If you’re an SMB business owner or employee, it’s almost inevitable that you regularly use or interact with Microsoft Windows. With that in mind, new features and functionalities can change the business if fully leveraged.
In the summer, Microsoft announced the launch of Windows 11, the latest version of the Windows operating system. The launch included many new features that SMBs can leverage to simplify and improve their workflows.
For SMBs looking to make the most of their digital ecosystems, here are some features they can look forward to leveraging in Windows 11.
New design. Windows 11 includes a few design refreshes without changing so much of the design that those familiar with the platform won’t be able to use it. The Start menu can now be found in the middle of the screen and features pinned applications, recent documents, search interface, and other helpful features. Microsoft has also added other helpful features, like translucent windows and window snapping.
Teams integration. As virtual work becomes more popular and more employees rely on collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft has added enhanced integrations to its Windows 11 OS. These updates include a Chat icon in the taskbar for easier access to conversations and improved notifications.
Widgets. In Windows 11, Microsoft brought back a widget panel, which can be found on the taskbar. These widgets offer helpful features, such as a to-do list, weather, traffic, calendar, and other functions that can be viewed at a glance. Microsoft said developers would ultimately be able to add their own widgets in the future, which opens the door to even more possibilities for SMBs.
Multiple desktops and monitor support. When it comes to monitors, more is often better. Microsoft has added better multi-monitor support in Windows 11, including smoothing the process when a monitor is plugged in and then unplugged by remembering where windows were kept. Windows 11 also enhances capabilities around multiple desktops on a single monitor, including adding a desktop menu on the taskbar to flip between virtual desktops with ease.
Touchscreen features. Many of the newest devices are tablet meets desktop or laptop, and Windows 11 adds new features to enhance the user experience. This includes adding larger buttons to make it easier to touch and an optional keyboard on the side of the screen. It also enhances the experience around using a stylus, adding new features to make digital writing feel more natural.
New apps. Windows 11 opens up a whole new world of applications to users, including opening its Microsoft Store to any app developer to upload versions of applications. It’s also bringing Android applications to Windows. These can also be accessed through the Microsoft Store, though they will be downloaded through the Amazon Appstore.
When can SMBs begin taking advantage of all these new benefits? Microsoft began rolling many of them out last fall to newer devices with push notifications to update and will come to other compatible devices throughout 2022. Users who are excited about the launch can also proactively update their systems directly to start receiving the benefits.