Microsoft is on schedule to release Windows 11X, present a major interface update, prepare feature updates for Windows 11, and launch a new ‘Cloud PC’ app streaming service
How will Windows 11 change in 2021?
2020 is drawing to a close, so it’s time to see what improvements to the Windows 11 ecosystem to expect from Microsoft in 2021. The company has slowed down a bit on major feature updates over the past two years, but that could change next year as Redmond is about to reorient its system. Let’s take a look at what to look out for:
Microsoft is preparing a new Windows interface, codenamed “Sun Valley”
In 2020, Microsoft seemed to be “setting the stage” for future changes in Windows 11. Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay was assigned as the user experience manager. Under his leadership, Microsoft announced a “reinvestment” in Windows 11 through 2021.
At the official level, the company does not say what this “reinvestment” will be. However, according to inside sources, Microsoft is planning a major Windows 11 update in fall 2021 that will introduce major new features and an updated, more modern user experience.
Microsoft still plans to release two feature updates for Windows 11 in 2021. However, unlike the last two years, Windows 11 Spring Update, version 21H1 may be a minor service update, like versions 20H2 and 19H2 . The update will ship with minor improvements and changes, laying the groundwork for the larger fall release of 21H2.
Microsoft release a 64-bit application emulator
In 2021, Microsoft plans to release a 64-bit application emulator for Windows 11 on ARM, which will be a very significant event for the development of the personal computer platform on ARM. This will allow such devices, Surface Pro X, to run most legacy Windows applications, greatly reducing the gap between applications. These capabilities are expected to be included in the preview version of Windows 11 soon in 2021.
Insider sources report that Microsoft is trying to add Android apps to the Microsoft Store for Windows 11. It is not known exactly how far the companies have moved, but according to initial plans, this change should appear in 2021.
“Project Latte” – Microsoft’s project to support Android applications in Windows 11
Windows 11X is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2021. Microsoft has been working on a new system behind closed doors for the past few years. With the help of this project, the company plans to offer a light version of the OS with a modern interface for budget and mid-range computers, as well as for flagship folding PCs with two screens.
The RTM version of Windows 11X is due out in December, with the first Windows 11X devices on board scheduled to ship in spring 2021. These devices will be mid-range laptops and tablets and are designed to compete directly with the Chromebook market. Windows 11X will ship without support for running Win32 apps locally, but Microsoft is planning to introduce its new Cloud PC app streaming service to fill that gap.
Microsoft is positioning Windows 11X as a direct competitor to “Chrome OS” because it is a lightweight system with excellent security, performance, and energy efficiency to run Windows applications. In the future, Windows 11X will be able to run Win32 apps locally. However, it won’t be until 2022 when Windows 11X hits foldable PCs.
Moreover, Windows 11X is expected to run natively on ARM-based PCs. True, you will have to wait and see if OEMs will release ARM devices with this OS. Note that, by analogy with Chrome OS, macOS or iPadOS, Windows 11X will only be available on new PCs on which the system will be preinstalled.
Microsoft Cloud PC
In 2021, Microsoft plans to release a new Windows 11-based service called ” Cloud PC “. The company will put a version of Windows on the cloud and allow users to install apps into it so they can be streamed to any device. This will allow computers with limited storage and performance limitations to run heavy applications without affecting PC performance.
With Cloud PC, Windows 11X users will be able to access Win32 apps as the system will not natively support running desktop apps locally. The Cloud PC service will be integrated into Windows 11 and Windows 11X and will sync with your Microsoft 365 subscription. If you installed the app on Cloud PC, it will appear in the Start menu as if it were a native Windows program.
An important year for Windows 11
If Microsoft sticks to its internal schedules and plans, 2021 will be a very significant year for Windows 11. Some of the biggest events in the Windows 11 ecosystem in recent memory are set to take place. The release of Windows 11X and a small update of Windows 11 features are planned for the spring, and in the fall of 2021 there will be a reorientation to Windows 11.