A redesigned Microsoft Store, integration with Teams and improved security requirements are among the key features of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 operating system, the tech giant revealed during a virtual event Thursday.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the event that Windows 11 aims to provide users more choice and agency over the applications they use and that all Windows devices are improved for app development and consumption. The new OS is designed to weather future digital transformation, Nadella said.
“That‘s our aspiration with Windows 11—to be the platform for the next web, the next transformational software category, the next personalized content business,” he said. “A platform can only serve society if its rules allow for this foundational innovation and category creation.”
“This is the first version of a new era of Windows,” he said. “We‘re building for the next decade and beyond.”
During the virtual event, Microsoft executives emphasized that the move from Windows 10 to Windows 11 should feel more like an update install rather than a full-on migration. Windows 11 will be a free update to Windows 10 and have annual major feature updates instead of Windows 10’s twice-a-year updates.
Migration “will be a familiar, easier process, not a project,” said Wangui McKelvey, general manager of Microsoft 365.
The next update to Windows 10 will also provide feature updates to keep customers secure while planning the move to Windows 11.
And Windows 10 isn’t done just yet. Steve Dispensa, Microsoft vice president of product, enterprise mobility and security, declined to say whether the update to Windows 10 in the second half of this year is the last Windows 10 update.
But Windows 10 users will have the ability to run both OSes alongside each other with their current volume licensing and subscription benefits.
More information on Windows 11 is expected at Inspire later this year. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know.