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Windows 11 announcement: Everything you need to know

After weeks of teasers and leaks, Windows 11 is official. Messy livestream aside, it looks like a sweet update.

Though a leaked build revealed some of what was to come, and the OS upgrade doesn’t look quite as dramatic as, say, the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 Microsoft says it has a lot more in store for Windows 11‘s official launch later this year. You can watch Microsoft‘s sleek promo video below:

Looks pretty sweet. Here’s our list of the top new features coming to Microsoft‘s latest and (hopefully) greatest OS.

A gorgeous new design

Let’s face it. It doesn’t matter how many new features there are; the most exciting thing about a new version of Windows is always a new design. And Windows 11 does the unthinkable: it moves the Start button away from the bottom left corner to the center or your taskbar, instantly making Windows 11 look a little more like macOS and Chrome OS.

The design is reminiscent of the previews of the now-defunct Windows 10X, including a new look for the Start menu, more rounded corners, and a greater emphasis on transparencies. Transluscent backgrounds take on a more solid, frosted glass appearance, and elements have a degree of 3D illumination, finally fulfill the promises Microsoft made with its Fluent design language several years ago.

Also, Microsoft finally seems to be updating all of Windows icons. It’s about time.

The new Start menu has a completely new design, abandoning the ‘Tiles’ that have been a staple of the OS since Windows 8. Instead, you just see a search bar up top, a wide selection of pinned apps, and a series of recommended files.

These recommendations aren’t just from that one PC either; Microsoft taps into the cloud to recommend recent files you might’ve been working on other devices, included your phone or a second computer.

It feels a lot more akin to the app launcher on a mobile device.

Snap Layouts help you organize your app windows like a pro

There are few features I appreciate in Windows more than the ability to automatically snap two apps side by side. I use it every day, and in fact, it’s the most common way I use my PC.

Windows 11 announcement: Everything you need to know

Now Microsoft is giving you a lot more power to customize your window layouts with Snap Layouts. The new feature helps you maximize your real estate by allow you to select from a variety of layouts for your windows.

Windows 11's new features