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Windows 11: Here Are The 10 Biggest New Features

Key updates for the next major version of Windows include a refreshed user interface, AI-powered widgets, improvements to memory and a revamped Microsoft Store.

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The Next Era Of Windows Arrives

Windows 11 launches into general availability today with a host of feature improvements compared to Windows 10. Along with security advancements, the major updates include AI-powered widgets, improvements to memory, redesigned menu behaviors, a refreshed user interface, integration with the Teams collaboration app, a rethought Microsoft Store and once-a-year feature updates in the future.

In a video published in September, Steve Dispensa, Microsoft’s vice president of enterprise management, said the Windows 10 applications and policies will continue to work in Windows 11 “because it’s a continuation of the same underlying platform.”

“We’ve done a ton of testing across thousands of apps,” he said. “And the experience of moving to Windows 11 is really comparable to moving to a new Windows 10 feature update. And if you do find an app that doesn’t work, we have a service called App Assure where we work with organizations to fix apps or to address issues in Windows.”

He added: “You don’t need to worry about changing your existing policies. They’ll just work on Windows 11.”

Michael Goldstein, president of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Microsoft partner, told CRN that he’s been using Windows 11 for nearly a month. The operating system is faster with a more-intuitive user interface when it comes to adding devices and different monitors, among other tasks, he said.

“Forefront application processing is really amazing,” Goldstein said in an interview. “You could have 12 things open and have a heavy Excel spreadsheet and it runs really fast.”

Windows 11 releases Oct. 5, with some devices not upgrading until mid-2022. For dissatisfied Windows 11 users, “once you have upgraded to Windows 11, you have 10 days to move back to Windows 10 while keeping files and data that you brought along with you,” according to Microsoft. “After that 10-day period, you will need to back up your data and do a ‘clean install’ to move back to Windows 10.”

What follows are the key details on the 10 biggest new features in Windows 11.

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