8 surprising features of Windows 11

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While a lot has been revealed about Windows 11, Microsoft managed to keep a few surprises during the official presentation. Back to 8 surprising functions of the next OS.

During the pr

Last week, an incomplete and unfinished version of Windows 11 leaked. Tested, it had already given several indications on the changes of the next operating system. From then on, the official presentation of Windows 11 by Microsoft was expected to find out if the publisher had kept some surprises under wraps. And that was the case, we have listed 8 amazing features of Windows 11.

1-Android applications on a Windows 11 PC

Panos Panay, Product Manager at Microsoft, said he was “excited” about bringing Android apps to PC, and why wouldn’t he be? Android apps have been one of the benefits of Google’s Chrome OS platform, which powers competing Chromebooks. Their addition to Windows 11 means the number of apps available to Windows PCs will potentially grow. Microsoft doesn’t frequently break down the number of Windows apps, but in 2018 the firm revealed that there were 35 million apps compatible with Windows, including older software. AppBrain puts the number of Android apps at around 3 million. In this announcement, there are still shadows, because Android applications will appear in the Microsoft Store and not in a version of Google Play for PC. Among the applications, the publisher presented Khan Academy, Kindle Reader, TikTok,…

To port Android applications to Windows PCs, Microsoft uses Intel Bridge technology, which is defined as a “post-compiler runtime capable of running applications natively on x86 devices, including Windows”. It looks like Windows 11 will perform this task on your PC and not from the Store. The question now is whether this patented Intel technology is linked to the processor or whether PCs equipped with AMD chips will be able to take advantage of it.

It will be possible to download Android applications on Windows 11. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

2-Teams Chat in taskbar

Whether you like it or not, Microsoft insists that you can reach your contacts easily from your Windows desktop. It started with the defunct People app, then with Skype Meet Now in the taskbar. Now she’s switching to Teams, placing Teams Chat on the Windows 11 taskbar.

“Now you can instantly connect by text, chat, voice or video with all your personal contacts, anywhere, regardless of the platform or device they are on, across Windows, Android or iOS. If the person you’re connecting with hasn’t downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way text,” Microsoft’s blog explains.

Microsoft adds Teams Chat to the taskbar. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

3-Widgets are getting stronger

We briefly glimpsed Widgets during our Windows 11 trial, but Microsoft’s official presentation shows there’s a lot more to it. For now, Widgets is a giant card that slides onto the left side of your desktop. It appears to be a combination of Windows 10 (News & Interests, Your Phone, etc.), with news, notifications, and custom information of various types pushed to your PC.

Will there be apps that specialize in widgets? It would seem so. There’s even a neat feature that Microsoft integrated into the livestream describing the latest Widgets feature (noted by The Verge): the ability to tip local content creators. “Our aspiration is to create a dynamic pipeline for global brands and local creators, in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit from,” the publisher said.

The screen share for widgets has been redesigned and enriched. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

4-An improved Microsoft Store

It was the big black spot of Windows 10. Microsoft plans to update the store – without however specifying when – with a revised user interface and a better selection. “Not only will we bring you more apps than ever, but we’ll also make all content — apps, games, shows, movies — easier to find and discover through curated stories and collections,” Microsoft says.

The awning will be revised to make it more attractive and more functional. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

The publisher’s app store will be enriched, including some of its own applications (Teams and Visual Studio), strangely absent until now. It also adds key third-party apps, such as Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, and Canva. Their presentation pages are also redesigned. We just hope to be able to store an already downloaded app without having to re-download it every time we want to add it to another PC.

The application files in the store are more readable. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

5-Faster Windows Updates

Microsoft promises to improve Windows Updates by making them smaller and faster, which should also make them less annoying. Historically, Microsoft achieves this by “knowing” exactly what your PC’s code is and providing it with exactly what it needs.

6-DirectStorage and Auto HDR are coming to Windows

Microsoft has previously said that DirectStorage, the storage backbone of Xbox Series X, is coming to PCs, but not when. We now know that it will be part of Windows 11.

DirectStorage is a Windows API that will be used to control what Microsoft calls the Xbox Velocity Architecture. This is a way to reduce the storage capacity required for an Xbox Series X game and load the game and its resources as quickly as possible. It is now coming to Windows 11. Similarly, AuoHDR is coming to Windows 11. This feature automatically improves the brightness and color rendering of games.

The AutoHDR function will be present in Windows 11. (Photo credit: Microsoft)

7-Windows 11 Home S expected

The simplified version of Windows 10, Home, did not have much success. It was to be replaced by Windows 10X, which was even simpler and presented itself as a direct competitor to Chromebooks. But Microsoft canceled Windows 10X. The Redmond company does not lose hope, however, by promising a Windows 11 Home in S mode. This iteration will be revealed a little more during the official launch of Windows 11 in the fall.

8-Vocal dictation with punctuation

Quietly, Microsoft announced voice dictation with algorithmically managed punctuation. Traditionally, this exercise is always a bit tricky depending on pronunciation, speaking speed, accents. To test this function without punctuation on Windows 10, just type WIN+H.

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