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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.

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.

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