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  • Lawrence Ng

You Can Now Download Windows 11

If you've long been waiting for Windows 11 to be made available, then you might be glad to know that the new operating system (OS) can now be downloaded. With Windows 11-powered hardware to be launched around the world on 5 October 2021, the company has made the OS update available early for eligible devices in markets such as New Zealand, the first major country to tick over to 5 October.

If you recently bought a Windows 10 device, then you should be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

Credit: Windows

For others, Windows 11's rollout will be gradual. The technology company stated that existing Windows 10 devices that can get a Windows 11 upgrade will start to be able to upgrade today but it will be mostly new hardware that will receive the upgrade immediately.

In a blog post, Microsoft said: "We expect all eligible Windows 10 devices to be offered the upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022."

Credit: Windows

With its sleek and glassy design, Windows 11 has been reconfigured with users' productivity and creativity in mind. Evidently, there is a new Start button and a taskbar dedicated to each sound, font and icon, allowing for more control on your end.

Among other changes, Microsoft put Start at the centre of the taskbar and made it easier for you to find what you need, with Start letting you see recent files no matter what platform or device was used to view them. This includes iOS and Android devices.

Credit: Windows

Multitasking has been improved in Windows 11 as Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops were introduced so that multiple windows or apps can be shown side by side. These features can assist you in organising windows and maximising your screen so that only the information you need to see will be displayed. There's customisation here as you can create a separate Desktop for different aspects of your life such as work, gaming or school.

Credit: Windows

When it comes to messaging, Microsoft integrated Chat from Microsoft Teams in the taskbar. With Chat, you can contact your family members and friends through text, chat, voice or video call no matter which platform or device they are on, across Android, iOS or Windows. If the person you're talking to hasn't downloaded the Teams app, you can still message them via two-way SMS.

Credit: Windows

Windows 11 can provide users with a better gaming experience as well, thanks to the inclusion of technologies like DirectX 12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR. With DirectX 12 Ultimate as an exclusive software component of Windows 11, you'll get to see superior graphics as the Nvidia graphics API offers features like ray tracing, variable rate shading, mesh shaders and sampler feedback.

Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) similarly improves graphics as it automatically adds HDR enhancements to games using DirectX 11 or higher, instead of the previously leveraged Standard Dynamic Range — a display standard that pales in comparison to HDR.

Windows 11 can load new games faster as DirectStorage lets games instantly load assets to the graphics card without wearing out the CPU. This will let you experience vividly detailed game worlds rendered at fast speeds and shorter load times. DirectStorage is exclusively available on Windows 11 and DirectStorage-optimised Windows 11 PCs will have the hardware and drivers necessary for enabling this technology.

Credit: Windows

The new OS also includes a new Microsoft Store that makes it easier to search and find apps, games, TV shows and movies. First and third-party apps such as Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva will be added to the Microsoft Store.

Credit: Windows

Later this year, Android apps will be discoverable in the Windows Store and downloadable in the Amazon Appstore, which means that this will be the first time Microsoft will bring Android apps to Windows.

Credit: Windows

If you love to customise your user experience, then you might like Widgets, a new AI-powered and personalised feed that shows information like top news stories, weather updates, your calendar and your to-do list. When you open the feed, it slides across your screen so it does not disrupt what you're doing on your computer.


Written by Sophia Lopez


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