Skip to main content

Windows 11 had a big four months. Here’s what’s coming next

It’s been about four months since Windows 11 first launched, and Microsoft is now talking about what’s next for its new operating system.

As many rumors suggested, arriving this year are features like Android Apps, taskbar improvements, and redesigned core applications. Yet in detailing those new features for Windows 11, Microsoft also talked about some trends in the Windows space regarding hybrid work and learning, entertainment, and other consumer habits for everyday tasks.

At the top of that list is an interesting tidbit on Windows users upgrading to Windows 11. People are apparently accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate of Windows 10. The company also claims that there has been a sixfold increase in communication apps on Windows and that people are spending 40% more time on their Windows 11 PC versus Windows 10.

Other Windows tidbits include 70% more people streaming content across Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube on Windows. Even monthly gaming minutes on Windows grew over 35%, according to Microsoft. And overall time spent on Windows is up 10% over prepandemic levels.

A man works on a Windows tablet.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As far as the details on the new features, Microsoft is hoping to launch a public preview of Android apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store. Windows 11 will also soon get new call mute and unmute features in the taskbar, and easier window sharing features. Microsoft is even planning on bringing back the weather to the taskbar and will launch a new media player and redesigned Notepad app, both of which were previously in testing.

“Windows will continue to be the backbone for innovation, a destination for gaming, creativity, and exploration, and a gateway to the Metaverse,” said Panos Panay, chief product officer for Windows and Devices.

Today marks one of the first times that we’ve officially seen numbers from Microsoft about Windows 11’s popularity. Previously, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella only indicated he was “delighted” with the popularity, indicating that the OS had more “usage intensity.”

Some other details from today’s Microsoft post indicate that the PC is still quite popular, even with issues in the supply chain industry. Microsoft noted that two times as many people are using their PC to shop, spending 40% more time shopping. It also detailed that global PC shipments surpassed 340 million in 2021, with Windows now powering 1.4 billion monthly active devices.

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
Windows 11 may bring Live Tiles back from the dead — sort of
windows 8 1 everything you need to know live tiles

The latest Windows 11 Canary build 26212 has quietly introduced support for what is being called "Start Menu Companions." These are small widget-like apps designed to appear alongside your pinned apps or the "All apps" list in the Start Menu.

By the looks of it, these companions would offer at-a-glance information such as weather updates, stock prices, and more. And yes, they share a lot in common with the now-defunct Live Tiles feature from previous versions of Windows. They lack the bright colors and blocky shapes, but they would function in a very similar way.

Read more
Lenovo’s Surface Pro alternative is down to $330 today
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 front view showing display and keyboard.

Even with the discounts from Surface Pro deals, Microsoft's 2-in-1 laptops are still too expensive for some people, so here's a cheaper alternative -- the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 for only $330, following a $100 discount from Lenovo on its original price of $430. The versatile device isn't going to be sold at 23% off forever though, and in fact, it may be back to its regular price as soon as tomorrow, so if you think it's the perfect device for you, you should buy it right now to be able to pocket the savings.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
As a detachable 2-in-1 laptop, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 features a similar design to Microsoft's Surface Pro devices. It starts as a tablet with an 11-inch 2K touchscreen, and it transforms into a laptop by attaching the keyboard cover that also serves as protection for the display when it's closed. This gives the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 versatility to handle different purposes -- for example, tablet mode makes it easier to browse social media, then you can switch to laptop mode when it's time to work on a document.

Read more
OpenAI just took the shackles off the free version of ChatGPT
ChatGPT results on an iPhone.

OpenAI announced the release of its newest snack-sized generative model, dubbed GPT-4o mini, which is both less resource intensive and cheaper to operate than its standard GPT-4o model, allowing developers to integrate the AI technology into a far wider range of products.

It's a big upgrade for developers and apps, but it also expands the capabilities and reduces limitations on the free version of ChatGPT. GPT-4o mini is now available to users on the Free, Plus, and Team tiers through the ChatGPT web and app for users and developers starting today, while ChatGPT Enterprise subscribers will gain access next week. GPT-4o mini will replace the company's existing small model, GPT-3.5 Turbo, for end users beginning today.

Read more