What you need to know
- Microsoft is bringing new productivity features to Windows 11.
- New features include a new snapping menu and groups.
- There's also the ability to share directly to Teams, and mute your mic from the Taskbar.
Microsoft has detailed a number of new productivity features that are shipping as part of Windows 11 later this year, including improvements to Windows Snap, virtual desktops, and docking to and from external monitors.
Starting with Windows Snap, Microsoft is adding a new "Snap Navigator" menu that appears when you hover over a window's maximize button with your cursor. This menu will provide you with several pre-determined snap layouts that you can choose from, including a new three-pane split view on devices with a large display.
The Snap Navigator makes it easy to snap into different grid layouts without having to drag the entire app window to the edges or corners of the display. You can still do that if you prefer, but the Snap Navigator also makes it easier, and more discoverable.
Snapped app groups will now also show up in an app's thumbnail preview when hovered over on the Taskbar. So you can jump right back to an entire display of snapped apps instead of just one app at a time.
There are also the new virtual desktops, which is now smarter and remembers where your app windows were located even after a restart. Users can now rename virtual desktops, and even set custom backgrounds for each.
Microsoft has also made some changes to how Windows behaves when docking to and from an external monitor. Windows will now finally remember the location of app windows and put them back automatically when you dock up to an external monitor.
Other productivity enhancements come in the form of Microsoft Teams integration. Users will now be able to mute and unmute video or voice calls directly from the Taskbar's system tray, without needing to go hunting for an app's specific mute function.
Microsoft is also adding the ability to share a specific app window straight through the Taskbar app thumbnail preview. When Teams is open, a "Share this window" button will appear when you hover over the apps icon. Pretty neat.
Microsoft says that the overall design of Windows 11 is also built around keeping you productive. The new, simplified UI with rounded corners, subtle animations, and soft sounds reduces cognitive load, making it so you can focus more on what you're working on rather than how to use your computer.
Windows 11 ships this fall as a free update for Windows 10 users. What are your thoughts on these new productivity features? Let us know in the comments. Check out our other Windows 11 coverage too!
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PowerToys Fancy Zones now become an OS feature. Finally!
That tiny detail about the docking and undocking experience is so important. Whenever I switch between docking my personal laptop and work device I have to redo everything right now.
Same here regarding all the excitement. I hope the same applies to when having an external monitor hooked up and then simply closing the lid of the notebook triggering everything to be moved to the external display and then not coming back when opening the lid.
Persistent virtual desktops.
That's what I've been waiting for.
Me too! It's about time. I hope this all works seamlessly from day 1. These productivity features are long overdue and truly a step up.
I believe we also saw a sneak peak of the new outlook app when the new docking experience was shown
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