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Windows 11 Insider Preview: Highlights and Features

Microsoft has officially released the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build, and it is available to users enrolled in Microsoft Insider Program. From enhancements to features to design, Microsoft has tried to provide a modern and clean operating system with Windows 11.

Here are some key highlights of the Windows 11 preview, which you will find on the current release.

Centered Start Menu and Task Bar

The centered Start menu and Taskbar are the first things you will notice as you sign in to your Windows 11 Preview. Everything you used to do with the start menu and Taskbar pinned to the left to the screen in Windows 10 is now available at the center with redesigned sections in Windows 11.

Once you open the Start menu, you will find the pinned and search apps at the top with the list of recently opened documents apps and files below it. The search bar is also available inside the start menu, which used to occupy unnecessary space outside of the start menu in Windows 10.

As you dig further into the start menu and Taskbar, you will notice all your necessary applications by default(task view, file explorer, Microsoft edge, and store) are pinned at the center of the Taskbar for easy navigation. The user who is currently logged in is displayed at the bottom in the start menu and can be easily logged out using the power button.


Photo Credit: Microsoft

The new File Explorer

Another new major addition to the Windows 11 preview is the new clean-looking File explorer. The biggest changes that you will notice when you open the file explorer is on the top with a more modern command bar for file actions and new colorful icons for default system folders, like Downloads, Desktop, and Documents. 


Photo Credit: Microsoft 

Snap Layouts and Groups

The new Windows 11 insider preview contains dedicated features like Snap Layouts and Groups to boost productivity, creativity, and multitasking. Snap layouts provide multiple types of layouts to organize multiple windows opened on the screen. They are available by hovering over the windows maximize button or can be invoked on the fly with the WIN + Z keyboard shortcut.

On the other hand, Snap groups provide a way to easily switch back to the windows you snapped using Snap Layouts. To create a snap group, snap at least two app windows together and hover on one of these apps on the Taskbar to quickly switch back to a layout.

For a demonstration of the Snap, Layouts feature, check the Animated gif below showing Snap layouts with three app windows. 

Photo Credit: Microsoft

Widgets

The Widgets panel in Windows 11 provides easy access to the customized feed and keeps you up to date with the latest content through tiles. The tiles contain useful information which can be easily visited by swiping from the left using touch or hitting WIN + W on your keyboard. 

There are 4,500 global brands like The New York Times or BBC to choose as a widget for displaying information tailored to your interests. By default, Microsoft provides widgets for apps like Weather, Calendar, Stocks, news, and To-Do in Windows 11.


Photo Credit: Microsoft

Settings

In Windows 11, the Settings apps have become easier to use and provide much more clarity regarding particular setting categories. The controls are divided into two panes. The left pane provides access to the settings pages like System, Bluetooth & devices, Network & Internet, Personalization, Accounts, and Windows Update, while the right page contain specific settings for that particular category.

To find a particular setting that is not listed in the left pane, you can use a search bar at the top-left, which can redirect you to a particular setting without any hassles.

Settings app showing the Power & battery settings page 

Photo Credit: Microsoft

 

The features mentioned above are just the major highlights of the preview build. For now, grab a copy of Windows 10 Professional or Windows 10 Home or browse our collections to make sure your computer is ready to upgrade when the time is right!


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