Here’s what you need to know about the evolution of Windows.
People who are already using Windows 11 on their PC can install this new update for free. Some people still using Windows 10 on their PC can also upgrade to this updated version of Windows for free. To check, open the Settings app on your PC, click Windows Update, then click Check for updates.
Lots of small tweaks and tweaks, many of which would have to be a true power user to notice. But some of the changes Microsoft made here are a little easier to spot – and perhaps more impactful – than others. Here are a few you might want to keep your eyes peeled for:
- System-wide live captions. Videos, podcasts, live radio streams – if you’re supposed to hear it, Windows 11 will try to transcribe it to the screen for you. Features like these – which can be extremely useful for the hearing impaired and people who leave captions on all the time – are more common on smartphones than computers, but that’s thankfully starting to change. (A similar feature will arrive in Apple’s macOS Ventura software update in October.)
- Customizable start menu. Right now, Windows 11’s Start menu shows you a mix of files and software it thinks you should see, as well as apps you might have “pinned” for quick access. But in this update, you’ll be able to tell Windows what you’d like to see more of.
- Voice control for your PC. Technically, this feature isn’t complete yet – Microsoft calls it a “preview” – but Voice Access was designed to help users control their computer with spoken words, not keystrokes or mouse clicks.
- New touch gestures. If your computer has a touchscreen and/or turns into a tablet, these new gestures, like swiping up to open the Start menu, can help you get around Windows a little faster.
- Built-in camera effects. Not all PCs will support it, but some of you will be able to use new “studio” effects to customize how they look on video calls and streams without having to rely on tools built into third-party apps. (Consider blurring your background, for example, or tweaking your video to make it look like you’re making eye contact.)
Not all new Windows 11 features are as easy to access as others.
Some, like a Smart App Control feature that uses AI to determine if an app you just installed is legit or malicious, force you to perform a clean install rather than updating your PC like you always have. do. That means having to clear your PC’s storage and install Windows 11 from scratch – or buy a new computer with the updated software already installed.
In the meantime, you won’t find other features that Microsoft has been discussing to integrate Windows 11 if you install the update too soon. Additions like a new Photos app and tabs in Windows’ File Explorer – which should make jumping to different folders on your PC much faster – won’t actually be available until October.
How can I get the update?
If you’re already using the most recent version of Windows 11, you should be able to get the update fairly quickly. Just check the Windows Update section in your computer’s Settings app. And don’t worry if the update notice doesn’t appear for a while; Microsoft says its “measured and phased deployment” process can take a bit of time and sometimes comes down to when the company feels your computer is “ready.”
But what if your computer is still running Windows 10?
First of all, there’s no shame in that – mine, too. And if your PC is compatible with this new software, chances are the Windows Update section of your Settings app will let you know.
Windows 11 is available now, but not everyone will have the ease of upgrading
But here’s the hard truth: Not all PCs running Windows 10 can upgrade to Windows 11. (For many people, myself included, it’s because of stricter hardware security requirements.) And judging by the way Microsoft likes to check the name of the new PC when they announce big updates like these, it’s pretty clear that they’d like you to shell out for a brand new computer.
If it’s something you were thinking of doing anyway, sure, go for it. But if your current PC still does everything you need it to, don’t feel like you have to buy new hardware just to use new software. Microsoft said it will continue to support Windows 10 until October 2025, which includes regular updates with new features, not just security patches. (In fact, the Windows 10 equivalent of this update will be available next month.)
#Windows #big #update #Heres #whats