Microsoft started the phased rollout of its new operating system,, in October. Although only some PCs have been prompted to update, you may be wondering how the OS is different from , and now. There’s no rush: after 2025. But if you’re ready to jump into Windows 11 now, you can to your computer . If you already have Windows 10, Windows 11 will be available to you for free. (If you .)
Before you install the new OS, let’s dig into the big changes Microsoft made and what’s actually different. And make sure you check out, and how to .
Windows 10 vs. Windows 11: Every big difference in the new OS
Design and interface
Windows 11 brings a brand-new, more Mac-like interface to the OS. It features a clean design with rounded corners and pastel shades. Thealso moves to the center of the screen along with the Taskbar. But you can , as they are in Windows 10, if you prefer.
Android app integration
(though not right away) in , via the Amazon Appstore. (There were a couple of ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including , but this will make it native.) This is something Windows users have been waiting for for years and marks another move toward the merging of mobile and laptop devices. This feature is in beta now and available to Windows Insiders
Better virtual desktop support
Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops in a way that’s similar to Macs. It allows for toggling between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming. In Windows 10, this was harder to set up and use.
Easier transition from monitor to laptop
The new OS includes features called— collections of the apps you’re using at once that sit in the taskbar, and can come up or be minimized at the same time for easier task switching. They also let you plug and unplug from a monitor easily, without losing where your open windows are located.
Microsoft Teams added to the Taskbar
and will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, making it easier to access (and a bit more like Apple’s FaceTime). You’ll be able to access teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
Widgets (well, sort of)
While they’ve been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), including in a, you can now and personalize them to see whatever you’d like.
Enhanced touchscreen, voice and pen support
For tablets, Microsoft has aimed to improve the experience for touch, with more space between icons on the taskbar, and adding gestures. Windows 11 also adds haptics to your digital pen, so you can hear and feel vibrations as you use it for taking notes or drawing. Finally, the OS introduces voice typing and commands across the system.
Xbox tech to improve gaming
, like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to improve gaming on your Windows PC. This marks another move toward integrating PCs and Xbox consoles for Microsoft.
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