Windows 11 differs in many ways from its predecessors. Changes and rethinking have affected not only designs but also functions with technologies. But many of the innovations are clearly borrowed from competitors, with most of them from Google’s Chrome OS computer operating system. This article contains the most notable ones.
1. Application dock in the center, “Start” and notification center
All these system elements are the most obvious, so there is no point in describing each of them separately. Hardly anyone would argue that centering apps on the taskbar (or dock) is not Microsoft’s idea at all. It has long been implemented in Chrome OS and macOS, and some Linux distributions.
But based on “cloud technologies” (as Microsoft itself claims), the “Start” menu with the proposed applications/documents and recently used files visually very much resembles the “Google Assistant” window in Chrome OS.
The action center (and control panel) design is also very similar to the implementation in Chrome OS, but Google has implemented it better. While Windows 11 devotes a huge area for notifications (even if there are only 2 messages), it looks more concise in Chrome OS.
2. Mandatory account for the initial setup of the system
Many people are unhappy that Windows 11 Home can be configured for the first time after installation only after logging into a Microsoft account. But the Redmond giant added this limitation for a reason – a cloud account allows you to sync applications and settings between user’s computers automatically.
In Windows 11, a big bet is made on the updated Microsoft Store, to which some major developers have already added their branded applications. When both applications and the entire system are tied to a cloud account, it is much more convenient for the user in the long term than using only a local profile on the computer.
3. Native support for Android applications
Windows has long had ways to run Android apps thanks to emulators, but native support for games and programs for the green robot is a whole new level of integration, and it has been in Chrome OS for years.
However, in Windows 11, things are not as smooth as in the computer operating system from Google. Microsoft has implemented native Android applications thanks to Intel Bridge technology (it will work on all Windows 11 compatible computers, even those based on AMD and Qualcomm processors). They can only be officially downloaded through Amazon’s built-in store in the Microsoft Store. Why Microsoft chose Amazon’s marketplace over Google Play is a topic for a separate article.
In addition, Windows 11 users will install Android applications via APK files, and Microsoft has taken this approach wisely: games and programs for the “green robot” can be updated separately from the app store. However, even this does not eliminate the main drawback: Android applications that depend on Google services will not work in Windows 11. Google Play Services is a huge framework on which many developers “hang” the engine compartment of their applications. Hundreds of functions and capabilities can be tied to Google services, so when a game or program arrives on a device without them, key components of the application (like the push notification system) may not work.
In short, Android in Windows 11 is like the Android app on Huawei smartphones. However, there is hope: perhaps to expand their audience to a potential several billion computer users, developers can minimize the dependence of their utilities on Google Play Services, or at least adapt them correctly when migrating to alternative stores.