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Windows 11 for hybrid work event biggest announcements

Here's everything that Microsoft has announced during the Windows 11 for the hybrid work event.

Satya Nadella at Windows for hybrid work event
  • Windows 11 for hybrid work event revealed many new upcoming features.
  • Although most of the features are for commercial customers, many are coming for home users too.
  • Microsoft officially announced tabs for File Explorer, new features for Windows 365, security improvements, and more.

The Windows 11 for the hybrid work event recently happened, and Microsoft made several announcements for new features and experiences coming to Windows 11 later in the year and beyond. We have already seen most of these features in the Dev and Beta Channels of the Insider program, but it was the first time the company had the chance to demonstrate them.

The event was aimed at commercial customers, and the company broke the presentation into three topics, including IT management, security, and productivity. Some of the things that were unveiled included password safeguard with enhanced phishing protection, a premium remote assistance solution for organizations, and easy access to Windows 365 Cloud PCs with Windows 11 integration.

In addition, the event revealed many features and changes that Microsoft plans to ship on Windows 11, including the Snap layouts drop-down, tabs for File Explorer, Voice Clarity, Live Captions, Focus, and Widgets in full-screen mode, and much more.

Windows 11 upcoming features for home and commercial customers

Here are the biggest announcements that Microsoft has revealed during the Windows 11 hybrid work event. (You can watch the entire event here.)

File Explorer

As part of the File Explorer experience, Microsoft has officially declared that tabs are coming to Windows 11. The company didn’t say when, but it’s now in the roadmap of features coming later this year or next.

Tabs for File Explorer will bring a similar experience as using tabs in the browser. You will be able to navigate multiple folder locations from one instance, and you’ll have options to create, delete, and reorganize the tabs.

File Explorer with tabs
File Explorer with tabs

In addition, during the event, the company highlighted an updated homepage for File Explorer, the ability to pin files to the Quick Access page, file sharing improvements that let you send files to recent contacts or apps like OneDrive, Teams, and Outlook.

Snap layouts

Microsoft is also adding a new to snap windows into snap layouts for both touch and mouse. In this new version, you will be able to drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the snap layouts, where you can drop the window on top of a zone to snap it and use snap assist to complete snapping your windows in the selected layout.

Snap layouts top screen
Snap layouts top screen

Start menu

The company also showed off folders for the Start menu as a new way to organize apps and personalize the experience.

Windows 11 22H2 Start menu folders
Windows 11 22H2 Start menu folders

Widgets

The Widgets dashboard experience is also getting another update to bring full-screen mode to show more content and connect multiple accounts.

Widgets in full screen
Widgets in full screen (Source: Microsoft)

Live Captions

Live Captions is a new accessibility feature that allows anyone to better understand audio by viewing captions of spoken content. Captions are automatically generated on-device from any content with audio. Captions can be displayed at the top or bottom of the screen or in a floating window.

Live Captions
Live Captions

Focus

In addition to changing the name from “Focus assist” to “Focus” to help you stay on track, the feature now integrates with the Clock app for other focus tools, such as a focus timer and calming music.

Start Focus
Start Focus

IT management

For IT management, administrators will now have an option to send messages to Windows 11 users that can appear on the desktop, above the Taskbar, or on the lock screen. Administrators will need to use the Microsoft Endpoint Manager to customize and send the message. As part of the settings, the message may contain the company logo and company link.

Targeted desktop messages
Targeted desktop messages (Source: Microsoft)

Windows Security will now be able to detect if someone enters a password on an unsafe connection using the new enhanced phishing protection. In the event a password has been compromised, the problem will be immediately reported to the network administration team, and the users will be prompted to change the password.

Password phishing protection
Password phishing protection (Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is also adding a new premium remote assistance solution that can be customized for the company to assist remote users better. However, this doesn’t seem to be anything groundbreaking since it’s similar to the Quick Assist app on Windows 11.

Remote Help
Remote Help (Source: Microsoft)

Finally, the company is working on tweaks for Microsoft Edge to make sure that users can access their corporate email from other devices in a more secure matter. This is possible with the creation of a more secure browser profile that only allows content view and restricts actions like copy and paste.

Corporate email protection on Edge
Corporate email protection on Edge (Source: Edge)

Windows 365

As part of the Windows 365 offering, Microsoft is bringing better integration to Windows 11 to access your Cloud PC quickly from the Task View in the Taskbar.

Windows 365 Task View integration
Windows 365 Task View integration (Source: Microsoft)

Users will be able to work with a Cloud PC offline and automatically re-sync without losing the session or any of your work.

Windows 365 Cloud PC offline
Windows 365 Cloud PC offline (Source: Microsoft)

And deployments for new virtual machines have also been streamlined to be more secure and easy to create with only a few clicks.

Microsoft Teams

On Teams, Microsoft is introducing new features to improve video conferencing. For example, you will now find features to intelligently blur the background, enhance noise suppression, and natural eye contact.

Teams soft focus
Teams soft focus (Source: Microsoft)

Voice Clarity

Voice Clarity is a new feature that allows people to hear each other when talking at the same time, extends the listening range of the built-in microphone using spatial processing, and suppresses noises, which results in a clearer experience of your voice that can be passed to any Windows application.

The feature will first be available on Surface Laptops and Studio in the coming months, and it will come to other hardware later.

Although the company highlighted many of the new features coming to Windows 11 in the coming month and future updates, there are a lot more improvements expected to arrive in version 22H2. For more resources, you can visit this Microsoft website.