CNN

Nearly a year after Microsoft unveiled its flagship Windows 11, the tech giant has officially rolled out its first major update to its operating system.

The update, which is free for current Windows 11 users, was released on Tuesday in more than 190 countries. Many of the new features clarify Microsoft’s vision for the future of hybrid work.

“We have formed new habits; and they’re stuck,” wrote Panos Panay, Microsoft’s EVP and chief product officer for Windows and Devices. blog post announces the update. “Our work is never about making Windows evolve and adapt to you.”

Saying that Windows 11 is the most used version of Windows in history, Panay detailed the goal of the latest update to make working remotely on a computer 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.

Other changes include improvements to Snap layouts, which help people optimize their view when they need to have multiple apps or documents at once. It also features Focus Sessions and Do Not Disturb to help minimize distractions. When you start a new focus session, it will activate Do Not Disturb, which silences all notifications and turns off the taskbar icons.

The Start menu gets a bit of a refresh, including a faster and more accurate search function and new ways to customize the menu. File Explorer also now has icons, which Panay says is the most requested request from Windows users.

Meanwhile, a new tool called Windows Studio Effects helps enhance video and audio calls by using AI technology to filter out background noise and blur background objects like lawnmowers and crying babies. It also subtly lifts the speaker’s eyes to appear as if you’re looking directly into the camera in video calls.

Microsoft is also introducing some previously announced accessibility features in Windows 11, including system-wide live captions that create subtitles from any form of audio content, and an update to Natural Voices for Narrator that more closely reflects natural speech patterns. helps you read documents or browse the web.

Microsoft previously told CNN many of its new inclusion features were developed by Microsoft employees with disabilities.

Microsoft also said that the update is being offered in a “measured and phased rollout” approach blog post. Users with compatible devices can get the update by simply opening Windows Update in their settings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.