Ahead of Microsoft’s Build 2022 event, a couple of top execs at the software giant have been talking about the broad topic of ‘how Windows 11 empowers customers in a hybrid world’ at Computex 2022.
Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, and Nicole Dezen, VP of Device Partner Sales, took time out to discuss Windows 11 in a video (opens in new tab), touching on some interesting points, and revealing some statistics.
For example, early in the clip, Panay tells us that going by Microsoft’s data, people are accepting the offer to upgrade to Windows 11 at twice the rate that was witnessed with Windows 10, with businesses apparently adopting the new OS faster than with any previous versions of Windows.
Moreover, Panay underlines that Windows 11 has the highest quality scores, leading to customer satisfaction with the operating system, which apparently holds the highest rating in the latter regard of any OS Microsoft has ever produced.
The discussion then moves to the new model of hybrid working which has been shifted to since the pandemic, and how to some extent the development of Windows 11 was shaped to meet those needs due to the folks working on the OS doing so in a hybrid manner.
Indeed, Panay enthuses about the goal of making Windows 11 work for all users – from the average consumer to enterprises – and making the PC “seamless in your life”, which is “what hybrid is all about.”
Dezen informs us that a study Microsoft conducted showed 73% of workers surveyed in the US hoped to see flexible and remote working continue post-pandemic. She also observed the effects of the new hybrid world on Windows 11-powered devices themselves – with a need for better screens, beefier speakers and mics, for all those video meetings and chats, as well as extras like stylus capabilities. In short, Windows 11 PCs are evolving with the new hybrid model, adding extra features to better cope with this different way of working.
Another point raised was that Windows 11 has been built with accessibility at its core, with an emphasis on inclusive design, and catering for the needs of everyone, including adaptive accessories (like an adaptive mouse), and software features such as Live Captions and voice commands within the OS (which Microsoft has drafted in courtesy of Nuance).
The pair also touched on the robustness of the demand for PCs, and how the Windows 11 computer is becoming more used in all respects. That means for online shopping, for example, twice as many folks are now doing this, spending 40% more time on this activity too. And 70% more people streamed content across Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, with 35% growth in monthly gaming minutes on Windows.
Increasingly, the PC is at the center of everything, Dezen argues. As Microsoft has asserted before, we’re in the ‘new era of the PC’ no less.
Analysis: A recap and useful reminder…
The truth is that there’s nothing hugely fresh here – it’s more of a recap, certainly in terms of many of the stats and studies cited. For example, the statistic of Windows 11 being adopted twice as fast as Windows 10 was aired by Microsoft back in January, and more recently, there have been more worrying signs that adoption might be slowing considerably (at least going by one set of regularly compiled stats).
We’ve also already heard about the high levels of customer satisfaction for those who have shifted to Windows 11, although to be fair, that is indeed something Microsoft should rightly trumpet. Even if there’s a bunch of more miffed folks out there who can’t upgrade to Windows 11 due to the system requirements (and security-related stipulations like TPM).
Broadly, this video serves as a useful reminder of the importance of hybrid to Microsoft, and how as we move forward and continue to use flexible and remote working practices, the PC isn’t going anywhere (even if we are seeing blips in sales right now, that’s nothing new). And finally, it’s a reminder of the laudable focus on accessibility with Windows 11 and the likes of voice commands (plus other Microsoft moves like its adaptive hardware).
This year, Computex is once again virtual, but we'll still be bringing you all the breaking computing news and launches as they happen, so make sure you check out all of TechRadar's Computex 2022 coverage.