Windows 11: Everything we want from the new Microsoft OS.
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the name change, it has strongly hinted at it, both in the artwork for its June 24 press event and in its 11 a.m. starting time. And, the leaked Windows 11 build shows "Windows 11" as the official name in the system information menu.
Windows 10, the current version of the operating system, was said to be the company’s final version – but with more people working from home during the pandemic, it appears Microsoft is updating its platform to keep up with the demands of users.
The so-called “next generation of Windows” will be showcased at a virtual event, with a new user interface and hints of new features.
A first build of Windows 11 has already leaked to the press, bringing with it a new, more rounded interface. It is also expected there will be changes to the Windows Store, a closer integration with Xbox services, and possibly Office 365 updates.
One control panel instead of two:
A big complaint among Windows 10 users is the confusing split between the Control Panel and the Settings app. A single control panel interface would be a welcome improvement in Windows 11.
The default icons, including the Start button and search button are in the middle, a position which reminds us a lot of Chrome OS. However, you can tweak the location in settings so that the icons appear on the traditional, left side of the taskbar.
Search box pops up:
Instead of having a search box within the task bar, there's only a magnifying glass icon, which you click to get a search menu.
More Mac-like virtual desktops:
Macs have a great feature known as Spaces that let you easily create multiple virtual desktops to keep your screen more orderly. In Windows, doing so takes a few more steps. We'd like to see easier virtual desktop creation and management in Windows 11.
Snap assist menu:
If you hover over the minimize / maximize button, Windows 11 gives you a list of choices for snapping your windows to either side of the screen or into quarters.
Stop forcing us to use Edge:
Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser is the default in Windows 10. Of course, you can change it to the browser of your choice, like Chrome, Firefox or Brave. But some users have reported an issue with Microsoft resetting the default back to Edge. We hope it's easier to set and keep defaults in Windows 11.
Touch gestures: You can now use three finger swipes to minimize / maximize an app. Tapping with four fingers lets you switch among virtual desktops.
Faster shutdown, restart and wake from sleep
PCs running Windows 10 can face slower shutdown, restart and wake-from-sleep times, sometimes due to the need to close apps like the Task Manager. We'd like to see those options sped up in the next version.
Improve the setup of multiple camera, webcam, mics and headsets:
With the rise of work from home, more people are improving their computer setups with multiple webcams, mics and headsets. However, Windows 10 makes it tricky to choose the device you want to use, and sometimes requires you to disable one of the others. We'd like to see better options for swapping between multiple devices in Windows 11.
Microsoft also updated the lifecycle documentation for Windows 10 Home and Pro to say it will officially drop support for the Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstation versions of the operating system on October 14, 2025. (It didn't say how long the enterprise-specific versions of Windows 10 will continue to be supported.)
What other features do you want to see in Windows 11? Sound off in the comments below.