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Windows 11 vs Windows 10: what’s really different?

Thinking about upgrading to Windows 11? The latest operating system from Microsoft completed its rolling rollout earlier this year and is now available on compatible devices. While the two operating systems share a lot of similarities, there are some big differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11. The newer version offers more Mac aesthetics and more productivity-enhancing features – plus the chance to finally use the Android application on a Windows 11 PC.

Let’s take a look at the big changes made by Microsoft and what is actually different. And make sure you check out our favorite Windows 11 features and how to use them, everything we wanted in Windows 11 but didn’t get and how set the default search engine. When you’re ready, we’ll show you how to download a new operating system.

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Windows 10 vs Windows 11: Every big difference with the new operating system

Design and interface

Windows 11 desktop displaying Microsoft Teams chat

Windows 11 has a new look with a centered Start menu and taskbar.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Windows 11 introduces a completely new, more Mac-like interface to the operating system. It has a clean design with rounded corners and pastel shades. The the iconic Start menu it also moves to the center of the screen along with the taskbar. But you can slide them back to the leftwhere they are on Windows 10 if you prefer.

Android application integration

Windows 11 desktop showing Android app store

Windows 11 finally lets you download Android apps to your computer.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Android apps are now available for Windows 11 by Microsoft Store, via the Amazon Appstore. (There have been several ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including if you had a Samsung Galaxy phonebut that will make it native). It’s something Windows users have been waiting for for years, and it marks another step towards connecting mobile devices and laptops.

read more: Windows 11 finally adds Android apps. Here’s how to download them

Better virtual desktop support

Multiple virtual desktops displayed on the monitor

It will be easier to create and switch between different virtual desktops on Windows 11 than on Windows 10.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Windows 11 allows configure virtual desktops in a manner similar to a Mac computer. It allows you to switch between multiple desktops simultaneously for personal, work, school or gaming use. In Windows 10, this feature was more difficult to set up and use.

read more: Windows 11 is here, so does that mean I should buy a new laptop?

Easier transition from monitor to laptop

Multiple application windows on the monitor

It’s easier to group different sets of windows and applications and move from desktop to monitor with Snap Layouts and Snap Groups.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

The new operating system includes features called Snap groups and snap layouts – collections of applications that you use simultaneously that reside on the taskbar and can appear or be minimized simultaneously for easier task switching. They also allow you to easily connect and disconnect from the monitor without losing the space with open windows.

Microsoft Teams added to the taskbar

The person waving in the movie Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is built right into the taskbar in Windows 11, making it easy to video chat.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Teams have undergone a facelift and it’s now integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar for easy access (and a little more like Apple’s FaceTime). Teams can be accessed from Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.

Widgets (well, sort of)

Widgets on the Windows 11 desktop

Launch widgets from the Windows 11 taskbar to quickly see information such as weather, news, and stocks.

Microsoft / screenshot by Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

While they’ve been around for a while (remember desktop gadgets in Windows Vista?), Including the the last update of Windows 10you can now access to widgets directly from the taskbar and personalize them to see what you want.

Improved touchscreen, voice and pen support

Your Windows 11 tablet shows off the Pride Month movie collection

Microsoft has made Windows 11 easier to use on tablets than Windows 10.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

For tablets, Microsoft has sought to improve touch experience by increasing the space between icons on the taskbar and supporting gestures. Windows 11 also adds haptics to your digital pen, so you can hear and feel the vibration when you use it to take notes or draw. Finally, the operating system introduces voice typing and commands throughout the system.

Xbox technology to improve your gaming experience

Video game astronaut sitting in the cockpit of a spaceship

Windows 11 introduces some technical extras from Xbox for a better game.

Microsoft / screenshot by Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Windows 11 will get some features available on Xbox consolessuch as Auto HDR and DirectStorage to improve the gaming experience on your Windows PC. This is another step towards the integration of PCs and Xbox consoles for Microsoft.

Find out more everything we know about Windows 11 and how to download the latest microsoft operating system.

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