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Hands-on with Windows 11: a cleaner operating system to keep you productive.

Considering the first Windows 11 Insider Preview, Microsoft’s next OS will become more than just a Windows 10 update. The company is changing the way Windows works in many ways, essentially with a central taskbar and a redesigned Start menu. among other changes But it’s still Windows, so at its core it still works the way it used to. There is a focus on the performance Microsoft has brought to Windows 10 with more subtle improvements. This will make for a more pleasant user experience. At this point, Windows 11 feels like an operating system that will please both PC users and casual users.

Gallery: Windows 11 Insider Preview | 9 pictures

At first glance, the Windows 11 Insider Preview, which began rolling out on Monday. It doesn’t look any different from the leaked build we talked about a few weeks ago. The centered, icon-filled taskbar still clearly looks like a Mac, with rounded corners giving it a slightly polished atmosphere. And the redesigned Start menu is definitely controversial. There is an app shortcut pinned to the top. Recommended files below. and a link at the top right to see the entire unfiltered start menu.

This start menu is definitely different. But after testing the leaked build for two weeks. I’m starting to like this change even more. I’ve never met anyone using Live Tiles in the Windows 10 Start menu, and that’s just a distilled fraction of the Windows 8 full-screen start page. It’s nice to get rid of that legacy once and for all.

As I explore more in the preview version. I noticed a few tweaks throughout that felt like, hmm. good Instead of merging system notifications and shortcuts into a single right pane. Now split back into two screens. Pressing the clock in the Windows 11 taskbar shows all your notifications along with the full calendar. System shortcuts are combined into a single screen that appears when you press the Wi-Fi, sound, or battery icons.

Windows 11 Insider Preview

Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

From there, you can join other wireless networks. and turn bluetooth on and off together with airplane mode battery saver mode or focus assist mode The bottom slider also allows you to manage the volume and screen brightness. It’s not much different from Windows 10, but the overall look is much cleaner and easier to read. (Maybe I’m tired of pressing “More options” to expand Windows 10 shortcut settings)

Microsoft also clearly pushes the taskbar UI as only Feature icons in Windows 11 are what the company started with Windows 7, but until Windows 10, you always had the option to enable labels for taskbar icons. (At least until they start to overlap.) Although it makes Windows a bit cluttered, I’d love to see existing windows before I actually click into them. Windows 11 no longer has a label option. And there’s no indication that Microsoft wants to bring it back. They don’t match the beauty the company is aiming for right now.

At first I thought losing the label would be a pain. But I’ve gotten used to using a taskbar full of icons for the past few weeks. And I’m willing to lose the label in exchange for better multitasking features like the improved window snapping of this new operating system. You can now hover your mouse pointer over an app’s maximize button to see areas to snap, such as the top left or bottom right of the screen. It’s more accurate than dragging the screen to a specific point and hoping that Windows will automatically lock into place.

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