Microsoft announced some important features during its Windows 11 event. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect in the near future.
Tabs in File Explorer are official
Tabs in File Explorer, which we reported about a month ago, have been confirmed by Microsoft. The Redmond company began toying with the idea for Windows 10, but later scrapped Sets. It is good to see the feature finally become a reality.
Users will be able to use Tabs in the built-in file manager to access multiple directories, from a single instance of the program. It works similar to tabs in a web browser. File Explorer is gaining other improvements, such as contextual suggestions powered by Context IQ, for finding files faster.
File Explorer will display an optimized homepage with your favorite folders, files, and recently accessed content.
Start Menu Folders
Touch Snap Layouts
Windows 11 has many Snap Layouts which assist users in multitasking, this feature has been extended for touch screen devices. Microsoft terms this improvement as Touch Snap Layouts.
Microsoft Defender SmartScreen
Windows 11 will integrate Microsoft Defender SmartScreen as an additional layer of security, to protect users from potentially malicious apps, phishing attacks, etc. The recent Insider Preview Build, version 22581, has an issue related to SmartScreen, it slows down the process of loading video files.
Smart App Control
Microsoft is bringing Smart App Control to Windows 11. It is a more advanced version of Defender, which runs in evaluation mode, to learn how to protect your computer without interfering with your usage. It will automatically block harmful apps, untrusted programs, and potentially unwanted apps that are flagged by Microsoft. The catch? Smart App Control is only available for new Windows installs, or if you reset the operating system.
Focus Timer and Do Not Disturb
Users who wish to work without distractions can toggle Focus mode from the Notification Center. It will display a timer, and toggle Do Not Disturb to silence notifications, badges and flashing icons on the taskbar, to allow you to concentrate on the task at hand.
Do Not Disturb can be enabled separately too, and integrated with the Clock app for alarms. These features were first seen in Insider Preview Build 22557.
Windows 11 gains a new accessibility feature called Live Captions, to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The option, when enabled, will display captions, aka subtitles, across all apps including audio from streaming websites, videos, audio from web (calls, video calls,) etc.
Microsoft has not confirmed when it will bring these features to Windows 11, we think they could roll out this summer with the Sun Valley 2 Update.
AI Powered meeting experiences for video calls
Windows 11 will offer new meeting experiences for video calls, to support voice clarity by suppressing background chatter, and voice focus to highlight the speaker. Users can toggle background blur to reduce distractions in the background.
The Eye contact feature will deliver a natural eye contact experience, to make it look like you are facing the camera during calls, in scenes where your computer’s camera is on the side or on the table at an odd angle.
Here is a video that highlights the upcoming features in Windows 11. You can refer to the official announcement for more details. Microsoft has also announced some improvements for Windows 365, you can read about it in our previous article.