Reasons to upgrade to Windows 11

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
SOURCES CONSULTED:

support.microsoft.com

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Windows 11 is coming, but what tangible reasons do you have to upgrade it over Windows 10? In this article, we answer that question by explaining all the major new features coming to Windows 11 and what they mean for you.

Improvements in Windows 11

Stay up to date (for free if you use Windows 10!)

The first and most obvious incentive for users to upgrade to Windows 11 is to stay up to date, especially in today's era of ransomware attacks. Windows 11 will be the first to receive all major security updates and fixes that could impact users of previous versions of Windows. Even if you're absolutely not interested in the new features, staying safe and up-to-date should be important to you.



Compatibility with Android apps

Windows 11 will offer support for Android apps through the Amazon Appstore and even embed them in the system tray when in use, like a native Windows app. According to a Windows developer, sideloading your APKs should be possible, although Windows 11 has not yet made this feature possible in the preview. (The Insider preview available at the time of writing doesn't have any Android support yet.)

DirectStorage support

Everyone knows that a solid state drive (SSD) makes your PC run faster, but most modern games aren't made to use all that extra speed. But with PS5 and Xbox Series consoles built on NVMe SSDs as the foundation, games are made with that level of storage speed in mind, greatly increasing the possibilities. DirectStorage brings this technology to Windows, but it will only be available on Windows 11.

Snap layout for an improved Windows snap

Snap has been a key feature of Windows since Windows 7, but it hasn't undergone many changes until now. Preset and customizable Snap Layouts have been added to the Snap feature in Windows 11, allowing you to easily access any number of unique window layouts at any given time.



Snap groups (to remember snap layouts)

In addition to the new preset and customizable Snap layouts, Snap Groups have been added. Snap groups are used to save specific layouts of specific applications. For example, if you need to edit videos and have your video editor on one half of the screen and the media player on the other, a Snap Group will remember it for you.

If you're a Windows expert, however, you may actually recognize some of these new Snap features from FancyZones / PowerToys.

Integration with Microsoft Teams

The realities of 2020 have made good video conferencing software more important than ever. Microsoft Teams has done well in this regard, so it's integrated directly into Windows 11.

Auto HDR to automatically add HDR to the latest games

4K HDR displays are more common than ever, but games that actually support HDR on PC are very few… until now.

HDR can add a lot to a game, but unfortunately it's not natively supported by all games. This makes sense since HDR is a bit complex, but with Windows 11, Microsoft took Xbox's Auto HDR Technology and applied it to all DirectX 11 (or newer) games running on the operating system.

At least for people with HDR TVs and HDR monitors, this will make some games look better than ever without the need for additional developer work.

Multiple desktop support improved

Previously, multiple desktops in Windows had to all share the same wallpaper, barring the use of third-party programs. Windows 11 will have desktops with individual wallpapers built into the operating system, allowing for an extra level of customization


Ultimate DirectX 12 support

DirectX 12 Ultimate is where all next-generation gaming features will be on Windows, particularly for games that use features like real-time ray tracing and mesh shading. If you want the highest graphics settings and game framerate, having DirectX 12 Ultimate will be a necessity for Windows gamers moving forward.



New interface

The new interface will have a taskbar with centered icons, a strong focus on glass-like transparency that we haven't seen since Windows Vista, and it looks really promising, especially if you're used to centered taskbars from other operating systems.

It's okay if that doesn't interest you, as we're sure the developers will go a step further and create classic-style taskbars for Windows 11, just like they've done for every version of Windows since Vista. That's why we put this feature last: Ultimately, a pretty new UI is just that - a pretty new UI.


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