Windows 11 is coming.
Microsoft dropped the news of its upcoming operating system in a live stream wherein the tech giant touched on numerous changes to the upcoming Windows operating system. These will range from simple aesthetic improvements to a deeper design philosophy that's geared to cater to touchscreen displays, as well as gaming capability improvements.
Windows 11 will start shipping this holiday 2020 with Insider Builds available as early as next week. It will also come as a free upgrade for all users with Windows 10 that meet the minimum system requirements.
What Windows 11 Means for Gamers
For over 45 minutes, Microsoft used the showcase to highlight all the new productivity features that will be added to Windows 11, along with gaming upgrades. The gaming part is arguably the most interesting as it essentially means that PCs will become more like Microsoft's Xbox consoles
In particular, two features coming to Windows 11 that are already available on the Xbox are Auto HDR and DirectStorage.
Both DirectStorage and Auto HDR have been available for the Xbox Series S/X since the next-gen consoles launched in November 2020.
With Auto HDR, Windows 11 PCs can take advantage of HDR-enabled hardware for the optimal viewing experience. Meanwhile, DirectStorage is another Xbox Series feature. It loads the assets of a game on the graphics card instead of the CPU to help improve performance and make games load faster.
Both should be a great addition for PC-exclusive gamers who don't want to or can't buy a console at the moment, but would like to experience certain console-exclusive features nonetheless.
Windows 11 will also have the Xbox app built-in. For those that don't know, the Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's gaming subscription service. On top of letting users download games from its extensive library, the Xbox Game Pass also lets gamers stream video games on mobile phones and other platforms via xCloud.
It'll be interesting to see if Windows 11 turns out to be as good as promised or if it is a huge flop. There is a running gag among Windows systems where Microsoft alternates good releases with bad releases. Although Microsoft might not have planned this, it is a known fact that this pattern has gone on for more than two decades. This is partly why some users are concerned about just how good Windows 11 will be once it launches.
Having said that, Windows 11 is landing six years after Windows 10 was released in 2015. This means that Microsoft has had the better part of the past decade to work on it.