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Windows 11 first major update incoming — here's what you'll get

an image of a Windows 11 laptop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Update: Windows 11 will let you test experimental features that may never be released.

Since its launch last October, Windows 11 has gone from strength to strength with a slew of smaller updates adding useful features like improved multitasking and the return of Clippy. There’s more to come as Microsoft has now detailed what will be included in the operating system's first major update. 

In a blog post (opens in new tab) looking back at the previous year and also outlining what’s to come, Microsoft’s Panos Panay, explained that the tech giant will be investing heavily in Windows throughout 2022 with the goal of “delivering experiences that enrich and inspire people’s lives.” 

The post continues by outlining the new features that will be coming to Windows 11 at some point next month. The biggest of these include “a public preview of how you can use Android apps on Windows 11” as well as requested improvements to the taskbar, the return of the weather tool to the taskbar and redesigned apps for Notepad and Media Player. 

The addition of Android apps to Windows 11, is set to be the standout feature that all will be able to try. It allows users to select Android apps directly from the Microsoft Store, then passes them on to Amazon's Appstore to handle installation. How many Android aps will be supported had yet to be seen, but it should provide Windows 11 users with an even larger amount of software to use on their PCs. 

Most of these features have been in testing via the Windows Insider program for the past few months, but it’s good to get confirmation that they will be rolled out to the general public in the next few weeks. We definitely don’t expect these to be the last updates and tweaks Windows 11 receives in 2022 either. The operating system is likely to receive a host of improvements across the next 12 months. 

This blog post also takes the time to look back at Windows 11’s journey so far. Panay notes that the OS is now entering the final phase of its general rollout, and will soon be available across its entire range of compatible devices. Panay also said that users are on average spending 40% more time on their Windows 11 device than one that’s running Windows 10. This has resulted in the traffic to the Microsoft Store tripling. 

These are all good indications that the operating system has been warmly received by early adopters. We’re not too surprised, as there's plenty to like about Windows 11. In Windows 11  review, we highlighted its attractive new look, improved tools for managing screen space and intuitive menus. 

We did have concerns about a number of missing features at launch, including the lack of Android app support. But we’re pleased to see Microsoft taking strides to remedy these issues with regular updates. 

The upcoming February update detailed above should go some way to convincing you to upgrade to Windows 11 if you’ve not already taken the plunge. 

Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.