(Image credit: Windows Central)
Microsoft’s hybrid work event yesterday spent lots of fourth dimension talking most Windows eleven features we already know well-nigh thank you to the Windows Insider Program, but that doesn’t mean the issue was devoid of any new feature announcements. If you paid close attention, at that place were a handful of new features unveiled that we haven’t seen before, and some features that nosotros have seen simply oasis’t officially gone into testing yet.
Either way, we thought it’d be a good idea to circular up all the new features we noticed go shown or talked about during the upshot and its iii breakout sessions. Microsoft isn’t saying if these features will be ready in time for the next major feature update, known every bit version 22H2, or if they’ll be coming before or afterwards than that. Information technology’south also unclear when these features will evidence up for Insiders to kickoff testing.
Tabs in File Explorer
This is arguably the biggest new feature announced by Microsoft yesterday. It’due south finally bringing a tabbed interface to the File Explorer app, allowing users to have multiple folders and directories open nether ane app window, simply like a web browser. It’s about fourth dimension every bit well, existence 1 of the acme requested features from Windows Insiders since the Windows Insider Program began dorsum in 2014.
Other platforms have had tabs in their respective file explorers for many years, and then Microsoft is definitely playing take hold of up in this area. That said, it’s amend tardily than never. Tabs in File Explorer have already appeared in a couple of Windows Insider builds (albeit unofficially) in a rather unfinished state. Hopefully over the coming months we see this feature build out to go a fully fledged tabbed experience.
Microsoft also demoed an updated “home” feel with a slightly tweaked UI. We already have the updated home layout in the Insider Program, just the tweaked UI pattern isn’t in public builds nonetheless. Information technology’s subtle, simply the version of File Explorer shown at the event looks to exist more consistent with the residuum of the Windows 11 design linguistic communication, so hopefully we’re going hear more well-nigh this UI update for File Explorer soon.
Context IQ Features
Microsoft as well unveiled that it’s planning to innovate more smart, contextual features and behaviors to Windows eleven over the coming months. The case information technology used at the event is with the share dialog in the File Explorer, which will effort to listing contacts that it thinks you desire to share specific files with in an endeavour to reduce clicks and time spent actually trying to sharing said file.
The company did say that it intends to innovate these contextual enhancements in other areas of the Os as well, and we already know that a feature chosen “Suggested Actions” is in development that volition provide quick deportment for common tasks such as creating an event in the Calendar app, or adding a contact to your contacts list when highlighting specific types of text and data.
Information technology was super brief, just Microsoft over again demoed a total screen version of the Widgets Panel, a characteristic that was announced back in June 2021, but still hasn’t shipped even in preview. Additionally, Microsoft too demoed the power to be signed into the Widgets Panel with both a personal and piece of work account, something that isn’t currently possible on Windows 11.
We know that Microsoft is planning to open up the Widget Panel to developers at some point, though this was not appear at the event yesterday. Perhaps nosotros’ll come across Microsoft talk more than about the extensibility of the Widgets Panel at Build 2022, which has merely been appear to be taking identify on May 24-26. For now, nosotros’re still waiting for a full screen Widgets Panel to arrive.
Video call enhancements
Microsoft spent a chunk of time talking most hybrid work, and how it’south building Windows 11 to help enhance hybrid work meetings via enhancements to voice calling scenarios thanks to new and improved camera and mic furnishings powered by dedicated neural processing units found in compatible Windows PCs.
Photographic camera and mic effects announced include groundwork blur, auto-framing, noise suppression, vox clarity, and eye contact. Some of these features are already available in your favorite video calling apps, simply Microsoft is building these furnishings into Windows 11 natively, meaning these volition piece of work across whatsoever app that utilizes your camera, equally long as y’all have a neural processing unit inside your PC.
So far, Microsoft is touting the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s every bit one of the starting time devices with a neural processing unit built-in, meaning it supports all of these new camera effects coming soon. These should work in Teams, Slack, or whatever other app that uses your photographic camera.
A big new characteristic appear for companies deploying Windows PCs to its employees comes in the grade of “Organizational Messages” which will permit IT admins to deploy alerts directly to employees via Windows. These alerts can appear in the form of popups above the Taskbar, via notification in the Action Middle, or straight on the lock screen. IT admins will exist able to send these alerts to employees via Endpoint Managing director, assuming your organisation is using an Azure Active Directory set upwardly.
Cloud PC integration
Finally, Microsoft talked nearly a handful of new features for commercial customers that it plans to deliver “in the future.” All of these features are designed to better integrate the local Windows 11 desktop experience with the Deject PC experience offered by Windows 365. As of correct now, Windows 365 is a service that you lot can only really access via a web browser, but Microsoft wants to turn Windows 365 into a feature of Windows 11.
Here are the cloud integration features announced:
- Windows 365 Boot: Allows you to log direct into your Cloud PC and designate information technology as the primary Windows feel on the device.
- Windows 365 Offline: Allows y’all to work in Windows 365 fifty-fifty when disconnected, and when internet is restored, your Cloud PC will automatically resync with the service without data loss, so the user experience and workflow is persistent.
- Windows 365 Switch: Gives you the ability to move between your Cloud PC and local desktop just like you would between windows in the Job Switcher, using the aforementioned familiar keyboard commands, mouse or a swipe gesture.
- Windows 365 App: Provides another fashion to become straight to my Deject PC from the Job Bar or Start card. All with desktop path to my Cloud PC, providing a personal, customized welcome experience to tailor my settings, contour, and work style.
Microsoft highlighted these experiences as “the future” of the Windows desktop experience for commercial customers, which implies these features aren’t around the corner. Microsoft is committed to delivering them, but it may exist some time earlier they get-go showing up in the product.
App folders on desktop?
Finally, I wanted to point out something that Microsoft didn’t
announce, but was spotted in the background of another demo. In one of the breakout sessions, a brief Taskbar demo appears to reveal what looks like an app binder on the desktop. In the top left-hand corner, you can see a foursquare thumbnail with iv social media icons in it, titled “social media.”
To me, this looks like an app folder, which Windows 11 doesn’t currently support on the desktop. You can create app folders in the Commencement menu, but not the desktop. Hopefully, this wasn’t just a concept blunder and nosotros actually see this show up as an official feature soon.