatible monitor. It's already on Xbox Series X, but it will soon be possible on PCs too. It doesn't need developers to fiddle with it either, it "just works" the company says.
Direct Storage is also a big deal. It allows access of graphics access to your hard drive, without the need to bother your computer's CPU. Instead they're streamed in directly, which will help mitigate problems with slow loading textures. This is built into Windows for GPUs that support it.
Windows 11 event - updating the Microsoft Store
This was rumoured in advance, but Microsoft is making some changes to its store too. Previously, the company only supported Universal Windows apps in the store. However the company is changing that, and allowing any developer to put their app in the store, even if it's built using a different development system.
Windows 11 event - Android apps on Windows
This is fairly huge news. Microsoft is going to allow Windows to run any Android app natively on the OS. These apps will be provided via Amazon's App Store, so the selection will be pretty considerable.
Windows 11 event - when was it
The Windows event took place on Thursday, June 24 with the invite proclaiming that we'll “see what’s next for Windows.”
We doubt the software will be ready to drop straight after the event with September looking likely for a public version, based on previous events.