Despite a few small tweaks, Windows 11 is pretty much the same OS that Microsoft launched last year. But the next major update later this year could be a bit of yawn-fest if clues floated by the rumor mill pan out. Known as 23H2, it’s likely to use enablement packages, meaning that the new features will be preloaded onto the system and the upgrade will simply trigger them.
The new OS comes with a host of new features, including the ability to better organize windows and optimize screen space. There’s also a feature called Snap Layouts that lets you arrange multiple windows in different layouts on your screen and save them for later use.
You can also now launch apps by using voice commands, and the OS is smart enough to detect which app you’re launching and offer the most relevant options. In addition, the operating system now has a feature called Windows Ink that allows you to write and draw with your finger on a monitor or tablet.
In addition to a more refined Start menu, the OS has been given a cleaner and simpler taskbar that now places icons in the center. There’s a new taskbar button that lets you toggle the position of the icon if you prefer it to be more aligned with the rest of the taskbar.
It’s also got a new gaming experience that brings Xbox features to the PC, and there are a number of new apps. One of the more interesting is Clipchamp, a Web app that’s designed to make editing videos easier. Another is Designer, a creative tool that’s included with the Microsoft 365 subscription.
Of course, the big question with any upgrade is whether you actually need it. You can technically install Windows 11 on older systems, but it’s not recommended since Microsoft may stop supporting the hardware once support ends for the OS (though the company has rolled out updates to unsupported processors in the past).
As for why you might want to upgrade, there are a few reasons. One is that it will keep you secure. The OS comes with a bunch of security improvements that will protect you against malware and other exploits. It’s also worth noting that Microsoft will continue to release updates for Windows 10 for some time, so you don’t have to jump to the next version right away.
The other reason might be if you want to take advantage of the aforementioned Windows Ink and other new features. Lastly, the upgrade will make your system eligible for future upgrades, which could help you avoid having to pay for a completely new operating system down the road. Regardless of why you’re upgrading, it’s best to plan ahead for the changes. If you don’t, your system could be vulnerable to hacking, which is not something anyone wants. For more on what’s coming in the update, check out this article on Microsoft’s website. The company will be rolling out the update in a few months.