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10 tips for using Windows 11 to get closer to what you love

In the past year, you’ve probably had to create workarounds and discover new ways to get things done from home (or homes away from home): your job, homework and connecting with loved ones far and near. And in the center of all that is your PC. In this era of distance and disorganization, communicating and…

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In the past year, you’ve probably had to create workarounds and discover new ways to get things done from home (or homes away from home): your job, homework and connecting with loved ones far and near. And in the center of all that is your PC. In this era of distance and disorganization, communicating and collaborating isn’t always simple or straightforward. Windows 11 strives to solve that.

We’re here to help you with 10 tips that will help you make the most of Windows 11, which is now available. With the new Windows, the user experience has been completely reimagined in a simplified, clean, fluid design that is completely new, yet immediately familiar.

  1. Get up to speed on new features with the Get Started app. Great news if you’d like the convenience of porting your PC’s preferences to your new Windows 11 PC: If you’ve allowed Windows to back up your apps, Get Started will prompt you with a list of the apps you had on your old device and allow you to choose which you want to load on your new device. Instead of starting over completely, you can safely restore all of your Windows 10 photos, docs and files to your Windows 11 device through prompts that let you choose what to migrate to your PC (though these are dependent on what you’ve opted to sync/back up using OneDrive, which you must sign into first). This app can also automatically apply the settings and preferences you’re used to. Programs and apps can also transfer.
  2. Start and Taskbar. You’ll now find Start and Taskbar front and center. Get things done with fewer clicks and swipes. From Start, you can search for anything, as a centralized search lets you search the web and your PC from one place. Find your browser, tabs and folders. It’s a streamlined redesign that revolves around you. You’ll also find new visual elements and sounds to enjoy, as well as smooth animations, new buttons, toggles and fonts. This new layout and navigation help make complex tasks easier.

  3. Snap Assist and Desktop Groups help you better organize the apps on your desktop. Too many open windows? Drag one of them to the edge of the screen to activate Snap Assist to “snap” them all (maximum of four, five with hotkeys) to a clean, organized grid that makes the most of your screen space. After you’ve upgraded to Windows 11, if you use external or multiple displays, Windows can remember how you had your apps arranged. When you plug your PC back in, everything will be automatically put back into place.With Desktop Groups, you can quickly switch between multiple desktops. For instance, one can have Word, Microsoft Edge and Teams open. Another can have PowerPoint, OneNote and a music player. There are four standard preconfigured layouts, with two additional ones for screens with effective screen resolutions of 1920×1080 or higher.

  4. Chat from Microsoft Teams: You can connect from your PC with any of your personal contacts regardless of what computer, phone or tablet they are on— iOS, Android, PC or Mac – with chat [1] and calling (both audio and video) built into Taskbar. Stay on the same call with someone for up to 24 hours – which means you don’t have to drop and dial back in [2]. All of this is free through a free Microsoft Account.

  5. Widgets: Looking for one place on Windows to get quickly caught up on things that matter to you – such as to-do lists, upcoming meetings and news? Then you’ll enjoy the addition of Widgets to the Windows 11 Taskbar. Click or swipe from the left side of your screen to open to see content you curate, rather than trying to find it in separate apps, tabs and pages. See personalized content – like reminders, stocks, sports scores, social media and local weather – at a glance. Use the Interests page under Manage Interests to search for topics and publishers you want to follow.

  6. The Microsoft Store, refreshed with a new design, has a wide variety of apps, shows and movies for your work and downtime, from casual gaming to professional editing. Behind the scenes, Windows is working with developers to bring you more content. The new Microsoft Store comes with tools like Preview and Search to help you find what you’re looking for.

  7. Microsoft Edge is packed with tools that help you and your family stay safe online, save money while you shop and keep you organized and focused, including Dark Web monitoring, automatic price comparisons and vertical tabs. As part of helping you stay safe, when any of your passwords saved to the browser match with those seen in the list of leaked credentials, Microsoft Edge will notify and prompt you to update your password. (Password Monitor scans for matches on your behalf and is on by default.)Let’s say you’ve just joined a new bank, and you’re setting up your online account. We can help you generate a secure password to help keep your account secured, and then we’ll monitor the Dark Web and alert you if your login credentials are ever jeopardized.
    And when you’re about to buy a pair of sneakers in the U.S., Microsoft Edge will alert you if it has found a better deal elsewhere. And when you’re ready to checkout, it will help you save even more money by automatically applying coupons to your order (if you’re in the U.S., Canada and Australia).

    Do you ever feel like you’ve got too many things going on and that’s reflected in the seemingly endless tabs in your browser? Sleeping tabs keep your focus on current projects.

  8. Touch, voice and pen inputs. The digital pen, touchscreen and voice typing capabilities of Windows 11 make it easier to work the way you prefer. For instance, you may work best talking out your thoughts. This used to mean recording your voice with your phone and then playing it back to transcribe your words into text. But if your Windows 11 PC has a microphone, that process happens instantly, with voice typing – text  transcription of your speech. It can even detect inflection and rhythm to add the necessary punctuation.Or, maybe writing or drawing is how you learn best, but the PC is where all your learning is happening. You also like to annotate PDFs. Now you can use a digital pen to make the most of both worlds. You can also personalize the new Pen menu with your favorite apps for fast access.

    Smartphones have gotten many of us used to touchscreens, but sometimes taking notes isn’t as easy on them. But if your Windows 11 PC comes with a touchscreen, you’ll be able to take notes instantly with a digital pen and use natural gestures, such as multi-finger gestures for quicker navigation.

  9. PC gaming and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. With Windows 11, you can play the latest games with immersive graphics at high frame rates – thanks to DirectX 12. With Auto HDR, you’ll also see a wider, more vivid range of colors. With cloud gaming in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate [3] you’ll be able to play with others who are on console, or with Xbox Game Pass for PC you can download and play great PC games with the peripherals you love.Discover your next favorite game on your Windows device with Xbox Game Pass, where you can play more than 100 high-quality games with friends on your PC, console, phone and tablet for one low monthly price.

    And this October kicks off the three biggest months in Xbox history with incredible game launches including Age of Empires IV on Oct. 28, Forza Horizon 5 on Nov. 9 and Halo Infinite on Dec. 8. All three of these games will be available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC members on day one. With Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you won’t have to wait to get the latest games. They’ll be in your library ready for you to download or play with cloud gaming on day one.

    Instead of buying just one game and hoping that you’d love it, now for a fraction of the price of a new game you can try over a hundred games on your PC (or Xbox console, tablet or phone!).

    Use the Xbox app on Windows to connect and chat with friends as you browse and play PC games and tap into the heart of the Xbox community and join millions of players ready and waiting to play together.

  10. OneDrive. When you sign up for a free Microsoft account you get 5GB of cloud storage. And when you purchase a Microsoft 365 subscription you get 1 TB of cloud storage to save, edit and share your photos and files easily and securely across your devices. You can’t buy memories, but you can protect them. Windows PCs can automatically back up precious files to the cloud on OneDrive. You have enough space for 500,000 photos plus your documents. So, take that selfie from every angle, and record your sleeping pets every day.Access, edit and share your photos and files wherever you go with the OneDrive mobile app. Simply make changes and save and OneDrive will automatically sync your files so they’re updated and accessible on every device. OneDrive keeps your files backed up and protected with ransomware detection and file recovery options. And for your most important files, you get a secure folder (Personal Vault) that you can only access with a second step of identity verification.

Find out more about Windows 11.

[1] Certain features require specific hardware. Chatting via SMS is available in limited countries and will be made available to other geos on a rolling basis. Please refer to this page for more details. Internet access required, ISP fees may apply.

[2] You can meet with anyone in a 1:1 call and speak up to 24 hours for free. For a group call (more than two people), you can meet with up to 100 participants and call up to 60 mins for free. We are waiving these limits in light of COVID-19 so that you can meet with up to 300 participants and speak up to 24 hours for free until further specified.

[3] Subscription sold separately. Terms and exclusions apply. Game catalog varies over time, by region, and by device. See xbox.com/gamepass and https://www.ea.com/eaplay/terms for details. Xbox Cloud Gaming: Streaming limits apply. Requires compatible controller (sold separately), supported device and Xbox Game Pass app; see system requirements. System requirements vary game by game; performance scales with higher-end systems. See https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications.

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Babylon.js 5.0: Key Engine Advancements – Part 3

Our mission is to create it one of the most powerful, beautiful, and simple web rendering engines in the world. The latest Babylon.js 5.0 engine packs a ton of new improvements to help you create stunning experiences. Unlimited Morph Targets No matter what you call them, Blend Shapes, Shape Keys, or Morph Targets, Babylon.js 5.0 adds…

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Our mission is to create it one of the most powerful, beautiful, and simple web rendering engines in the world. The latest Babylon.js 5.0 engine packs a ton of new improvements to help you create stunning experiences.

Unlimited Morph Targets

No matter what you call them, Blend Shapes, Shape Keys, or Morph Targets, Babylon.js 5.0 adds rocket fuel to your ability to use influenced vertex positions. This new feature now gives you literally unlimited amounts of Morph Targets. Want to have a complex animated face with thousands of Morph Targets to get that perfect expression? Now you can, all in the web, all for free!

See it in action here: Unlimited Morph Targets Demo

Learn more: Unlimited Morph Targets Documentation

YouTube Series: Tech Artist’s Journey YouTube Playlist

Order Independent Transparency

Rendering transparent objects is complicated! The Babylon.js Platform has always strived to make it as easy as possible to help you inform the system of rendering order, alpha index, run depth-prepasses, and much more, so your scene can look correct. With Babylon.js 5.0 we’ve wrapped a bow on it all. All of the complexity of rendering transparent objects can now disappear with one single, simple line of code:

Try it out: Order Independent Transparency Demo

Learn More: Order Independent Transparency Documentation

WebXR Advancements

WebXR is an incredible web standard allowing web developers to create amazing cross-browser XR experiences. Using WebXR to add a mobile AR component to your web site can be a simple and fun way to engage your readers/users even further. While the technology to render world-locked 3D objects has existed in Babylon.js for some time, Babylon.js 5.0 steps the beauty-factor up several notches with the introduction of Light Estimation. This powerful yet easy-to-use new feature allows your Babylon.js scenes to estimate the light in your real-world location and automatically match the lighting and shadows of your virtual world-locked object. This creates a cutting-edge level of immersion between the physical and digital worlds…and it’s all here in Babylon.js…all for free! Babylon.js 5.0 also adds support for WebXR image tracking and WebXR Layers!!!

Check it out on your Android Phone: Light Estimation Demo, Image Tracking Demo

Learn More: Light Estimation Documentation

glTF Updates

The Babylon.js Platform prioritizes support for the absolute latest and greatest advancements to the glTF file format. This means every new version of Babylon.js unlocks new beautiful advancements in rendering capabilities, and Babylon.js 5.0 turns up the heat! With full support for KHR_materials_volume, KHR_materials_transmission, and KHR_materials_ior, you can now render some absolutely STUNNING visuals!

Check it out: KHR_materials_volume Demo

Learn More: KHR_materials_volume, KHR_materials_transmission, KHR_materials_ior

Mixed Reality Toolkit for Babylon.js

Babylon.js 5.0 also adds updated support for the world’s most advanced 3D interface component library, Mixed Reality Toolkit. This advanced library makes it incredibly easy to add advanced XR UX elements into your Babylon.js scenes such as: holographic slates, 3D Sliders, Touch Holographic Buttons, Touch Mesh Buttons, and much much more!

Check it out: MRTK Demo

Learn More: MRTK Documentation

Material Plugin Manager

When it comes to creating real-time shaders power, performance, and flexibility are critical! Babylon.js 5.0 brings introduces a brand new feature that doubles down on all of three. The Material Plugin Manager gives you the ability to add custom code to any Babylon.js shader. This means that you can fully customize any advanced shader, such as PBR, to go even further. The Material Plugin Manager provides developers with the flexibility to fully customize the power, performance, and look of any shader!

Check it out: Material Plugin Manager Demo

Learn More: Material Plugin Manager Documentation

Much Much More

Wow that’s a lot, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Improved Shadow Performance, Vertex Animation Textures, a brand-new Build System, there’s more to Babylon.js 5.0 than you can imagine! Want a full view of everything that’s new? For a full list of features, enhancements, and fixes you can head on over here.

Babylon.js 5.0 launches the Babylon.js platform to incredible new heights and we cannot wait to see you reach for the stars with it!

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In their mission to diversify STEM education, twin brothers use Windows 11

Twins Miles and Malik George are almost always in sync. They graduated at the top of their high school class as co-valedictorians. At MIT, these bioengineering students embraced and expanded upon their love of science. They were also in multiple diverse groups on campus such as Nu Delta Fraternity, The Standard, and Laureates and Leaders.…

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Twins Miles and Malik George are almost always in sync.

They graduated at the top of their high school class as co-valedictorians.

At MIT, these bioengineering students embraced and expanded upon their love of science. They were also in multiple diverse groups on campus such as Nu Delta Fraternity, The Standard, and Laureates and Leaders.

This last program is dedicated to helping under-represented students get Ph.D.s or M.D./Ph.D.s and has a selective entry process. The two fondly remembered the program as instrumental in shaping their academic careers.

They worked with MIT Admissions as Admissions Ambassadors to increase the number of underrepresented students that apply to and attend the university. On campus and virtually, they worked in several biological engineering labs. They’re about to graduate and will be pursuing Ph.D.s in Biological Engineering at MIT.


They’re both passionate about bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to under-served communities through hundreds of funny and informative lessons posted to TikTok and other social media. Their mix of memes, dances and trivia reach all kinds of audiences. They teach what they find exciting about science.

“The more curious you are about one subject, the more you learn about that subject, the more curious you become about everything else,” Miles says. “Curiosity is the reason why people keep innovating. And so as long as people are curious, people will keep learning.”

“Curiosity leads to solutions, you know?” Malik adds.

The brothers will host a private virtual education event for students May 17 in partnership with Microsoft Stores. This session will reach 10,000 students and will feature an inspirational fireside chat, STEM demonstration and interactive Q&A.

The twins strive to be role models for the next generation, to inspire them to follow their dreams.

“In high school we did a lot of science fairs. Being able to count on your hand how many people look like you in a room of over a hundred people, it’s pretty sad,” Malik says. “As we became involved in science ourselves, we wanted to make sure that people saw there are people that look like us in the field and that they can and should feel welcome to do so as well.”

They’re both PC gamers who enjoy comic book universes and socializing with their many friends.

They are part of a tight-knit family, helping their parents with gardening and jigsaw puzzles, watching movies together and doting on the senior Shih-tzu (who is the fifth member of their household).

But they are also individuals.

Malik is the “explainer.” As his brother shares, “He’s going make sure that if he’s telling you about something, you know everything that there is about the topic and he’s going make sure you understand it at the end of the day.”

“If I’m the explainer, then Miles is the convincer,” says Malik. “You know, he can summarize any topic – no matter how advanced – in a couple sentences to any age group and they’ll understand it.”

This works well when they’re doing presentations, which have reached more than 1,000 students remotely (ranging in age from late elementary school to high school seniors) since January 2021. They’ve been getting more interest about K-12 presentations and plan to continue those.

“I’ll do the intro. He does methods and results. I do the conclusion. He gives you the scientific know-how, how to learn. Then I bring it back at the end,” Miles says.

They also have different work styles – though both are also lifetime PC users. For as long as they can remember, they’ve always been on Windows, starting from their childhood.

“If you were to look at my desktop, you will see at least three applications open at once. If you look at Miles’ desktop, you’ll see one application open, but he’ll have three desktops that he’ll switch between,” Malik says.

Multiple desktops are one of Miles’ favorite Windows 11 features.

“I have one program that I’m focused on. When I’m done focusing on it, I’ll switch to another desktop and that’s what I’m working on then,” he says. “Each assignment gets its own desktop, and I will get to it when I get to it.”

They’ve discovered other Windows 11 features that make them even more efficient.

“As a student, I am constantly searching through emails, especially through keyword search,” Malik says. “I globally search by who sent it or a keyword and it will just show up right there. And I can read it or I can click it and reply from the same place. Windows 11 really takes away flipping back and forth between things. And then anything that you don’t have open, you can also just go through the Start menu.”

They also make great use of Snap Assist.

“I can have an essay snap to the right on Word. I can have some internet research article on the left,” Malik says. “And then if I need to check my email, it would just pop up in the center and I don’t have to cover what I was already working on.”

They like that they can tailor Windows 11 to what works best for each of them.

“It really feels like a personalized experience when I’m online. And it really visually is a much better experience than what I’m used to,” Miles says. “As a researcher, I’m used to a lot of diagrams, a lot of graphs. It really combines multitasking with this beautiful element of note taking and annotating directly on the screen.”

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Babylon.js 5.0: News Tools – Part 2

We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools. Animation Curve Editor Creating and…

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We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools.

Animation Curve Editor

Creating and modifying animation data in a rendering engine can be complicated and verbose, but not anymore! Babylon.js 5.0 adds a built-in Animation Curve Editor (ACE), making it incredibly easy to create and modify animation data directly in your Babylon scene. As with all Babylon.js Platform tools, you can also save your animation data to the Babylon.js Snippet Server and load it back into your Babylon.js scene with one single line of code!

See it in action here: Play with the Animation Curve Editor

Learn more: Animation Curve Editor Documentation

Performance Profiler

Performance is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you create advanced interactive 3D experiences. After all, you don’t want to create an awesome experience that only runs on the most high-end graphics cards, right? You want to create something that EVERYONE can enjoy, and this means keeping track of and optimizing the performance of your scene. Babylon.js 5.0 makes performance debugging and management a breeze with the introduction of the new Performance Profiler. This handy tool allows you to see a real time graph of key performance indicators of your scene, all hooked up live! Make a change, see the impact on perf. It’s really that simple!

See it in action here: Performance Profiler Demo

Learn more: Performance Profiler Documentation

GUI Editor Beta

Babylon.js has a powerful GUI system that offers countless widgets, controls, and properties to help you create rich GUIs. With Babylon.js 5.0 that powerful system becomes far simpler to use with the introduction of the GUI Editor Beta. While still in active development, the GUI Editor Beta is a rich and modern tool, allowing you to create the perfect GUI with a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Say goodbye to thousands of lines of GUI code and hello to a world of design with the GUI Editor Beta and loading your creations with a single line of code!

See it in action here: GUI Editor Beta Demo

Try it out for yourself: GUI Editor

Learn more: GUI Editor Beta Documentation

New Node Material Nodes

The Node Material Editor is one of the most advanced tools available in the Babylon Platform. One simple UI that helps you generate stunning GLSL shaders with ease. With Babylon.js 5.0 the Node Material gets even better with the introduction of several powerful new nodes!

Check out the new nodes:

Learn More: Node Material Documentation

Asset Librarian

The Babylon.js Platform offers a large library of free Creative Commons 0 assets available for you to use in your Babylon.js scenes, completely for free. With Babylon.js 5.0, accessing these assets is easier and faster than ever! The new Asset Librarian brings a new Assets namespace that you can use in your projects to easily access the 200+ free assets to make your Babylon.js scenes soar.

Try it out: Asset Librarian Demo

Learn More: Asset Librarian Documentation

Dev Stories Documentation

Babylon.js 5.0 adds a whole new category of documentation called “Dev Stories.” These new tutorials are designed to walk you, step-by-step, through some common scenarios that many Babylon.js developers ask about. From setting up a Babylon.js project quickly, adding interactive 3D elements to your e-commerce site, to deploying your Babylon.js project to a Native Application, “Dev Stories” are rich, deep, detailed tutorials aimed at helping you take your project from idea to reality!

Check It Out: Dev Stories!

“Going The Distance With Babylon.js” A New Book               

We are also incredibly excited to share that alongside Babylon.js 5.0, community member and talented author Josh Elster has written an entirely new book about Babylon.js 5.0. Published by Packt Publishing, “Going The Distance With Babylon.js” is written from the mindset of taking you through the entire development process of building a game with Babylon.js from the ground up. We are thrilled to partner with Josh and Packt on this book and think it’ll be a great addition to your library and accelerate your Babylon.js learning journey.

Pick Up Your Copy Here: Babylon.js 5.0: The Book

Beside the tooling, there are also a ton of new features in the engine itself. Check out part three to learn more about the exciting new improvements with Babylon.js 5.0.

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