Windows 11: Features, Changes, Release Date, Download Link, Eligibility – Smartprix

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Microsoft has scheduled what’s next for the Windows event on June 24. It will be an online affair that you could live stream at 8:30 PM, IST. At this event, the company is expected to announce the next version of Windows. Up till recently, there were rumors and speculation around whether this would be just Windows 10 Sun Valley (21H2) update or straight up called Windows 11. Well, it’s the latter as a fresh leak of Windows 11 has leaked online.

Although at first, it was just a few screenshots of the new Windows 11 UI, pretty soon we had our hands on the full OS.

How to download and install Windows 11

The version we flashed on our testing laptop is Dev build 21996. Before you proceed, do note that it has been pretty buggy in our experience. And we won’t recommend installing it on your daily driver.

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That said, here’s the download link of Windows 11. Just right click on the Windows 11 folder and press Download. Wait for the Zip file to process and finish downloading.

The downloaded file will be an ISO image. You can use the Rufus tool to boot it from a pen drive by the following steps:

  • Run Rufus Portable
  • Ensure your pen drive is shown under Device tab in Rufus
  • Select the ISO file from your download location
  • Press Start

It will take some time for the bootable USB to be ready. And once it is, eject the pen drive and use it to flash Windows 11 on the laptop of your choice. Again, it is not advisable to run this build on your primary device.

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If you don’t want to risk flashing this pre-release software, you can take a look at what you can expect from Windows 11 once it’s readily available.

Here’s everything we have gathered from few hours of using it —

Best Windows 11 Features and Changes

1. Windows 11: New OOBE

The out of the box experience has got a facelift. Although it is visually pleasing, I find some of the options mandatory, which were earlier skippable. This includes connecting to a network (WiFi), signing in to a Microsoft account, and setting up a PIN.

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2. Windows 11: Centered Start Menu and Search Window

The Start Menu and Search Window are centered just like the taskbar icons. You can align these back to the left-hand side if that’s what you prefer.

3. Windows 11: Taskbar and Action Center

There are new options in the taskbar settings such as showing/hiding buttons like Widgets, Desktop, Task View, and Search. The icons in the action center now have slightly rounded corners.

4. Windows 11: Task View

The Windows Task View also has been redesigned.

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5. Windows 11 Snap Controls

It seems multitasking will be a tad bit easier with the new snap controls that are accessible by hovering over the maximize button on all app windows. It lets you quickly snap windows in varied forms.

ALSO READ: Best Android 12 features: What’s new in the latest version

6. Windows 11 Widgets

Microsoft News has been reworked into Widgets which offers a quick glance at the news, weather updates, sports scores, etc. Neat!

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7. Windows 11: New Wallpapers, Icons, and Sounds

Whence you open File Explorer, you’d notice the new icons for common libraries. Well, several icons seems to have gotten this overhaul.

It’s not just icons, but Windows 11 also brings new sounds (including startup tone), and wallpapers.

You can download all the new Windows 11 wallpapers here.

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8. Windows 11: Clipboard and Emoji Panel combined

Pressing the Win Key+ Period button now shows up a combined window of emojis, GiFs (from Tenor), Kaomoji, Symbols, and Clipboard history.

9. Windows 11 Terminal Window

You can access the new Windows Terminal from the right-click menu on the desktop. It sports features like multiple tabs, panes, Unicode and UTF-8 character, a GPU accelerated text rendering engine, custom themes, styles, etc. This one was already present on Windows 10 Store, but not it is available as the default option.

10. Windows 11: Xbox

Windows 11 would also see a tighter integration of Xbox experience.

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ALSO READ: Google Photos Alternatives in India: All Plans and Pricing Details

11. Windows 11: New Microsoft Store

Although at present the Microsoft Store looks the same as before, it is rumored to allow developers to submit any apps. The company CEO Satya Nadella has promised the new store will “unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators”. This will also increase the number of app options for the user.

We are sure to find more features, changes, optimizations, and possibly lesser annoyances as we use it more. Also, with an official release, and the eventual updates, the experience is expected to get better. So, if you are also looking forward to the Windows 11 announcement, tune in to the event on June 24 at 8:30 PM Indian Standard Time.

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Credit: Equalleaks for the Windows 11 download link and certain screenshots.

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