Nearly one year after Microsoft released its flagship Windows 11 operating system, the tech giant has officially rolled out its first major update to the operating system.
The update, which is freely available to existing Windows 11 users, was released in more than 190 countries on Tuesday. Several new features sharpen Microsoft’s vision for the future of hybrid work.
“We have formed new habits. And they have been stuck,” Panos Panay, Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, wrote in Blog post Announcing the update. “Our work is never done to ensure that Windows evolves and adapts to you.”
Banay, who said Windows 11 is the most used version of Windows in its history, detailed how the latest update aims to make working remotely on a PC easier and more secure. For example, a new tool called Smart App Control uses artificial intelligence to block malicious or untrusted apps from running on devices. Microsoft calls Windows 11 the most secure version of the operating system to date.
Other changes include improvements to Snap’s layout software that helps people improve their view when they need multiple apps or documents in front of them at the same time. It also offers Focus Sessions and Do Not Disturb to help reduce distractions from the task at hand. When you start a new focus session, it will activate the Do Not Disturb feature that silences all notifications and turns off taskbar badges.
The Start menu is also getting some updates, including a faster and more accurate search function and new ways to customize the menu. There are now also tabs available in File Explorer, which Panay said are the most requested by Windows users.
Meanwhile, a new tool called Windows Studio Effects helps improve video and audio calls with artificial intelligence technology that filters out background noise, such as lawn mowers and crying babies, and removes background objects. It also subtly lifts the speaker’s eyes to make it appear as if they are looking directly into the camera in video calls.
Microsoft is also rolling out some previously announced accessibility features, including system-wide live captions that automatically create captions from any form of audio content on Windows 11, and an update to Natural Voices for Narrator, which reflects Larger natural speech patterns and aids in reading documents or browsing the web.
Microsoft He previously told CNN Many of the new inclusion features were developed in part by Microsoft employees with disabilities.
In a separate statement, Microsoft said the update is being delivered through a “thoughtful and tiered” approach. Blog post. Users with eligible devices can get the update simply by opening Windows Update in their settings.