Microsoft is poised to make its first significant update to Windows 11 next month, including a public preview of Android apps in the Microsoft Store. That will come alongside redesigns of the Media Player and Notepad apps and improvements to the taskbar.
The announcement was made in a blog post by Windows and Devices head Panos Panay, highlighting Microsoft and Windows' place in a vibrant PC market.
The changes to the taskbar include the return of the weather widget and a feature to mute and unmute your system, as well as "easier windows sharing," though that isn't specifically defined.
Microsoft has tested the new Notepad and Media Player apps with Windows Insiders. The Windows 11 taskbar was one of the biggest complaints among critics when the operating system launched, as it was missing features like the ability to be resized, showing a clock on multiple screens and dragging and dropping files. At the very least, Microsoft appears to be starting to tackle those concerns.
Notably, the Android apps aren't a final feature. Panay wrote that it's a "public preview," even though it has been in testing with Insiders for a few months using Amazon's app store.
Panay wrote that people are "accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10," and that the new version of the OS is pushing three times as much traffic to the Microsoft Store, which has been redesigned and features new apps and entirely different storefronts, like Epic Games. Citing data from Canalys, Microsoft says that Windows 10 and 11 together are running on more than 1.4 billion devices monthly.
Microsoft is also ahead of schedule on pushing Windows 11 out to eligible PCs. Panay wrote that the company is entering the "final phase of availability," pushing it ahead of a planned mid-2022 date.
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Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.
...Microsoft Store, which has been redesigned...
still awful and anything forced to go through it feels bad e_e
love owning something, wanting to play it, and it telling me I have a demo or i do not own the thing...having to try over and over for it to finally be like "oh you DO in fact own this"
Yea i run Enterprise so I won't be upgrading anytime soon since those upgrades aren't free.Reply