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At first blush, Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 11 looks to be a solid update to the operating system 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’s 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.
Pop Quiz: What makes a Microsoft Surface different from Apple’s MacBook Air?
But Microsoft believes its most important selling point may be what it doesn’t do. After announcing Windows 11 on June 24, 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 later this year.
“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.”
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 he said he’d welcome Apple’s FaceTime and other technologies on Windows 11 and in the Microsoft Store.
“We want to remove the barriers that too often exist today and provide real choice and connection,” he said. “Operating systems and devices should mold to our needs, not the other way around.”
Microsoft’s move with Windows 11 marks the…