Despite claiming that Windows 10 would be the last desktop operating system it would ever release, Microsoft appears to be on track to release Windows 11 by the end of the month.
The Windows team’s advertisement below, which transforms the sunshine from the Windows logo into the shape of an 11 (with the horizontal bars from the window removed), is a strong clue.
Given that a significant new Windows version appears to be on the way, here are the things that I believe Microsoft must offer if Windows 11 is to be a success.
Play Xbox games on your computer
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that provides you access to a large library of games on both the Xbox console and the PC, has been a big success.
This advantage needs to be hammered home by Microsoft. Xbox Game Pass should be integrated into Windows 11 so that gamers may continue where they left off on the console on their PC or laptop.
This is accomplished by streaming, which eliminates the requirement for the game to be installed on the PC and eliminates the necessity for a high-end system (see below) to play demanding 3D games. This streaming service has already been tested by Microsoft, and it would be fantastic if it were included in Windows 11, providing gamers a compelling incentive to upgrade.
Microsoft will have to figure out how to handle cloud-based stored games, but this might be a game-changer for Windows 11.
Microsoft recently canceled Windows 10X, a ChromeOS competitor, claiming that the work done on it would be incorporated into the main Windows operating system.
If that’s the case, one feature of Windows 11 that Microsoft must nail is the ability to run on low-end Chromebook hardware. Windows 10 has been beefed up over the years, so using it on a PC with a low-end processor and less than 8GB of RAM is a chore.
Unless Microsoft intends to abandon the low-end hardware market entirely, Windows 11 must be nimble enough to work on both limited, low-energy components and powerful PCs.
One simple user interface
Too much of Windows 10 is still the ‘new’ Windows that has been slapped on top of the ghosts of Windows past.
The fact that Windows 10 contains both a modern Settings menu and the old-school Control Panel six years after its launch is an embarrassment. It’s a jumble of overlapping features, some of which appear to have been plucked out of the 1990s.
Microsoft has a hard time letting go. With Windows 11, it needs to make a clean break and deliver a single, modern, and uniform interface across the board.
Automatic backup that is painless
Backup with Windows 10 is like crashing a car. When you type ‘backup’ into the Start Menu, you’ll be sent to a screen with three options: backing up data to OneDrive, backing up using File History, or using the ‘Windows 7 Backup and Restore’. Windows 7 is here! How is the typical user supposed to comprehend that? They just want their files to be safe, not a slew of competing possibilities.
Microsoft has the resources to carry out this task properly. Azure is one of the world’s largest cloud services. Microsoft should be able to take a comprehensive, automatic backup of every Windows PC (for a reasonable cost) and put an end to this agony.
“Give us $5 a month, and if your system ever implodes or you get hacked by ransomware, just join in with your Microsoft account and restore your Windows 11 PC from the cloud.”