Microsoft announced the coming release of Windows 11 June 24, 2021. So…. Will Second Life run on Win11? Yes. There are very few changes in Win11 that would effect how applications like Second Life work. So, we expect the change over to be a non-event for SL users.
So… then what changes?
There are lots of articles out written by the beta and early adopter users. A change is the opening menu. One of the changes in the menu is Live Tiles. If you use them, this change will SUCK. They are gone. But, in return, we get Windows Vista-like widgets… Oh Great!
We get a new Microsoft Apps Store… I never thought of the store as part of the Windows Operating System. But, that is in the update news. The main talking point is they are making it easier for you to find apps. I’ll take that to mean, we have changed our advertising strategy.
What is interesting in regard to the store and Windows is Win11 is getting Android app support. If you got into the Faces rage a few months back you learned it was an Android-only app and one has to add an Android emulator (sort of a software translator for computers) like BlueStacks to run it on a PC. Now I suppose Android apps will just run.
The Clipboard is being changed. That is the Copy-Paste thing in Win10. In 10 you paste (Ctrl-V) and then deal with formatting what you pasted. In 11 you Ctrl-V paste but it opens a menu, dialog window, panel… whatever you call it, and tell it how you want to paste. So, handle the formatting before pasting.
The ‘paste’ panel also has options to let you grab images and emojis and paste them in. Which I think is sort of handy. I’ve been looking those up, copying them, and then pasting them. This new way should be fewer clicks. I suspect it is going to take some getting used to.
With Win11 we get a new on-screen keyboard. Woohoo! (not)
The Task View is changed… AGAIN. But we get virtual desktops with that change. So… if you don’t already use Task View in Win10, try it. Press and hold down the Alt-key. While holding the Alt-key tap the Tab-key. You’ll see all your running apps/tasks. You can press the Tab-key to move through the shown apps. Release the Alt-key when you have the task you want selected. Or press ESC-key to abort.
You can quickly change between tasks by pressing Alt-Tab and letting go. That flips between the currently in use and last used app. I find it a very handy shortcut when in SL and using Google Translate.
The Virtual Desktops sounds interesting. You can build a desktop for work and one for gaming. They can have different backgrounds and colors. They are sort of permanent, like presets or something. You can have several.
Microsoft Edge is integrated with the Task Manager… this is a geeky tech change. It has to do with the Windows Task Manager (usually opened via Ctrl-Alt-Del). For now, it is only MS Edge (decidedly NOT my favorite web browser). But I suspect other browsers will follow.
The idea of integrating the Task Manager and Edge is you can see which tab or plug-in is hogging resources… a geeky thing.
ECO Mode is another geek-oriented thing. The idea is in the Task Manager you can right-click a process and put it in Eco-Mode. This will save CPU cycles and other resources leaving them for other tasks. Previously our only option was to end a process.
We get new access to settings for cameras, built-in or attached. With all the virtual meetings I do, this will be a nice addition.
Use the Win11 CAMERA app included in Windows to see them.
Bluetooth Control – We are getting more audio control over linked Bluetooth devices.
There are more display controls. So Win11 will handle HDR screens, provide control over the “auto brightness” features common on laptops, and these controls disappear if you don’t have hardware they can control.
The File Explorer get a new look with a bit more white-space. But, you can select ‘Use compact mode’ and stay with the Win10 Explorer layout. The new layout is intended for tablet and touch screen users.
The icons for stuff changes in Explorer for Win11.
The Default Apps screens change. Win11 is also smarter when it comes to what apps can open which files.
Storage Monitoring – this is a feature that watches your NVMe SSDs to detect problems and likely failure.
Drive Optimization – This is the Windows feature that cleans up fragmentation on your storage devices. It is getting techy tweaks to make it better and provide users a bit more information.
Emojis – OMG… we get gender neutral emojis… I have SOOO been looking for this feature…. (not)
And we get 200± new glyphs.
New Fonts – Win11 will use a new font for the user interface… yawn…
Windows Sandbox – This is a Windows Pro thing only. It is for testing software you have concerns about. If you suspect it is virus-infected or may make lots of changes to your computer then running it in the sandbox protects your main Windows installation. (Tutorial)
With Win11 it is better…
Removing Bloatware – Sure… MS considers 3D Viewer, Paint 3D, and the Math Input Panel bloatware. So, they are being left out of Win11. You can download and install them if you use them.
Legacy Apps Update – Some of the built-in apps are moving to the MS App Store. MS Paint, Notepad, and the Snipping Tool are examples. The idea is you can update them whenever and not have to wait for OS updates.
Windows Tools – This is just a relocation of where things are found. A Windows Tools FOLDER is being added. Several of the tools you use are moving into this folder. Things like the Power Shell.
The most we know is… later this year.
And What About…
There is a Win10 21H1 update pending on many of our computers. It doesn’t do much. It fixes some bugs and tweaks performance, or so Microsoft says. So, I don’t see it as a critical update. I haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet.
For some this update installed automatically. For others it is pending waiting for the user to trigger it.
Online there are people that have talked about installing the update. For some, it was no problem. For others, it was a mess. This tells me that making a new restore point prior to an attempted update is important.