m. Eastern u.s time that’ll be 1am in australia. Here on friday, microsoft made this announcement with a short teaser video that showed sun rays shining through a window seemingly forming the number 11 in the foreground, and the teaser line was join us to see what’s next for windows. Microsoft also released an 11 minute. Video of windows – startup sound, slowed down; 4 000, no matter which way you look at it. It all seems to indicate one thing: windows, 11., hang on wasn’t windows, 10 supposed to be the last version of windows. Microsoft had been very secretive around windows 11, and this announcement kind of came as a surprise to many, and only the week before the event leaks started. An early build of windows 11 made its way into the interwebs and video started, showing up on news websites pretty quickly, so we dug around and got our hands on a copy to try. I did it so that you don’t have to. This is a very unfinished beta software, it’s rough and it’s, not something that you want on your computer at all. Early pre release builds like this. One are for testing not just functionality, but testing concepts and a lot of the tests fail and they don’t make the cut so there’s a high chance that things like the new start menu layout that many are talking about, will not even be there. In the final release, at least not as they are right now, when windows 10 first shipped microsoft, pivoted from a model of delivering a new major operating system update every three years or so to a continuous improvement model in the last six years, we’ve seen a steady Stream of updates to windows, and if you look at most aspects of windows 10, today they’re significantly different to what shipped back in 2015 and although they continue to trickle through the big half yearly.

Updates of windows have been a little light on for change lately. For many people that’s a good thing – they want the computer that they rely on to be predictable, consistent and stable. But after six years many of the things that we’ve been loving about windows are now pretty mainstream. And those of us who like to be on that bleeding edge well we’re kind of wanting more. In reality, the next major windows update has been known about for some time, it’s known by the code name, sun valley within microsoft, and although the delivery model is unlikely to change, it will be called windows 11.. In line with the windows as a service model, it will most likely be a free update for windows 10 users. Just to reiterate this windows 11 link appears to be an unfinished early build, so there are many details to be filled in, but here are some of the important updates that we’re seeing in this build and what we’d like to see in windows. 11.. A better tablet experience obviously right. I mean that’s not to gloss over the fact that there are 1.3 billion computers running windows 10 out there, and the majority of those are not tablets. But a significant number of those devices do have touch screens and many have pens too, including millions of surface devices. You can’t be all about surface and not want a better tablet. Experience right. It appears from the leak that tablet mode is gone, but don’t draw the wrong conclusions from that.

There are significant tablet. Use improvements built into the ui in the leaked, builds there’s, just not a separate tablet mode. For the last six years, i personally haven’t been a huge fan of the tablet mode in windows. 10.. I get that many would like it, and this may be a disappointment for them, but i have a bit of a different perspective. I use my surface devices as tablets a lot if you don’t then i’m, sorry that you’re wrong. If you don’t, have a convertible two in one device with a pin and you’re not using it regularly, then you’re simply doing yourself a disservice. No matter what work you do, you’re, not operating at your full, creative and problem solving best unless you’re using a pen at least some of the time. Our video series on the science behind the surface pen discusses this in detail and we’ll leave a link to that below so it’s, not that i don’t use my device as a tablet it’s just that i don’t love the windows 10 tablet mode. It hasn’t changed much since the early versions of windows 10 and i think the concept had merit, but it needed a lot of work as a trainer. I spent a lot of time teaching people how to use surface both as a laptop and as a tablet. Now i’ve found that most average office workers were struggling with the basics of windows to generalize a lot out of the tens of thousands of people that i’ve trained over the last few years.

I would say that about 50 don’t use, keyboard, shortcuts and 10 of people. Actually know how to use windows snap to split the screen, maybe somewhere between 20 and 30 of people use onenote, even though it’s been a part of the office professional version that you would have at work since 2007.. Now, if you’re one note user that’s hard to believe right, so teaching them how to interact with pen and touch was often a stretch and trying to introduce a radical mode. Change in windows was just beyond their capability. Remember that 99 of people are not tech enthusiasts and they don’t watch. Videos like this they’re, not like you and me windows needs to cater for them and for us too. So i believe that the change between desktop and tablet use in windows needs to be far more subtle without a jarring interface transition, so tablet mode is gone and in its place, is a more touch friendly, ui on the desktop. That makes it easier to do things like resize windows, it’s, pretty rough, as i said earlier and we’d expect to see this refined in the official builds on the user interface side. The new version of windows will include smoother transitions and graphics. These visuals go a long way to making people feel quality like car doors that are designed to clunk when they’re closed graphical transitions. When you turn your device from portrait to landscape mode or when you minimize, apps split the screen or pop up the keyboard.

Well, they needed a lot of work in windows 10 to deliver that quality feel. It appears that this is addressed in windows 11, although they’re not working especially well. For me, at the moment, when you rotate the device into portrait resize a window or minimize it, the graphical transition is smoother. Now this is a little thing, but i think it could invite people to interact with their devices minus the keyboard and mouse more regularly and in terms of a better tablet. Experience windows has led the market for 20 years in inking. Handwriting recognition in windows used to be miles ahead of the game, but today it’s just okay. There have been some really nice improvements to the handwriting recognition tool in windows 10 over the last six months of windows. Insider builds that i’ve been running on my surface pro x, and this leads me to expect to see some of those significant improvements in sun valley or, as we may officially know it on the 24th windows 11., but the touch keyboard and pen input experience has been Somewhat clunky and inconsistent in windows, the touch keyboard pops up when it shouldn’t it doesn’t when it should window resizing, is not smooth when you have the keyboard docked. Many first party, microsoft, experiences like word onenote and teams need work here from what we’ve seen in this rough version of windows 11. There has been some effort, that’s gone into this, but it still has a long way to go.

Microsoft have delivered some pretty cool inking capabilities in windows 10, for example, the 2016 anniversary update delivered the windows ink workspace that included the sketchpad demo. App sketchpad suddenly disappeared in 2018, i’m, not sure if anybody’s reported it missing, but it had some pretty cool features like low latency, inking pencils and a ruler and protractor we’d love to see better support for these tools consistently across windows and office apps. Even if these things are not there on day, one of windows, 11 we’d expect to see more improvements here over time. But what is there right now is the ability to customize the windows ink workspace on devices like the surface pro x, when you undock the pen from the keyboard, this small menu will appear on the screen, giving you shortcuts to apps. Now you can choose the apps that you want to show in that space now. This is a feature that we’ve seen on the galaxy note series for a long time, so it’s really nice to see it showing up in windows. 11 too. Back in windows 7. We had a fantastic pen and touch productivity feature called flicks. The idea was simple enough: just flick your pen across the screen like a match to do an action, copy, paste, delete or undo when you are working in tablet mode, and i mean creating and doing stuff, not just browsing the web and you didn’t have access to Your keyboard – this was an absolute time saver, so we’re intrigued by some discussion of a new gesture layer coming in windows 11.

. Today we have two three and four finger gestures on track, pads and that’s available. Now on the touch screen in windows: 11.. The gestures are now customizable too, and you can set up your own specific commands, which is interesting, so you could customize a gesture to trigger a control c copy command. We’D like to see pen gestures, though, since the pen has more leverage and more fine control than fat fingers on a screen with windows, 11 it’s time for microsoft to really nail the tablet and two in one experience, let’s hope they deliver. In addition to the tablet, experience i’m glad to see some improvements in window handling i’m talking about improvements to things like windows, snap, the ability to split the screen into halves or quarters. Microsoft currently has an add on for windows called windows, 10 power toys. That includes a utility called fancy zones that allows you to split your screen into many different zones of different sizes, and it appears that some of that concept has made its way into the minimize maximise button in windows. 11. you’ll be able to split the screen by hovering your cursor over the minimize maximize button and from there you can snap into any of the quadrants or half screen positions. We’D just love to see a way to customize the layout to allow for things like a three way: app split the start button and the start menu in windows 11 have been centralized, which is sure to enrage.

Many change is never well received in the tech community. Back in the windows 8 days, i was at an mvp meet up in sydney around about 2012, where a group of 100 it nerds mvps, held the local windows marketing manager to the flames demanding the return of the windows 7 start menu. It seems that they got their way in the end, but manny if you’re watching it might be a good idea to lay low again, but i think that centralizing the start menu is not necessarily a bad thing. Although muscle memory has me constantly looking in the bottom left for that button, i mean the idea of using the start menu as a dashboard of apps search and activity kind of warrants that central position, lots of people are comparing it to the mac doc, because it’s Centered, i mean really apple were the first to center. Things too, fortunately, it’s very easy to push back to the left. If you prefer i’m not sold on this version of the start menu, though i think it’s overly simplistic, the space is too limited and it can’t be expanded. At least here in this version, it’s highly likely that this is going to change in the final release. This version of the start menu looks to me like it’s, just an unaltered transplant of the windows 10x concept that microsoft was previously toying with it needs some work. Live tiles are gone from the start, menu, which is good.

I think i mean the concept of live. App, icons was really cool in the windows phone, but really the idea of customizable widgets is better. The good news is that there will be a widget space available on windows 11. On the left hand, side of the screen it’ll be super handy to be able to glance at your calendar your to do list with widgets and that deserves its own space. Not an app icon live tiles, often made it hard to find things on the windows. 10 start menu, so it’s good that those moving elements have been removed and widgets have been added. The widget space in this build is clearly not finished. There’S currently, no way to change what appears there right now, but microsoft will no doubt tap into the concepts found in their brilliant android launcher for queues here and also wara on windows. Microsoft has changed the task view layout. It appears that they’ve moved the timeline to the new central start menu, leaving the task view a little bit clearer. Virtual desktops are here too, of course, and the great news is that you can now have different backgrounds on each virtual, desktop we’d love to see more options for customizing virtual desktops, with their own color schemes and even file spaces. While the windows, 10x, dual screen concept seemed to fizzle out. The idea of using multiple screens or even multiple zones for connected experiences like those on the android powered surface duo, may just live on through windows 11.

, for example. The surface duo allows you to connect apps together with shortcut sets. Let’S hope we see some of that and i haven’t seen it yet, but apparently apps can now restart and reposition themselves in windows 11 across virtual desktops, when you reboot, which we don’t do so much. These days, we’d expect to see even more progress on that with the final code when it ships on the hardware front, we’d love to hear about a surface pro. At this event, of course, please let it have thunderbolt and support for external gpus, and what about a revised surface book 4, maybe or a surface studio? 3 that’d sure be nice. But this discussion’s about windows and we’d love to see windows on arm continue to improve and we do expect 64 bit x86 app emulation shipping in this version of windows. We’D also like to see some significant improvements to sound and audio handling. The sound settings panel has lagged way behind in windows and, although it has improved in this build, there are still elements of the old control panel interface to be found. For example, the system’s sound settings page since many people are now embedded in working from home with their pcs windows just needs to get a lot better at handling audio devices and audio device profiles and that’s, especially true of bluetooth, headphones with protocols like aptx low latency, Available but not yet supported on windows. Protocols like this would make it much more viable to watch videos on windows with your bluetooth, headset on and better hardware and software support could give power users the ability to see clearly what protocol is in use and then maybe the ability to change it if needed.

If you dig around a little bit we’ve seen some recent changes to camera support in windows 10 with the camera app since devices like the surface pro and go have two cameras: it’s really handy for field workers to be able to document things without having to resort To their personal mobile phone or camera we’d like to see windows, improve camera support a lot and i’m glad to see a new section of the settings app for cameras, it’s pretty basic at this stage in this version. So far, at least and we’d like to see flickr reduction control currently found in the camera app as well as manual focus control in here. Windows really needs to step up on this front, though, and offer more control and hardware integration with cameras, for example, we’d love to see better camera controls and protocols for developers so that they can include these things into their apps things like manual focus and led flash Support would be nice now speaking about cameras, makes me think about focus but i’m thinking about focus in a different sense, because windows has long led the way with handling notifications. Back in 2015, we had quiet hours in windows which later became focus, assist in later updates with so many notifications from so many apps today, it’s hard to find a way to stay focused at all. Many people are feeling stressed and fatigued from trying to manage the modern digital lifestyle with its constant bing bing bing notifications apple actually announced something really interesting here at their recent worldwide developer conference.

The concept of focus profiles, congratulations to apple for having an idea. It actually takes the concept of focus mode even further, by creating unique profiles for notification, management and that’s, something that i think could really enhance. Focus assist in windows 2. and, while we’re talking about apple let’s talk about airdrop. Now microsoft launched nearby sharing a couple of years back, but microsoft needs to make this work with android, at least to see more seamless, sharing between phones and pcs it’d be great if they could do it with apple too, but who are we kidding apple don’t care About their pro i mean customers. They would never allow that to happen, but come on apple. Surely you could just make air drops from non apple devices show up in green so that your users can denigrate people who think for themselves. Okay. So the last thing on my list is a better app store. The app store and windows has struggled, perhaps it’s time for microsoft, to take it up to the competition, though, by dropping fees and percentages altogether, while other app stores rip 30 out of every transaction from the pockets of their customers, windows could be 30 cheaper for apps. Make it free for developers and give people a place to find safe games and apps for windows and a place for developers to market themselves too? I know that microsoft’s always been prepared to invest in their customers and their developers. So surely it’s worth a try.

The app store on this version of windows is the same one that you can see in windows 10, but it’s almost certainly guaranteed to be overhauled by the time the real windows 11 hits your pc as soon as we can download the official release to manufacturing or The windows insider builds of windows 11. You can expect a video from us so hit that subscribe button and ring that notification bell to be the first to know about it, and let us know what you want to see from windows 11 in the comments below just to re edit, terry.