Windows 11 is getting its first major update since it was released last year, and it brings many new features. From tabs and task manager to a built-in video editor, Windows 11 is starting to take shape; It took us a year to get here.
If you don’t remember the disappointing launch of Windows 11 last year, you’re in luck. Although Microsoft brought some new features to the operating system, in its most has been a visual redesign of Windows 10. The 2022 update changes that, making Windows 11 the operating system we should have had from the start.
Windows 11 was not released in the best state. For starters, support for Android apps was lacking, which was the main feature, and ongoing issues with the TPM made installing the new OS confusing and frustrating. Add in addition to those performance issues, like up to a 15% drop in gaming performance on Ryzen processors, and the update didn’t seem too appealing.
We’re past the growing pains, but the Windows 11 we’ve had for the past year, as it’s not the Windows 11 Microsoft is offering now. The 2022 update brings features to the operating system, which is something that the initial version seriously lacked. The press, analysts, and fans mostly called it a Windows 10 reskin, and for the past year, that has been correct. Now Microsoft is adding the features that should have been in Windows 11 all along.
The tabs in File Explorer are a good illustration of that. This has been a feature fans have been requesting for years, and we’re finally getting it with the Windows 11 2022 Update. The original File Explorer in Windows 11 was the same as what we had in Windows 10, minus a few new icons. Now, we have a File Explorer which is much more useful than what we had before.
For creative types, Clipchamp is also a big win. Windows has been hungry for a built-in video editor ever since Windows Movie Maker bit the dust (rest in peace), and Clipchamp is the perfect solution to fill that void. AI features are also making a difference, as Microsoft brings its background blur, auto-framing, and eye contact features available in Teams to the entire operating system.
Those are just some of the features in the Windows 11 2022 Update, too. Windows 11 got off to a rocky start, but the hesitancy to upgrade for many users came down to a lack of new features. This update balances the scales, separating Windows 11 from Windows 10 and providing some tangible updates.
Although Microsoft is adding new features with its first major update to Windows 11, it’s also delivering on some key promises. In particular, it is adding various accessibility features to the operating system. Now, you have access to system-wide automated captions that you can activate with a simple key command, and you can use your voice to fully control your PC.
Microsoft announced Windows 11 as its most affordable operating system to date, which has technically only been true for the past year. There were more accessibility features than Windows 10, but not enough to write at home. System-wide subtitles and voice control are a huge boost, allowing those who struggle with traditional input methods to fully utilize the operating system.
In addition to accessibility, the update rounds out Microsoft’s push for remote work. Windows 11 was described as an operating system built for how you work and play, but again, the meager features didn’t quite make it feel that way. The update brings more support for Do Not Disturb, which you can now set to turn on automatically, as well as more features for Focus.
Focus was one of my most anticipated features, but it didn’t quite pan out as expected in the initial release. It is now integrated into the system tray clock and can activate Focus for a set period of time. You can also customize the notifications you receive when Focus is on, as well as quickly access music and podcast apps. It is a centralized tool to help you focus, which was not before.
Windows 11 got off to a slow start late last year, but it’s finally starting to pick up steam. The latest reports say that around 23% of PCs are now running Windows 11, which is a significant jump considering the number was closer to 15% earlier in the year. This update, along with the features it brings, should further increase the adoption rate.
For the first time since Microsoft announced Windows 11, I’m excited about the future of the operating system. This looks like the version we should have seen from the start, thanks not only to a visual overhaul, but also to features built for PC users in 2022.