Well, the Windows 11 announcement had me surprised, as I for one had thought Windows 10 was the final build of Windows that evolve with constant product upgrades, creating a simplistic way of operating system upgrades, which would do away with the usual four-yearly upgrades and create a simple future. So what does that mean for you, in real terms and does it change much?
An updated interface for all
I was even more surprised in Windows 11, when we found that Windows 11 would come with a Mac OS X look, with a centre aligned start menu and applications, with more glossy looking icons found on Apple-esq devices. It’s all a big change for Microsoft, who are no doubt looking to improve traditional visuals that were available within Windows Operating Systems.
Android App Integration
Another step forward for Windows 11, was providing capability to run Android Apps directly within the operating system, through a new Android App Store. You could see this in a way, as a competitive move, against Apple, who support running iOS apps on devices using their new Apple CPU’s (M1’s) and therefore we now see the lines blurring between mobile and desktop on our devices. Also, if you wondered, the Android App’s are using Amazon’s Appstore to bring them into the Windows eco-system.
The all-important Microsoft Teams Integration
We work with several customers, who of course, have deployed Microsoft Teams on Windows and using that for their customer communication and some are even using it at home, to communicate with friends and family.
Therefore, it makes sense that with Microsoft’s laser-focussed view on Microsoft Teams, that they would integrate Windows 11 more closely to Microsoft Teams. That tighter integration will mean you can do a few new things, directly from within Windows:
- The Microsoft Teams app directly on the Task Bar with ‘Contacts’ integration to call or message your contacts in a couple of clicks
- Direct notifications for Microsoft Teams through Windows, meaning you can quickly answer calls and messages
- Change your device settings directly through Windows, including muting from your task bar, rather than within Microsoft Teams
However, as ZDNet reports, Microsoft Teams is NOT going to be pre-installed on your new Windows 11 system and you will rather be downloading that from the Microsoft App Store onto your Windows machine, or have it deployed by your IT team if you are working in a commercial environment.
So, does this mean the end for Skype?
Well, there has been a bit of an out-cry of how Microsoft is moving away from Skype and moving to Microsoft Teams. I even spotted an article on BBC News article covering the topic too, which means it’s getting some attention and it’s likely because it has a high adoption rate, especially given the vast user base of hundreds of millions of users when it was purchased by Microsoft back in 2011.
So, will Skype remain? Sure, it will be like Microsoft Teams in you can optionally download that from the Windows Store. However, I think we will see that Microsoft Teams will continue to be the focus for Microsoft, meaning we will see less innovation in Skype and the natural evolution for Microsoft Teams, in both the consumer home environment and in the workplace and thus will likely become the main Microsoft solution for voice and video, whether at home or in the office.
Want to find out more?
Feel free to check out the official Windows 11 Event, with some glossy visuals and a nice watch if you want to view all the new features in Windows 11.