Windows 11 is the latest major release of Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system, released in October 2021. It is a free upgrade to its predecessor, Windows 10, available for any Windows 10 devices that meet the new Windows 11 system requirements.
What’s the difference between Windows 10 and 11?
A major difference between Windows 11 and Windows 10 is in its design. Windows 11 offers an interface that’s more like a Mac, with pastel colors, rounded corners for all windows and a cleaner interface than its predecessor
What is Windows 11 best features?
New features include the first Amazon apps, a revamped taskbar, and more. Microsoft will push the new features to your PC via Windows Update, the Microsoft Store, and new “experience packs” that will download quietly in the background and facilitate changes to the Windows 11 operating system
What is the major changes feature of Windows 11?
You’ll get a centred row of app icons on the taskbar, rounded window edges, and other flourishes that make for a cleaner, more appealing interface. There’s also a new widget feed and snap layouts that make it easier to load up multiple apps/functions at once.
Here’s a look at the biggest new Windows 11 features.
1) A refreshed look
After the pushback to its Windows 8 live tiles, Microsoft seems to have accepted that people want Windows to have a traditional taskbar and Start menu. Windows must be Windows, it seems. But Windows can still be improved and enhanced.
Windows 11 keeps those elements, but there’s more than a whiff of Apple’s macOS influence here. You’ll get a centred row of app icons on the taskbar, rounded window edges, and other flourishes that make for a cleaner, more appealing interface. There’s also a new widget feed and snap layouts that make it easier to load up multiple apps/functions at once.
2) Improved performance
Obviously, the hope is that a new feature-rich OS upgrade won’t be bogged down by the weight of its new additions and enhancements. Luckily, Microsoft seems to be keeping performance in mind, as evidenced by a few key details from the presentation.
For example, Windows updates will be approximately 40% smaller than they are currently and take place in the background, so there’s less room for interruption. You can expect general performance enhancements across the board, too, including with web browsers (not just Edge).
3) Teams integration
You might have become intimately familiar with Microsoft Teams during the pandemic, but if not, it’s essentially Microsoft’s hybrid version of Zoom and Slack for workplaces and communication. And in Windows 11, it’s no longer just an app, but rather an integrated part of the OS.
Teams had some 145 million daily active users as of April, so even if you haven’t used it, Teams is a big deal. It will be prominently featured within the interface and it’ll be easier to start new Teams sessions. Skype might be the big loser in all of this as Teams takes more prominence within Windows.
4) It will run Android apps
Here’s a nice surprise: Windows 11 will be able to run Android apps on your PC, much like Chromebooks are able to handle the same feat. In this case, however, Windows will rely on Amazon’s Appstore rather than Google’s own official Play Store.
Still, there are loads of popular apps within Amazon’s version. This will make it easy to access popular mobile apps like TikTok and mobile games, as well, which you can snap into a corner of your screen while you pretend to be productive elsewhere.
5) Xbox gaming enhancements
Microsoft will also enhance the PC gaming experience in Windows 11, bringing over some of the enhancements seen on the new Xbox consoles while also better integrating Xbox Game Pass and other features.
The Auto HDR function from the new xbox series x and series s has come over to PC, automatically enhancing games for those with HDR-compatible monitors. Windows 11 will also support DirectStorage for users with NVMe SSD drives, enabling much faster loading times in supported games.
6) Big ecosystem changes
The Windows Store has been kind of a mess in recent years, with Microsoft gatekeeping the kinds of apps allowed within the native storefront. No more: Windows 11 will open things up for all kinds of apps, even if they’re not Universal Windows apps.
That means that apps like Adobe’s Creative Cloud will finally be available through the native Microsoft Store, and there’s another twist: app makers can use their own in-app monetisation systems and keep 100% of the revenue. It’s a shot across the bow towards Apple and Google, both of which take a cut of app store purchases and have been battling with epic games over its attempts to break that system with Fortnite. Apps that utilise Microsoft’s payments system will still pay a cut, but at least there’s a choice with Windows 11.
7) It’s a free upgrade
This isn’t really a feature, but it’s important to note: Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. If you’re already running Windows 10 on your device, then you’ll get a free upgrade through Windows Update when it’s available.
Windows 11 has the potential to suck up a lot of your data with updates analytics, and more. If you’re on a limited data plan, this can cost you extra fees and penalties, especially in rural areas.
You don’t need to hit your data cap, however, as you can configure Windows to recognize that a metered connection is in use. You can use metered connections to manage your data usage on Windows 11, helping you to keep within your data usage limits. Here’s how to set up a metered connection in Windows 11.
What is a Metered Connection in Windows 11?
A metered connection allows you to limit the amount of data that window uses Using a metered connection allows you to limit your data usage, stopping your connection entirely once the data cap on your connection is reached.
You can set Ethernet, Cellular, and Wi-Fi network connections as metered connections in Windows 11. Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections are not set as metered by default, so you’ll need to turn on the feature manually for those connections. However, on Windows 11, a cellular connection is set to metered by default.
Microsoft notes that some apps and services won’t work as you’d expect while on a metered connection. These apps will receive less data in the background to help manage your overall data usage. Also, certain Windows updates won’t be automatically installed.
How to Set Up Metered Connections on Windows 11
To set up a metered connection on Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu and select Settings.
- In Settings, press Network & Internet.
- Select your connection type (eg. Wi-Fi or Ethernet) at the top of the Network & internet menu.
- Next, click on your connection properties (eg. your WiFi network name).
- Scroll down and select the slider next to Metered Connection to enable it.
After enabling a metered connection, you might get notifications from apps letting you know they aren’t running in the background. For example, onedrive sync feature is paused on a metered connection in Windows 11.
Configuring Data Usage on a Metered Connection in Windows 11
You can also configure the amount of data that Windows can use while on a metered connection.
To do this, press the Set a data limit to help control data usage on this network option, visible underneath the Metered connection setting.
You’ll see your data usage statistics for various installed apps in the Data usage menu. At the top of this section, click the Enter Limit button.
Next, set the data limit you want to use for the metered connection. Select your limit type (eg. monthly), set the reset date and the data limit, then click Save.
At this point, your Windows 11 PC is now configured to use a metered connection, reducing the amount of data that Windows uses. If you’ve configured a custom data limit, Windows will stop using your connection once the limit is reached.
Monitoring Data Usage on Windows 11
Should you want to monitor data usage or change your settings in the future, open the Settings app via the Start menu.
From there, type data usage in the search field at the top, then select Data Usage Overview from the drop-down.
This will take you to the Advanced network settings menu. Scroll through the list of settings and select Data Usage in the More settings section.
In the Data usage menu, you can quickly review your usage information and settings. You can monitor which apps are using the most data and adjust the metered connection settings as needed.
Taking Control of Your Windows 11 Data Usage
If you’re using a connection with a limited data plan, you’ll need to configure a metered connection on Windows 11 using the steps above. This setting stops your PC from using too much data.
How do I fix metered connection in Windows 11?
If you change your mind about metered connection, you can simply reverse the steps above to disable it. For each network, go to Windows Settings ==> Network & internet ==> Wi-Fi, Ethernet or Cellular and toggle the button to the Off position to disable. That should do it!
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