Windows 11, the test of the new Microsoft operating system: from news to user experience

Windows 11, the test of the new Microsoft operating system: from news to user experience

Windows 11, the test of the new Microsoft operating system

Windows 11 is coming, we know it from the announcement of Microsoft's presentation scheduled for June 24 and also from the unripe version of the operating system, which appeared on the net a few days ago. And it is from this version that the first information and the first field tests that have emerged in these days come from, including the one you find told in this article.

We have in fact taken a look at what should be an update so important that it deserves a change of nomenclature, despite the promise of the Redmond house, now dating back a few years ago, in which there was talk of a Windows 10 intended to be updated for years and years to come. But in fact, is this Windows 11 really a successor to the long-lived 10 or a simple patch more substantial than usual?

The first steps

One of the new Windows 11 wallpapers we hear about in fact, for some time already, on the occasion of the first leaks, which appeared on the net last year. Then nothing until the arrival of this "stolen" version that we installed quickly and without any kind of impediment, removed the familiar first steps that required us to log in and answer the classic questions relating to language, keyboard and voice assistant.

At this point we have finally put our hand to the new version of the Microsoft operating system, but encountering some problems due to the impossibility of loading divere basic applications such as Paint. But after a couple of tests, the operating system update tool has finally found a couple of updates that have led the Sun Valley build loaded on our setup to be almost completely efficient, allowing us to install the latest NVIDIA GeForce drivers. and to launch a couple of games. But we will come back to talking about video games in the future, perhaps when it will be possible to access Xbox software.

For the moment, in fact, the Xbox App did not want to work and we were therefore unable to verify the promises of a change in the software dedicated to the Xbox ecosystem, one of the weak points of Windows 10. But it is one of the news that we expect to see in the final release, probably still very distant and destined to evolve, as well as we hope to find an integration of important features such as DirectX Storage, potentially capable of revolutionizing the use of SSDs in gaming, and some other news on the gaming side, in recent years it has come back predominantly on PC.

The new, old File Explorer At the moment, however, what we are facing is an upgrade of Windows 10 and is based on the work done with the Windows 10X update . Also for this reason we were not surprised to find ourselves in front of an operating system already fully functional and decidedly reactive, even on a notebook that we used for the occasion by taking advantage of a powerful processor. But on the other hand Windows 11 undoubtedly rests much of its weight on the old version, so much so that it has also retained some ballast.

The fact that there is still the MS-DOS prompt is a very positive thing, but less so is the presence of an advanced management of the operating system that continues to rely on the menus of the old Windows, including a now vintage device manager. Furthermore, no changes have been made to the File Manager, identical to that of the current version of Windows both in terms of aesthetics and in the options available, including those for file visibility and customization.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of news. There is one that we can even consider structural; there are new wallpapers; there is a major change for snap mode; there is a greater attention to the mobile side and there are new icons to underline an evolution of the software in the sign of Microsoft's fluid design philosophy which in this case also winks at Apple systems and some Linux releases. Furthermore, the fact that this is an update, in our case in the Windows 11 Home Edition version, confirms the absence of changes also from the point of view of the different editions and it is possible that this new version may even be completely free so as to push to change even those who are still stuck on Windows versions 7 and 8.

Interface: the main changes

The new Start menu The first novelty to catch the attention, speaking of interface , is the movement of the icons on the taskbar in the center of the window, including the Windows key that switches from the perspective logo of the previous version to a two-dimensional logo but with the blue of the first Windows. On the other hand, this remains the dominant color of an operating system that always looks to the sky, this time leaving even the basic menus free. In fact, if the start menu and the various icons linked to the bar can be shown on the left with the appropriate setting, an important change remains in the windows, which are now floating, which was possible with Windows 10 only by installing an editing software. This ensures greater usability on tablets or small notebooks, but also on a normal desktop. On the other hand, it is a more modern setting enhanced among other things by exquisitely aesthetic but relevant additions and changes in the general aesthetic framework that significantly improves thanks to smoother animations, new rounder sound effects and windows all with rounded corners of default.

The changes also include the menu structure, now rectangular, more coherent in the graphic style that points to gray and better organized. In fact, the infinite string of applications evoked with the start button disappears which, now relegated to a secondary window called All Apps, gives way to a six-row arrangement in which we can fix all the desired applications, in smartphone style. It is therefore immediately available, like the section of the most used applications that occupies the lower half of the menu.

The same floating rectangle was also used for the search function which still includes the main applications (now five instead of four) and recent ones, but also integrates a list of four quick searches which also includes the topic more in vogue when the activity is carried out. Furthermore, by separating the menu from the taskbar, the terrible box integrated in the Windows 10 bar has also been removed, as well as giving us, at the top, a much larger search space.

Snap mode The other applications placed on the bar by Microsoft have also undergone a similar refinement, namely the quick management of active desktops and a button to call up widgets that are no longer incorporated to the right of the Start menu. Instead, they enjoy a dedicated window that slides out from the left of the screen, taking up a good chunk of it. The pastel-colored widgets that inform us about current events and the climate are the same, but the interface and style follow the changes in the menus, guaranteeing another step forward in terms of graphic consistency, definitively greeting the Windows 8-style block structure. >
The spirit of the latter, however, is not completely dead. The snap mode, which divides the screen into large blocks dedicated to as many applications, is always present and among other things, it is no longer automatic. Now there is a special menu that appears by leaving the mouse pointer on the resize button of a window for a few moments. Once this function has been evoked, it becomes possible to divide the workspace at will with dynamic options that adapt to the type of screen, immediately guaranteeing convenient options to quickly and better exploit configurations with multiple screens and ultra-wide panels.

A more coherent aesthetic

The ballast of the old Windows remains evident from the advanced management menus Among the other icons already fixed to the taskbar there are obviously Edge, at first glance identical to the one we already know, and the inevitable File Explorer, as anticipated remained unchanged compared to that of Windows 10. However, it is noted for the new colored icons of the contents of the quick access section, which distinguish the Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures folders in well-differentiated tones. , Music and Videos.

There are also small changes for different icons, often limited to color, and more important changes as in the case of the new settings icon that becomes somewhat more playful and modern, adding small but pleasant innovations that increase visibility without the need for software changes or user intervention and help to offer a softer and more modern look.

The contextual menu that is activated with the right mouse button We are talking about structural changes for the classic desktop menu, as always linked to the right mouse button and almost identical to the previous one. Except that it includes some more options such as direct sharing of your OneDrive, with the possibility of making files available to friends and colleagues in an instant. A little below, also, we find direct access to OneDrive Online and the OneDrive backup, the ability to leave the device always active, any troubleshooting and access to options to free up disk space. All designed to facilitate use and, of course, to focus the user's attention on a service particularly dear to Microsoft.

But this is another minimal change in the structure of an update that in some cases seems to have even limited the options, as in the context of customizing the taskbar. But it is clear that this is an evolution that, at least in the current version, mainly looks at usability and aesthetics, leaving us dry with substantial innovations. The user experience, however, is an important factor for an operating system and, let's try to make a bet, we are convinced that we will see more substantial news arrive from the point of view of drivers, DirectX and support for video games, now a market that is back among Microsoft's priorities.

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