Reimagine Hybrid Work with the new Windows 11

Sreeraj Vasukuttan
Windows 11 reveal image

The next generation of Windows, Windows 11, is here! Panos Panay, Microsoft’s new chief product officer for Windows+ devices, unveiled the new OS at special Windows event held last week (June 24, 2021). With Panos Panay taking the stage, the design of Window 11 took center stage as well.  It felt like Microsoft’s design team managed to bring the Surfaceness of a Surface device to its soulmate, Windows. That elegant silky-glassy texture of Surface devices with rounded corners is now carved into Windows 11. In Mr. Panay’s own words, “The new Windows 11 will give you a sense of calm, and it will empower you to be more productive and inspire you to be more creative.”  

You are at the center, so is your task menu

The start menu and start button in Windows 11 will be at the center by default. Microsoft says this design change was made with touch users in mind.  The new start menu will also put your daily apps at the center. Microsoft ToDo was featured a lot in the announcement videos. For me, having an app like Todo on the start menu at the center will help me build a habit of starting my day by checking my work and personal tasks from in Windows 11 itself. A Windows device has been the center of your Microsoft apps and services ecosystem; by expanding app experience to android apps (available through Amazon App store in Window Store), your relationship with your Windows device will also expand. The centered start menu and access to more apps will change the way you perceive your daily Windows experience. Like Panos Pany and Satya Nadella said  , “Windows 11 will put you at the center.” 

Designed with Hybrid the Worker in mind

In Windows 11, Microsoft is introducing Snap layouts and Snap groups. With Snap layouts, you can choose layouts for your tabs. There are six different layouts available to choose from. On the right top corner of every open window, you will have an option to drop the window to a layout. You can group the layouts into  Snap groups, and the Snap groups will be available for you along with the individual tabs at the taskbar when you need them. Windows 11 will also remember your Snap groups for later. Additionally, Windows 11 will remember where your tabs and Snap groups were after you undock your device from an external screen.  

For Someone like me who likes to work from anywhere, getting used to both single screen and multiple screens is essential. However, I miss the convenience of moving between tabs opened on multiple screens when I work remotely. I hope that the Ssnap windows and groups s will simulate a multiscreen experience even in a minimalistic single screen set up. Then the new docking experience will benefit me a lot in an office setup.  

The universal mute button coming to Windows 11 will be handy for hybrid work. I don’t have to find meeting Window of Teams, or Zoom, or Webex, when I need to mute myself. The other features that would excite the hybrid workers includes share new Windows from task bar while presenting, haptic, Intuitive touch gestures, voice tying, digital pen, etc. 

Built-in personalized version of Teams

Microsoft will bring a personalized version of Teams built into Windows 11. This is a new Teams client designed for the consumer market. It will run on new technology that reduces the app’s size and memory usage. Initially, the new Teams client will be available only on the consumer versions of Windows 11 and later will come to the commercial versions as well. The personalized version of Teams in Windows 11 will also get SMS support. Last month, Microsoft announced that you could add a personal account for free if you have a Teams work account.  I am not sure if Teams will ever be as successful as Skype in becoming a household brand for video calling. But it will help people like me who use Teams at work to bring the joy of Teams calling, meeting, and chat to my personal space as well. 

Performance, energy efficiency, compatibility, and security

Windows 11 will start and work faster than its predecessor.  Windows 11 users will notice enhanced performance for gaming related workloads with new technologies like DirectX 12 Ultimate, DirectStorage, and Auto HDR.  The updates are 40% more efficient, and they will happen in the background now, instead of requiring you to stop what you’re working on.  Windows 11 will also  consumes less energy, giving better battery life for your devices. Through the App Assure program Microsoft will ensure that your Apps from previous generations of Windows will work on Windows 11 as well. Microsoft said in the announcement blog that they are working closely with the silicon and hardware partners to ensure a lineup of processors and devices of all form factor ready for Windows 11 before its release. Check out the Check System Requirements and Processor Support to see if your current devices are supported. 

When it comes to security, Windows 11 will be a Zero Trust ready operating system. Window 11 will come with security technologies like hardware-based isolation, encryption, and malware prevention–turned on by default. Microsoft will also simplify the steps for Windows Hello for Business in Windows 11.  

Availability, Licensing, and Deployment Options

Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade to Window 10 for eligible customers around the 2021 Holiday season through 2022. Deploying Windows 11 will be as easy as rolling out a new Windows 10 update. Microsoft is also simplifying the update cycles with Windows 11. Windows 11 will only need a yearly quality update compared to the annual update cycles of Windows 10.  

Even though updating Windows 10 to Windows 11 as easy as updating Windows 10, the new operating system is much more than a quality update. There are stunning features that should excite you whether you use Windows for work or at home. And you certainly need device, deployment, and management plans set before it becomes available later this year. Connection offers various services around Windows 11 to help you migrate when the time comes. Please reach out if you need help. To learn more, check out our Modern Device Management solutions.

Sreeraj Vasukuttan is a Technical Marketing Manager at Connection with a passion for technology and marketing. He enjoys writing about cloud, security, and end-user compute. In his free time, he loves watching films, cooking, and traveling with his family.