Microsoft began rolling out the October 2022 Update of Windows 11, which tries to shape an operating system that still has some polishing issues since its launch last year. Among the highlights is the ability to add folders to the start menu (even by dragging them), full access by voice and a system called “Smart App Control” to improve security.
Windows also ensures that the start menu search bar is now “faster and more accurate”, which would be a substantial improvement since on more than one occasion it does not work quite well. It is available from today in more than 160 countriesas long as the equipment is compatible.
Beyond some cosmetic changes to the widgets and snaps (default templates for windows) renewed, the October update. Improvements are also made to the image manager for smoother access to images.
However, the biggest changes come on the accessibility side: both in the start menu folders and in the entire voice command to manage the operating system.
“With the release of Windows 11 last year, we modernized the PC to make Windows the best place to connect, create and play. We add the security built into Windows at home and at work, and we’ve made it faster and easier for you to perform the tasks you rely on your PC for,” said Panos Panay, executive vice president and chief product officer, Windows.
Here, one by one, the details of this new version.
Start menu, snaps and a new dark mode
Undoubtedly the biggest change is that now you can add, even by dragging, folders to the start menu. This is something that, conspicuously, was not possible before. And that it is very useful when organizing the start of the PC or laptop, since many users end up with a huge number of folders and files on the desktop because they have no other way to access them.
Not only is this troublesome for organizing files, but it can also negatively impact PC performance.
The change is welcome because the start menu has very few customization options and Microsoft has never given more options throughout its history, beyond adding or removing programs and files in certain sections of the startup.
In addition, the Task Manager it also has a dark mode now. It is still missing for the entirety of Windows 11 to support this function, very useful to take care of the view in long work sessions, but it is a step forward.
Accessibility: voice control
Another of the substantial changes has to do with the voice management of the operating system: this is based on new voices in the narrators which make “feel more real”they explain.
It is not yet clear how this will translate locally, i.e. if this enhancement will impact Spanish voice and if there will be regionalization (Argentine Spanish).
The truth is that now there will be a “Voice Access” that will allow you to control the entire team by voice. Now, through voice commands, you can open files, copy, paste, move the cursor, interact with programs and more without using a keyboard and mouse.
This is a change that is in line with something that Microsoft has been emphasizing for years, the accessibility.
One of the biggest current problems with operating systems is the growing wave of cyberattacks. For this, more than for cosmetic reasons, having the latest version of the OS is always crucial to be protected.
In this sense, Windows 11 tries to give more control over the programs that we open with what it now calls Smart App Control, which aims to help prevent scripting attacks while protecting users from running associated untrusted or unsigned applications. with malware or attack tools.
What this system does is “create an artificial intelligence model based on the 43 trillion security signals collected daily to predict whether an application is secure, based on the same core operating system capabilities used in controlling the security application. Windows Defender”, the antivirus that comes installed with Windows, they explained.
“Based on the same AI used in Windows Defender Application Control, Smart App Control can predict the security of an application in real time before it runs on the device. This is a great solution for organizations that are not yet using a modern device management (MDM) tool like Microsoft Intune.
An important addition for these times, with a compromise: the user can be consulted more frequently about the applications that are running.
Windows 11 introduces an active function of “Do not disturb”which silences notifications and disables the little icons on the taskbar, as well as the red dots and notifications from programs on the taskbar.
It is now integrated with the clock and can be activated from there. It will also remind the user to take breaks, similar to the pomodoro technique of working 25, resting 5.
The October update comes with the ability to run apps from Android in Windows 11, but crossed by the Amazon version. This is a limitation, but also an advantage: it is safer than opening the entire Android Play Store.
This brings over 20,000 Android apps and games to Windows 11 devices that meet specific hardware requirements.
In this way, many games that run on Android can be played on PC even in some cases with physical controls.
Additionally, Microsoft revamped the Xbox Game Bar, which is accessed by pressing the Xbox button on a controller that is connected to the PC, and can be navigated entirely from the controller (without the keyboard and mouse).
Microsoft announced that it improved the graphical aspect of the games, including improved display latency, Auto HDR (coming from Xbox Series X and Series S) and variable refresh rate for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 games.
Under this panorama, the update seems to be encouraging. In the meantime, Microsoft continues to test experimental features through the Windows Insider Program, which can be accessed from preferences.
Users who can already install the Windows 11 October 2022 Update will have the option within Settings / Updates (Windows Update) and forcing the system to search for the new version.
It remains to be seen when it begins to be deployed en masse Argentina.