Microsoft unveils raft of latest Windows 11 options

The shift to working from dwelling throughout the pandemic fuelled a resurgence in demand for PCs. Now Microsoft is hoping a partial return to the workplace will spur gross sales of its newest Windows working system.

With some staff nonetheless at dwelling, some returning to places of work, and others splitting time between the 2, Microsoft is styling Windows 11 because the working system for hybrid companies. On Tuesday, the corporate unveiled a sequence of latest options for the software program, which first got here out in October, aiming to enhance community safety for a cell workforce and make it simpler to maneuver work between bodily computer systems and the cloud.

The thought is to “help companies be more agile and flexible for their employees and themselves”, chief product officer Panos Panay mentioned in an interview. They additionally have to be extra resilient in coping with safety threats, he mentioned.

Part of the pitch of Windows 11 is shifting clients to a “cloud PC” mannequin, the place the software program is delivered to particular person computer systems however continues to be saved, up to date and managed within the cloud. Users can entry the identical packages from the workplace or at dwelling, blurring the road between cloud computing and conventional PCs.

The change would require Microsoft and its {hardware} companions to create gadgets for a work-from-anywhere way of life, mentioned Panay, who additionally oversees the Surface line of computer systems and tablets. He declined to touch upon particular plans for Microsoft’s {hardware}.

“We continue to figure out what people actually need from a hybrid stance, what flexibility means to a customer — all the way down to the silicon,” he mentioned. Whether it’s for frontline employees or workplace staff, there will probably be sturdy demand for brand new sorts of merchandise, Panay mentioned.

Better safety

Part of Tuesday’s updates embrace higher safety in opposition to phishing assaults. A system known as Defender SmartDisplay screen finds and alerts customers once they’re inputting their Microsoft login info right into a hacked web site or trojan horse.

Smart App Control, in the meantime, prevents something however trusted apps from working. And a private knowledge encryption characteristic will defend info saved on a tool when the person just isn’t logged in. That makes it tougher for delicate info to be seized from a tool that’s misplaced or stolen.

Features aimed toward mixing the cloud and bodily world embrace Windows 365 boot, which lets shoppers log immediately right into a cloud PC. There’s additionally a change characteristic that permits customers to simply transfer from a bodily desktop to what they’ve saved within the cloud. An offline choice allows clients to work on their cloud PC once they’re disconnected.

Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay

The strategy has begun to win converts. Accenture mentioned it has put Windows 11 on 30 000 gadgets thus far and plans to have it on 300 000 by July. The remainder of the consulting agency’s virtually 700 000 employees will get the brand new working system by the top of the 12 months.

Windows 11 can be including some accessibility options, together with dwell captions that assist people who find themselves deaf or studying a brand new language, in keeping with a presentation by Microsoft govt Wangui McKelvey. A brand new voice readability characteristic for conferences eliminates echo and background noise, she mentioned.  — Dina Bass and Jillian Ward, (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP

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