Windows 11 is much more than a new theme slapped onto Windows 10! Earlier versions of Windows experimented with introducing a newsfeed directly into the beginning menu—a feature that few Windows users appeared to appreciate and lots of utterly loathed. Microsoft clearly heard the latter, but the corporate isn’t willing to offer abreast of its own outside-the-browser newsfeed yet. In New Windows 11, the newsfeed has been broken out into a separate dialog, almost like (but not a neighborhood of) the particular Start menu.
Panay dipped into “emotion” once more while describing the new Start menu and separate newsfeed—”it’s what you would like, closer to you, simplified,” he said of the new center-located Start menu. The new Start menu uses space formerly occupied by newsfeed tiles to instead offer access to recently used documents and applications. “The details matter,” Panay said of the new menu, happening to mention, “It is that the details that enable you to urge thereto emotional space… to urge the work you would like done.”
Windows New Theme Skype Edition
The separate newsfeed—which opened from the left in Panay’s demonstrations—is effectively those missing Metro-style tiles, now mentioned by the more industry-standard term “widgets” and augmented with a top-mounted search bar. “How it all flows together is supposed to bring you to a fantastic sense of calm,” Panay gushed.
“Also beautiful on the inside”
Before handing it off to Microsoft Partner Director Carmen Zlateff, Panay spent a flash detailing why New Windows 11 is “beautiful on the within .” This mostly meant ticking off performance improvements in Windows—improvements that we, unfortunately, haven’t any concrete metrics.
Faster wake from sleep: Windows 11 new theme slapped onto Windows 10
Faster Windows Hello biometric identification
Faster browsing on Microsoft Edge
“Browsing on any browser is quicker, actually, which is awesome”
Windows Updates are 40 percent smaller, more efficient, and “happen within the background”
Decreased energy use, for extended battery life, which Panay describes as making Windows 11 “more responsible”
“Maybe most vital, Windows 11 is that the most secure Windows yet”
As important as this laundry list of improvements sounds, Panay, unfortunately, went into no detail about them. We don’t know why “browsing on any browser is quicker,” and we do not know why Windows 11 should be considered “the most secure Windows yet.”
Zlateff introduced two major new-to-Windows task management and switching features: snap layouts and virtual desktops. Snap layouts are going to be familiar to anyone who’s tried a tiling desktop environment—they amount to how to snap multiple applications into a hard and fast, screen-efficient tiled layout.
New Windows 11 New Theme and Widgets
Windows 11’s tiling implementation appears smart, and Zlateff said it’s tied on to the screen orientation and determination. The user can select a layout then drag apps into the fixed borders offered by the layout—we saw a variety of six available layouts, each of which supports from two to 6 window locations.
Building onto snap layouts, Zlateff demonstrated snap groups—these are groups of applications that are snapped into one among the tiled layouts and maybe mentioned or sent down from the taskbar as a gaggle. The Linux users among you’re probably thinking, “So, snap groups are Microsoft’s combat virtual desktops”—but Windows 11 also supports Linux-style full virtual desktops as a separate feature. (For the non-Linux-y reader: virtual desktops are separate “screens” filled with applications; clicking the button for one “screen” clears the monitor entirely and loads that “screen’s” collection of windows.)
The new snap groups are often selected with one taskbar click, even as individual apps are raised and lowered—and right alongside the individual apps themselves, which may even be raised and lowered alongside the groups. Zlateff described this ability to modify between individual apps or between “entire projects” as something which will only be done on Windows.
Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2′ Release Date
Right now there is no confirmed release date for the Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2′ update. Microsoft’s release schedule for Windows 11 updates is now once a year, compared to two a year with Windows 10 previously.
There have already been plenty of improvements in the Windows Insider channels, which allows users to test features in development. But it looks like Microsoft is rolling all of these into the first major update of Windows 11. While the operating system was released in November 2021, it was announced in June, which would be a good time to release Sun Valley 2 with some tentpole features.
Cut to the Chase
- What is it? Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2′ is the first major update to Windows 11
- When is it out? Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2′ is expected sometime in the second quarter of 2022
- How much does it cost? Windows 11 22H2 ‘Sun Valley 2′ will be a free update for all users
Finally, support for docking and undocking laptops appears greatly improved. Zlateff demonstrated apps rearranging themselves to a single-display layout as a laptop’s second external monitor is removed. But more importantly, Zlateff showed apps flowing back exactly as they had been once the display was reconnected.