Your time with Windows 10 is almost up. Microsoft released Windows 11, the latest operating system (OS) for download on Oct. 5, 2021. Although you don’t have to upgrade just yet, it will only be a matter of time until Microsoft pulls their support for Windows 10. So, what’s so great about Windows 11? Should I switch to Windows 11 now? What about all the features I like in Windows 10? Before you panic, we have the scoop on whether you should upgrade and what Microsoft brings to your Windows device in this newest OS.
Windows users, living in fear of the BSoD (blue screen of death), are asking, “Should we upgrade to Windows 11?”
Good news for Windows users, not only is the upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 expected to be seamless and uneventful, but the “blue screen of death” is getting an update … to the “black screen of death.”
We talked with Tina Chien, spokesperson for OneLaunch Technologies, about Windows users’ confusion and uncertainty about switching over to Windows 11.
So? Should you? Ms. Chien says, “Yes, it’s safe to upgrade to Windows 11. Many Windows users are gun-shy about upgrading to the latest version, fearing the blue screen of death or incompatibility or the great egg hunt trying to find favorite features. This new upgrade is quite exciting, nothing to fear.”
You’re probably wondering if you have nothing to fear, what’s so great about Windows 11? A lot. Microsoft streamlined and simplified the desktop, and many of its features, including a new Microsoft store, provide for a surprisingly enjoyable user experience from the get-go. Let’s take a look at the changes in Windows 11.
Customize the Windows Taskbar
The first thing you’ll most likely notice upon loading Windows 11 is the new taskbar centered at the bottom of your screen. While much of the functionality of Windows 10 remains, the new taskbar is void of a few Windows 10 features, like the ability to move the taskbar or adjust the size of the icons or taskbar. However, Windows 11 allows you to customize, customize, customize. Here are a few ways you can make the taskbar your own:
- Pin any app to the taskbar. Tap Start > All apps > right-click the app you want to add > More > Pin to taskbar or remove a current taskbar app with a right-click > Hide from taskbar.
- Remove taskbar buttons like Widgets, Task view, Chat, and Search. If you’re looking to reduce clutter on your Windows 11 taskbar, right-click an open area of the taskbar and tap Taskbar settings and toggle off each item you want to hide.
- Realign the taskbar. If you can’t wrap your head around the taskbar in the center, you can always opt to move it back to its traditional left corner. Under Taskbar settings > Personalization > Taskbar >Taskbar behaviors, select Left next to the taskbar alignment option.
- Customize the taskbar corner. Windows 11 allows you to customize the right side of the Windows taskbar. Now you can choose what icons show up in this section. To add apps to the overflow section (right side of the up arrow icon of the taskbar), open Taskbar settings and click Taskbar corner overflow, toggle which icons you would like to add.
Personalize Your Desktop with Themes
While simplifying the taskbar may give off some Android vibes, the new themes in Windows 11 scream MacOS. You can personalize your PC with stunning backgrounds with the six preset themes and light and dark modes. To apply a theme in Windows 11, right-click on your desktop and select a preset theme under Personalization. You can choose a default image in light or dark mode (which can help with eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, and other eye issues resulting from looking at a bright computer screen for long periods), a solid color, or a slideshow with pictures from your computer. In addition, you can select a contrast theme under Accessibility in Settings to make text and apps easier to see.
Multitask with Updated Tools
Like its predecessor, Windows 11 lets you create multiple virtual desktops. New to this feature is the ability to have unique open apps and backgrounds to help identify each desktop, making it easy to jump between work and play. Snap layouts is another new feature that improves upon a current Windows tool, snapping windows to the corners of your desktop. Now you can hover over a window and select from an array of layouts that can split apps side-by-side or create a grid. Windows 11 makes accessing Focus assist (which has been around since 2018) easy with its taskbar placement. This feature offers three different notification options: Alarms only, Priority only (notifications from apps you choose), or Off (which allows all notifications). You can further select to receive a summary of all the notifications you miss while you have Focus assist enabled. Other settings allow you to automatically apply rules like setting Focus assist to start during specific times or actions (like playing a game).
Navigate the Microsoft Store with Ease
Microsoft introduces a redesign of its Windows built-in storefront. Changes to categories and navigation make it easier for users to find media and apps. One of the most notable differences is Microsoft’s allowing downloadable third-party storefronts. Stores like Epic Games and Amazon Appstore (which will offer Android apps that will work in Windows 11) can both be found in the Microsoft store.
While these new Windows 11 features and design changes create a refreshing user experience, other companies, like the customizable OneLaunch are busy rolling out upgrades that will work seamlessly with this new operating system. Look for the newest version of OneLaunch in early 2022, and prepare yourself for a better way to search, shop and work online.
Feature Image via Microsoft