Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft
As PCs play an increasingly important role in our lives, Windows 11 aims to bring you closer to the things you love.
Windows has always been the world’s stage of innovation. It is the bedrock of global enterprise, helping to turn many thriving start-ups into household names. The Web was born and thrived on Windows. Many of us wrote our first email, played our first PC game, and wrote our first line of code. Windows is a place where people create, connect, learn, and achieve extraordinary things, and today it’s a platform that more than a billion people depend on.
We shoulder the responsibility of designing for everyone, and we can’t take it lightly. There’s been an incredible shift in the way we use PCs over the last year and a half. We’ve gone from incorporating PCs into our lives to trying to incorporate our entire lives into PCs. We can not only use the devices to have meetings, study and finish our work, but also play games with friends and watch our favorite programs. What’s more meaningful is that we can use the devices to connect with each other. In the process, we found ourselves reinventing office socializing, hallway chats, workouts, happy hours at the bar, holiday celebrations, and more — all digitized.
We are seeing and feeling a powerful shift in the PC from something that is practical and functional to something that is personal and emotional. This inspired us as we built the next generation of Windows. We are committed to giving you a familiar platform where you can create, learn, play, and, most importantly, connect in new ways.
Today, I have the honor to introduce you to Windows 11, which brings you closer to your loved ones.
Redesigned for productivity, creativity, and ease of use
We’ve simplified interface design and user interaction, enabling productivity and creativity. The new Windows is more modern, clean and beautiful, and refreshing. From the new Start button and taskbar to every sound, font and icon, everything has been carefully designed to give you more control and bring you a calmer and more relaxed feeling. We put the Start button in the center to make it easier for you to find what you need quickly. With the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365, the Start menu shows you the most recent documents, no matter what platform or device you’ve previously viewed them on, or even if you’ve viewed them on an Android or iOS device.
By offering the flexibility of multiple Windows and the ability to run applications in parallel, Windows has always been about helping users do what they want. In Windows 11, we’ve introduced new post layouts, post groups, and virtual desktops to help you multitask and focus on what you want to get done. These new features are designed to help you organize your Windows and optimize your screen space so you can view content on demand in a clean, uncluttered layout. You can also create a separate virtual desktop for life and work and customize it to your liking. Let’s imagine that on a PC, you could have virtual desktops for work, play, or study.
Windows 11 is no longer complex, but simple and efficient.
Connect quickly with people you care about
Another key to getting closer to your loved ones is to get closer to them. The past year and a half has brought about more meaningful connections through digital means. Even as we move back to meeting people in person, we want to continue to help people stay connected no matter where they are, regardless of device or platform.
With the release of Windows 11, we are excited to integrate Chat*, based on Microsoft Teams technology, into the taskbar. Now, whether on Windows, Android or iOS, you can type, chat, voice or video with all of your contacts in real time, from anywhere, on any platform or device. If the people you communicate with have not yet downloaded the Teams app, you can also get in touch with them via two-way SMS.
With Teams, Windows 11 gives you a more natural way to connect with friends and family, and you can turn on and off mute mode or start a demo right from the taskbar.
Best everWindows PCGaming experience
If you’re a gamer, Windows 11 is for you. Games have always been the bedrock of Windows. Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world play games on Windows, enjoy the fun of games, and connect with friends and family through games. Windows 11 unleashing the full potential of the system’s hardware and bringing some cutting-edge gaming technology to the player’s disposal: DirectX 12 Ultimate delivers an exciting, immersive graphical experience at high frame rates; DirectStorage provides faster load times and a more detailed game world; And Auto HDR provides players with a wider color gamut and more vivid colors, bringing truly fascinating visual enjoyment. In addition, our commitment to hardware compatibility remains as strong as ever — Windows 11 supports every PC gaming accessory and peripheral you love. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate**, players can access over 100 great PC games at any time, as well as others that are constantly being added. And, whether it’s on a PC or a console, you can easily find other players to play with.
To learn more about what Windows 11 means to gamers, check out the Xbox blog.
Faster access to the information you care about
With Widgets*, Windows 11 enables users to stay up to date with the news and information they care about. Widgets are personalized prompts driven by AI and a powerful Microsoft Edge browser. Even when we are most focused on creating, we need a break — to connect with the outside world, or to let our spirits rest. Nowadays, we often use our phones to check news updates, weather changes or news notifications. But now, you can open a similar admin view directly on your computer desktop. When you open the personalized prompt box, it will slide across the screen like a piece of glass, without affecting your work. For content creators and publishers, Widgets open up a new space in Windows for them to create personalized content. Our goal is to create a vibrant creative channel for brands and creators around the world that benefits both consumers and creators.
A brand newMicrosoft Store, your favorite apps and entertainment are gathered here
The new Microsoft Store is a trusted platform for exploring applications and watching, creating, playing, working, and learning. The redesigned Microsoft Store is faster and has a new design that is beautiful and easy to use. Not only will we bring you more apps, but we’ll also make it easier to explore and discover everything, including apps, games, video shows, movies, and more, through selections and highlights. In addition, we are pleased to welcome many excellent first party and third party applications to the Microsoft Store, Like Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+*, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, and Canva, they will entertain you, inspire you, and keep you connected. The applications in the Microsoft Store have been tested for security and home protection, and you can download them with confidence.
We’re pleased to announce that we’re bringing Android applications to Windows for the first time. Later this year, you’ll be able to find Android apps in the Microsoft Store and download them through Amazon’s App Store. Imagine being able to record and post videos on TikTok, or use Khan Academy Kids for online learning on your computer. We’ll be sharing more information about this in the coming months. We look forward to working with Amazon and Intel using Intel Bridge technology applications.
Create a more open ecosystem that unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators
We’re taking steps to further open up the Microsoft Store and provide more opportunities for creators and developers to monetize. We let developers and independent software developers (ISVs) launch their applications, whether it’s Win32 applications, Progressive Web Apps (PWA), Universal Windows Applications (UWP) or any other application framework, We all create opportunities for them to reach and interact with a wider audience. We also announced incremental changes to our revenue sharing policy so app developers can bring their own business model to the Microsoft Store and keep 100% of the revenue, at no charge to Microsoft. App developers can still use our competitive 85/15 revenue-sharing model. We believe that creating a more open ecosystem will ultimately benefit our customers — giving them safe and smooth access to the apps, games, movies, shows and web content they want and need.
To learn more about the Microsoft Store changes, visit this Windows Blog post.
To learn more about what Windows 11 means to developers, visit the Windows Developer Blog post.