Windows 11 Practice: A Cleaner Operating System To Stay Productive | Committed

Judging by the first Windows 11 Insider preview, Microsoft’s next operating system promises to be more than just an update to Windows 10. The company is fundamentally changing the way many aspects of Windows work, with a centered taskbar and redesigned Start menu, among others. other changes. But it’s still Windows, so basically it still works the way it always has. There’s the focus on productivity that Microsoft looked at with Windows 10, as well as more subtle improvements that make the user experience more enjoyable. That much, Windows 11 looks like an operating system that will appeal to PC enthusiasts as well as mainstream users.

Gallery: Windows 11 Insider Preview | 9 photos

At first glance, the Windows 11 Insider preview, which started rolling out on Monday, doesn’t look much different from the construction leak that we covered a few weeks ago. The centered, icon-filled taskbar still looks like a Mac; rounded window corners give off a slightly more polished vibe; and the redesigned Start menu is sure to be controversial. It has app shortcuts pinned at the top, recommended files at the bottom, and a link at the top right to see the entire unfiltered Start menu.

This Start menu is certainly different, but after testing the leaked version for two weeks, I’ve learned to prefer the changes. I’ve never met anyone who uses Live Tiles in the Windows 10 Start menu, and it was just a distilled remnant of the horrible full screen Windows 8 start page. It’s good to get rid of of this heritage, once and for all.

As I digged into the preview, I noticed small tweaks throughout that felt like, well, pleasant. Instead of combining notifications and system shortcuts into a single right pane, they are now split across two screens. Tap the clock on the Windows 11 taskbar to see all of your notifications, along with a full calendar. System shortcuts, on the other hand, are combined into a single screen that appears when you tap the Wi-Fi, sound, or battery icons.

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

From there, you can join other wireless networks and turn Bluetooth on and off, as well as airplane, battery saver, or focus assist modes. The sliders at the bottom also allow you to manage the volume and brightness of your screen. It’s not that different from Windows 10, but the overall look is much sharper and easier to read. (Maybe I’m just sick of hitting “More Options” to extend Windows 10 shortcut settings.)

Microsoft also clearly offers a taskbar user interface that only features icons in Windows 11. This is something the company started doing with Windows 7, but until Windows 10 you still had the option to enable labels for taskbar icons ( at least until they start to pile up too much). While this tends to make Windows a bit messy, I’ve always liked being able to see what a window was on before I clicked on it. Windows 11 no longer has label options of any kind, and there is no indication that Microsoft wants to bring them back. They just don’t match the polished aesthetic the company is aiming for at the moment.

At first I thought losing labels would be painful, but I’ve gotten used to living with a taskbar full of icons over the past few weeks. And I’d gladly lose labels in exchange for better multitasking features, like the revamped window snapping of this new operating system. Now you can hover your mouse pointer over the Maximize button of any app to see an array of areas to snap it to, like at the top left or bottom right of your screen. It’s much more precise than dragging a screen to a specific location and hoping Windows will automatically snap it on.

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