At first blush, Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 11 looks to be a solid update to the software that powers most of the world’s PCs. The first thing you’ll notice when looking at it is the new streamlined design similar to smartphones and tablets powered by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Microsoft also added features meant to help people navigate the new ways we’ve all learned to work during the coronavirus pandemic. They include built-in video chat software, technology to make video games look better, and more-modern-looking buttons and windows for controlling apps and sorting documents.
But Microsoft believes its most important selling point may be what it doesn’t do. After announcing Windows 11 earlier this summer, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said his company is building its technology to work with as many products as possible, including software for competing Google Android-powered smartphones. Microsoft’s releasing Windows 11 as a free upgrade on Oct. 5.
“Today, the world needs a more open platform — one that allows apps to become platforms in their own right,” he said. “Windows is a platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born.”
Read more: Windows 11 review: Familiar but fresh
He pushed this point by inviting Google to bring its Google Play app store onto Windows. He also told developers they’re now allowed to sell programs on the Microsoft Store for little to no commission, a stark shift from Apple’s and Google’s 15% minimum take that’s led to an avalanche of court cases, antitrust probes and proposed new laws around the world. And Microsoft said it’d welcome Apple’s FaceTime and other technologies on Windows 11 and in the Microsoft Store.
“Windows is a driving force for innovation. It’s an enduring platform for each one of us to create,” Microsoft product chief Panos Panay said when announcing new Surface laptop and handheld devices last…