Microsoft has released a new set of features for Windows 11. It’s not an update, though—Microsoft told us those will only be once a year. This is officially a set of new experiences. The “update” won’t be until late this year, as promised. In fairness, this set of experiences is much smaller than most feature (I.e. non-security) updates.
Confused yet? Don’t worry, we are too. Like with most things Microsoft, it’s best ingested with a grain of salt. (After all, things happen when you’re the biggest software company in the world!) Let’s outline the basics of what the new “not-an-update” features.
Amazon AppStore Preview
Microsoft has included a new service called Amazon AppStore Preview. Utilizing an Intel Bridge technology, this application allows selected apps to run on PC including Kindle, Subway Surfers (please, for the love of all that is important, do not tell my daughter), and many others.
Several changes to the Windows 11 taskbar are included in the service update. One of these is a weather display widget in the lower left corner of the screen. On a second monitor, a clock widget will be displayed.
Additionally, apps have become easier to share within a Teams meeting with a “Share to Teams” button. Similarly, microphone mute and unmute will become accessible from the taskbar rather than clicking in an app or through various menus.
Oldies but Goodies
Two traditional applications have gotten facelifts, as well. Windows Media Player has returned (goodbye, Groove Music) to fill most of the same roles it always has: playing media files, ripping compact discs (those still exist?) and the like. Any libraries currently in Groove Music will automatically migrate.
Notepad, number one on this author’s Most Unappreciated Apps list, has some increased functionality to include dark mode, more advanced Undo and Redo features, and more efficient Find-and-Replace. Notepad’s new iteration is available from the Microsoft Store.
The full run-down can be read in the official Microsoft blog article.
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