Windows 11 Pro introduces new interfaces in almost every area of the desktop experience, and that includes the Start menu. Start has been a staple part of the Windows user experience decades, so it's always a big deal when it changes significantly, as it has on Windows 11 Pro.
The new Start menu has taken the simplistic approach to doing an app launcher. No longer is the Start menu home to a completely customizable layout of app tiles; it's now a grid of icons that you can pin, unpin, and reorganize, and that's pretty much it. Live tiles are gone, with apps now displaying a static app icon and its name beneath it. This is basically exactly how other modern OSes do things these days, so it's no surprise to see Windows joining the fray.
All of the system icons (those being Start, Task View, Search, Teams Chat, and Widgets) have cute little animations that play when you click on them. And your pinned or running apps also have subtle pulse animations that play when you click on them. These small animations go a really long way to making Windows 11 Pro feel like a fluid experience, which is leaps and bounds over the user experience on Windows 10.
-A new, more Mac-like interface. Windows 11 features a clean design with rounded corners, pastel shades and a centered Start menu and Taskbar.
-Integrated Android apps. Android apps will be coming to Windows 11 via the Amazon Appstore, which will be accessible from within the updated Microsoft Store. There were a couple of ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, especially if you had a Samsung Galaxy phone, but this will make it native. (Note that Android apps will not be available upon the initial release of Windows 11.)
-Widgets. While they've been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), including in a recent Windows 10 update, you can now access widgets directly from the Taskbar and personalize them to see whatever you'd like.
-Microsoft Teams integration. Teams is getting a face-lift and is pinned on the Windows 11 Taskbar, making it easier to access (and a bit more like Apple's FaceTime). You'll be able to access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
-Xbox tech for better gaming. Windows 11 will get certain features found in Xbox consoles, like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to improve gaming on your Windows PC. Better virtual desktop support. Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops in a way that's more similar to MacOS, toggling between multiple desktops for personal, work, school or gaming use. You can also change your wallpaper on each virtual desktop.
-Easier transition from monitor to laptop, and better multitasking. The new OS includes features called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts -- collections of the apps you're using at once that sit in the Taskbar, and can come up or be minimized at the same time for easier task switching. They also let you plug and unplug from a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are located.
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