Was ist das eigentlich? Cyberrisiken verständlich erklärt

Es wird viel über Cyberrisiken gesprochen. Oftmals fehlt aber das grundsätzliche Verständnis, was Cyberrisiken überhaupt sind. Ohne diese zu verstehen, lässt sich aber auch kein Versicherungsschutz gestalten.

Beinahe alle Aktivitäten des täglichen Lebens können heute über das Internet abgewickelt werden. Online-Shopping und Online-Banking sind im Alltag angekommen. Diese Entwicklung trifft längst nicht nur auf Privatleute, sondern auch auf Firmen zu. Das Schlagwort Industrie 4.0 verheißt bereits eine zunehmende Vernetzung diverser geschäftlicher Vorgänge über das Internet.

Anbieter von Cyberversicherungen für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen (KMU) haben Versicherungen die Erfahrung gemacht, dass trotz dieser eindeutigen Entwicklung Cyberrisiken immer noch unterschätzt werden, da sie als etwas Abstraktes wahrgenommen werden. Für KMU kann dies ein gefährlicher Trugschluss sein, da gerade hier Cyberattacken existenzbedrohende Ausmaße annehmen können. So wird noch häufig gefragt, was Cyberrisiken eigentlich sind. Diese Frage ist mehr als verständlich, denn ohne (Cyber-)Risiken bestünde auch kein Bedarf für eine (Cyber-)Versicherung.

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Microsoft Windows 11

With Windows 11, Microsoft ushers in the age of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on the desktop. Copilot, the company's new AI system, can assist you with many tasks, from summarizing documents to writing a cover letter to creating a unique image. This AI update comes after Microsoft introduced a bold new look featuring a centered Taskbar, rounded window corners, and translucent textures in its latest operating system. Despite all these design refreshes, using Windows 11 doesn't feel drastically different from using Windows 10. Both noticeable and under-the-hood changes continue to roll into the operating system, yet it still runs applications you've been using for years. Windows 11 is an Editors' Choice winner for operating systems, alongside Apple's polished macOS Sonoma.

What's New in Windows 11?

The 2023 Update, or Version 23H2 (it refers to "2023, second half"), introduces several innovations, headlined by the Windows Copilot AI assistant. Windows 11 also gets passkey security support, background blur in photos, optical character recognition (OCR) in the Snipping Tool, a more capable Windows Backup, and much-improved Mail, Paint, and Notepad apps. This latest update began rolling out on September 26, 2023.

This won't be the end of the updates. Microsoft adds new features in what it calls "continuous innovation." This means that in addition to an annual big update, you get new features and changes throughout the year. For example, in early 2023, Windows 11 got new options to the Widgets panel, more languages for live captioning and voice access support, a VPN status icon, content-adaptive brightness, new touch keyboard options, a Settings page for USB4 hubs and devices, and many fixes for reliability issues. You can now display seconds in the Taskbar clock, use one-key shortcuts in File Explorer, leverage a copy button in multi-factor authentication notifications, and use Retouch in the Photos app.

How to Get Windows 11

Windows 11 is available free for Windows 10 systems. At this point, its initial rollout is complete. The new OS is an option for all PCs that meet the requirements (more on that in a moment), and new computers ship with it preloaded.

Can you buy Windows 11 without buying a new machine? Yes. DIY PC builders, virtual machine installations, and non-Windows 10 computers can finally buy a Windows 11 Home license for $139.99 and the Windows 11 Pro edition for $199.99 from the online Microsoft Store. The company no longer directly sells Windows 10 licenses in its online shop.

Much has been made of the system requirements for Windows 11, but they’re very low: 1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage. A 64-bit processor is required; there's no longer a 32-bit version of the OS. You also need a computer with a TPM security chip and Secure Boot capability. That has been standard on most PCs for the last six or so years. The real limiter is the CPU model, which needs to be from about the last four years. PC Health Check app is a tool that assesses your PC's ability to run Windows 11. The company recently withdrew support for some Intel Xeon entry-level CPUs, which affects some enterprise shops.

Anyone with a exact CPU, though, should have no trouble installing Windows 11 via Windows Update. Microsoft made a downloadable ISO disk image file for the beta Insider version available for installing Windows 11, allowing in-place upgrades or clean installations on a PC or in a virtual machine. A similar installation option is now available for the release version of Windows 11 via Microsoft's download Windows 11 page. Some sources have reported that installing the OS with the ISO installer bypasses the system's hardware requirements, but that's not advisable, as you may not get future OS updates if you install it on unsupported hardware.

Another type of CPU that runs Windows 11 is Arm64. The company has shown commitment to this lower-battery-use, always-connected platform by producing a full set of development software for it as well as a hardware platform named Volterra, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. That device features neural processing units, which power AI and will become prevalent in computers, according to Microsoft execs. AI is already built into Windows with the Window ML component, and the company is testing features like Suggested Actions that will, for example, suggest sending an email if you copy an email address. You can find other examples of machine learning AI in the Windows Developer Blog, including animal identification and photo enhancement.

All that said, Microsoft is still way behind Apple in supporting Arm. Apple has managed to supercharge performance on the platform, while Windows Arm software tends to struggle compared with the same software on Intel.

As with Windows 10, there’s a Home and a Pro version of Windows 11. You need to sign in to an online Microsoft account to upgrade to Windows 11 Home, a fact that’s raised the ire of some commenters, though I don’t think it’s an issue worth getting worked up about, and you can switch to a local account or even go through a few simple hoops to bypass the account requirement. If you really object to signing in with an online account for your operating system, since macOS and ChromeOS also de facto require it, may I suggest Ubuntu?

A final note about installation: You can roll back to Windows 10 for 10 days after upgrading if you prefer the older OS version. Microsoft has announced support for Windows 10 through 2025, though individuals as well as corporations will be able to extend security updates for it beyond that date for a subscription fee.

A New Look (and More) for Windows (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Most of the work on Windows 11 went toward redesigning the interface rather than building wholly new features, so the OS is more familiar than you may expect. It borrows ideas from ChromeOS, though you can still place app icons on the desktop background, which Google’s lightweight desktop OS doesn't allow.

Windowing and multitasking remain far more advanced in Windows, too. The interface has rounded corners (like those in macOS) for all windows, which is not a significant change but does deliver the OS a smoother look. Microsoft's Fluent Design System and the system's new Mica material play a role in the redesign. This semi-transparent look is appearing in more and more included apps and utilities. Much of the new design brings a welcome slickness and consistency to the Windows interface.

Windows Copilot (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows Copilot is a new, optional AI tool that lives in its own sidebar. You use it to deliver prompts or commands by typing in a chat box or clicking a microphone icon and speaking. When prompted, Copilot can change settings (for example, "switch to dark mode"), summarize webpages and documents, write emails or other text, or answer a question you ask.

The 23H2 update adds a Copilot button to the Taskbar, which you can turn off in Personalization settings. You can also invoke the AI sidebar with the Windows Key-C keyboard shortcut. I haven't yet tested Copilot extensively, but in the time that I've used it, I changed some settings and generated images. As of this writing, Copilot can only open Microsoft Store apps, not apps from other sources.

Start Menu and Taskbar

For decades, the Windows Start button lived in the lower-left-hand corner—a small detail though it may be, getting used to it being at the left edge of centered icons could be one of the bigger adjustments you need to make in Windows 11. The issue for me is that, until now, the Start menu has always been in the exact same place. Now, if you run more programs, it moves a bit more to the left. Not having to think at all about the Start button’s position was a plus in Windows versions going back more than 20 years. Happily, a Taskbar alignment option in Settings lets you move the Start button back to its rightful position in the left corner.

I wasn't crazy about the new Taskbar in the initial release of Windows 11, but subsequent updates have rectified the issues I had with it. You can choose to have the Taskbar buttons wider by selecting Never Combine them in Settings. In Windows 11, you can still hover over the buttons to see a thumbnail of the app window and right-click to view the Jump List showing exact documents or other common actions for the app. Since the 22H2 update, the Taskbar has drag-and-drop capability, addressing one complaint about the initial design of Windows 11. That 2022 update also brought an overflow menu if you have more icons than the Taskbar can fit.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

The Start menu is overhauled completely. Pinned app buttons (larger than icons but smaller than Windows 10 tiles) are at the top of its panel. The Recommended section below them doesn't work well for me. I'd prefer simple Recently Added and Most Used sections like those in Windows 10. The Start menu’s icons are adequate for touch input, but they're smaller, and you lose the info that Windows 10's live tiles offer, as annoying as some users find those to be.

Another quibble I have with the Start menu is it's harder to get to the All Apps view than in Windows 10. With that version of Windows, you can see all installed apps as soon as you open the Start menu; they're in a list on the left, while tiles for your pinned apps are on the right. You can now group pinned app icons into folders and change the portion of Pinned vs. Recommended icons that appear in the Start menu.

File Explorer (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

File Explorer is a good example of Windows 11’s new look, particularly its left panel controls and colorful folder icons. Note the simplified ribbon along the top, which is far less busy and distracting than the previous File Explorer’s. The File Explorer finally has tabs, so you can have multiple pages of it available in one window. As of the 23H2 update, a Gallery view opens when you're viewing a folder of images. Finally, the system can handle RAR and 7-Zip files without the need for third-party software.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

File Explorer's New button at the top left works for new folders or documents supported by your apps, and the same viewing options (list, details, differently sized icons) for files are available. The overflow menu offers file compression, selection, and Properties options, as well as the old Folder Options dialog. The right-click context menus, which have grown longer and longer over the years, are shorter, smarter, and clearer in Windows 11. They show only the most often-needed options, but you tap "Show more options" to see the extra menu items added by installed programs. As mentioned, you can use single key presses for File Explorer context menu options. Tapping the Menu key shows them.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

If you want still more functionality out of your file manager, you always have the option of using one of several File Explorer Alternatives. But you no longer need one of those to get tabs on its window.

Search Box (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

The search function started life in Windows 11 as a mere button, but it once again can display as a real space that you type in. You can choose whether you want a button, box, or no search at all in Settings. Once you do, or if you just click in the search box, a panel appears showing results from your documents, photos, folders, settings, or the web. Note that the panel now includes Bing Chat buttons at the top left and right. The left one opens Edge to the AI chat with your query entered, and the right one opens a blank Bing Chat page where you can use ChatGPT 4 in concert with Bing's search database to get conversational query sessions and generative AI features.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

If you just click in the box, you see a daily spotlight on the left and a list of icons of recently used apps along the left. This layout may be more useful than the Start menu if you're just looking to jump back into an app.

Widgets (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows 11 has a Widget panel that shows you tiles for news, weather, stock quotes, sports scores, and more. It’s not entirely new since the News and Interests Taskbar pop-up in Windows 10 is similar, down to including a weather indicator on the Taskbar. You can full-screen the panel if you really want to dig into it. In addition to Microsoft-produced first-party tiles in the Widgets panel, third-party developers can offer content through Windows 11’s widgets. Third-party entrants include Spotify and Meta Messenger. Touch screen users can easily swipe in from the left to open them and can full-screen the widget panel to get a bigger view. User-picked widgets are separated from system ones.

The left column is where the widgets you choose appear, and the right side offers widgets in Discover, Following, Play, and Gaming sections. The first three are mostly content from news sites. An Entertainment widget surfaces new movies and TV shows, and the Family widget is good for those who use Microsoft Family Safety parental controls tools.

Notifications and Quick Settings (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows 11's Notifications resemble macOS's notification area, which used to be a clean, simple, single panel but is now a collection of smaller pop-ups. The Windows 11 version isn’t quite as bad as the macOS one since it doesn't pop up a new box for every notification that has to be dismissed by clicking an x, but I still prefer Windows 10's single Action Center panel for notifications and quick settings. I appreciate the circled number that shows how many notifications you have. Touch users can swipe in from the right to display the Notifications panel.

The Quick Settings panel opens when you click on or tap the connection, speaker, or battery (if it's a laptop) icon. By default, you see buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Battery Saver, Focus Assist, and Accessibility, along with sliders for audio volume (now with a source mixer) and screen brightness. A Pencil icon lets you customize what buttons appear, with a choice of Connect (for external displays and audio), Keyboard Layout, Nearby Sharing (like AirDrop for PCs), Night Light, and Project. You can still hover over each of the three icons in the Taskbar to see their status, but I prefer to have just sound settings pop up when I press the speaker and just Wi-Fi options when I press the Wi-Fi icon.

Snap Layouts and Multitasking (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows has long surpassed macOS in the way it lets you arrange app windows on the screen, and the gap grows wider with Windows 11’s new Snap Layouts option. You get to this tool by hovering the cursor over the maximize button at the top right of any window. I hope to see Microsoft surface the capability, as its current location is not obvious. When you hover over the maximize button, you see a choice of layouts—two windows side-by-side, three with one large and two small, and so on, as shown below.

Snap Layouts appear as options in the Taskbar, so you can either open a group of apps or a single app. You also see layouts preserved when you open a group of apps on an external monitor multiple times. A exact update made Snap Layouts usable on touch tablets, but doing so isn't particularly intuitive. (See the section below called Windows 11 on Tablets.)

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows still offers multiple virtual desktops, something I find incredibly useful for separating work apps and websites from personal ones. I either press Ctrl-Windows Key-Arrow to move back and forth between them or the Windows Key-Tab keyboard shortcut to choose one from Task View. With Windows 11, you can use a four-finger swipe to move back and forth, something Mac users have long enjoyed, though only via trackpad rather than right on the screen. Also new is the ability to set different desktop backgrounds (aka wallpapers) for each desktop.

Windows 11's Redesigned Settings (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

One of the more irksome things about Windows 10 is the inconsistent settings of windows and dialogs. Sometimes, you uninstall a program in the Settings app, sometimes via the antiquated Control Panel. That inconsistency goes away in Windows 11—almost entirely. For some detailed controls, such as sound devices, you still see the content in the old style, though the window uses the new design.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Light and Dark mode settings are still in the Personalization > Colors setting area, and the modes look much better than in Windows 10, particularly the Dark mode, which uses transparency effectively. Dark mode can now hold its head up proudly when compared with that of macOS.

You can still change system sounds in Settings, but the Windows 11 default set of sounds is slick, quick, and modern.

Windows 11 Updated Task Manager (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Another area with a fresh design is Task Manager, that most useful of utilities. It lets you shut down misbehaving programs and see which are hogging system resources like the CPU, disk, and network connection. An Efficiency mode lets you reduce an app's drain on the system.

A Better Screenshot Tool in Windows 11 (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Windows 10 introduced a terrific utility for taking screenshots called Snip & Sketch. With a press of the Windows Key-Shift-S keyboard shortcut, it lets you select an area (either rectangular or free-form), a window, or the entire screen and snap a screenshot you could paste from the clipboard or open in an image editor. Windows 11 instead has a Snipping Tool. It's named after an earlier, less functional screenshot tool that had been a fan favorite among Windows enthusiasts.

The Snipping Tool adds an optional timer delay before it takes a screenshot, and it lets you record screen activity as well as still images of the screen. There remain other ways to take screenshots in Windows 11, including the tried-and-true PrtSc key, the Game Bar, third-party screenshot utilities, and so forth.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

The latest capability added to this tool is its ability to extract text from your screenshots and use AI to determine sensitive text such as phone numbers and email addresses and redact them automatically. What's more, you can open any image with text in it on your PC to use these tools.

Read my article How to Take Screenshots in Windows 11 for all the details. Microsoft recently updated the Snipping Tool with screen recording capabilities to produce videos of action on your screen.

Windows 11 Links to Your Phone (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Since most everyone carries a small mobile computer wherever they go, it's essential that any tech product include a phone link, and that's what Microsoft offers for Windows 11. Windows 10's Your Phone app has been enhanced and renamed Phone Link. It offers a truly powerful way to connect your phone to your Windows 11 PC.

I used to be envious of the way Mac users could do SMS texting, but no more. Windows Phone Link goes way beyond that for Android users, with photos shot on the phone instantly appearing on the PC and the ability to run any app on the computer's screen. That's in addition to calling and texting from the big screen. You get desktop notifications from any app with messaging and can respond directly from the notification. Read how to make the connection in How to Connect Your Android Phone to Your Windows 11 PC. And you can connect an iPhone to Windows 11, too.

Other interactions between phone and PC include Cloud Clipboard and the mobile version of the Edge browser, which lets you send open sites for the phone to the computer and vice versa.

Windows 11 on Tablets

Windows 11, regrettably, ditches a couple of its best tablet- and touch-friendly features. Most importantly, you can no longer swipe in from the left to open the task-switching view, a gesture I use all the time on my Surface Go tablet. You can no longer swipe down from the top to close an app, either. This omission is less of a big deal because you can still press the X in the window’s upper right corner as you’d do in desktop mode. As of the 22H2 update, there is a way to get to the Snap layouts via touch on a tablet, with a bar that descends from the top with choices of layouts by holding a finger on a window's top bar.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Again, though, for a handheld device, the down-swipe is more direct and requires less dexterity. There are new three-finger swipe gestures to show the Task View and to minimize (but not close) an app on the desktop. A sideways three-finger swipe switches you between running apps. You can use the Task View button in the Taskbar, but it's not as immediate as a swipe of the thumb. I’d argue switching tasks is more important to tablet users than accessing Widgets, which is what swiping your left thumb in from the edge now gets you.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

On the plus side, Windows 11 tablet users have stylus options and on-screen touch keyboard tricks. The new Surface Slim Pen 2 has haptic feedback—always a plus. This latest-generation pen (available on Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio) buzzes in your hand, for example, when you delete previously written text and when you tap the Back button to open the Whiteboard app. In that app, you can experience the full digital inking experience, which has gotten to the point of feeling exactly like writing with ink. You can, for example, highlight text, write freehand (albeit sloppily), and sketch diagrams. You can even convert what you write to digital text. The on-screen keyboard supports swipe text entry and offers a healthy selection of emoji and gifs, and it now lets you choose custom backgrounds.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Speaking of emojis, Microsoft released Fluent design-influenced emoji. On Windows 11, just as on its predecessor, you can tap Windows Key-. (period) to access a small panel with a generous selection of symbols, special characters, and emojis. Microsoft's Judy Safran-Aasen, Program Manager for the Windows Design Team, writes in a blog post that the new emoji "would scale to the expansive set of Unicode emoji" and that they're "more modern and expressive emoji to use in your hybrid communications, allowing you to add fun, expression, and personality to your communications." They do seem to convey more of an immediate feeling to me.

New App Store With Android Support and AI Hub (Credit: Amazon/Microsoft/PCMag)

Like the rest of the interface, the Microsoft Store app has a slick design refresh. In addition to apps, the Store offers Movies and TV shows as well as games. For some ideas on what to install, read their roundup of the best apps for Windows 11.

A marquee feature is Windows 11's ability to run Android apps, though with some caveats. You have to install them either via the Amazon Appstore running inside of Windows’ Microsoft Store or as a sideloaded APK.

Perhaps even more significant for the store is that developers no longer need to code with the UWP app type to be included. Even Microsoft's own gargantuan Visual Studio development program is in the store now. Microsoft also announced that Progressive Web Apps, which are websites with some extra code that bestows app-like qualities, will also find their way into the Store. Win32 apps can now be submitted by any developer. PWAs also get some nice new capabilities, including Meta Quest VR support, URL protocol handling, and custom title bars.

New for the store in the 23H2 update is that it lets you play casual games without the need to even install them—you can play directly in the store app. The update also adds an AI hub for apps that use artificial intelligence to help you write a resume, fix a photo, and more.

Teams Chat Integration in Windows 11

Microsoft’s Teams chat and video conferencing app is prominently in the center of the Taskbar by default. This move makes sense. With the increasing importance of virtual meetings, maybe Microsoft can grab some of the video conferencing market. Teams grew phenomenally during the COVID-19 pandemic, from 20 million to 145 million active users, but it remains unclear if it can become as ubiquitous as Microsoft wants. Adding a Skype Meet Now button to Windows 10’s notification area didn’t have that effect. (Skype remains an excellent, highly capable communication tool, nevertheless.) But maybe once Windows 11 becomes the dominant version, the operating system's ubiquity will accelerate Teams chat adoption.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

To get started, click the chat icon. A welcome experience prompts you to grant the app access to your Microsoft account and its contacts. When you subsequently tap the icon after this initial setup, you see a list of all your contacts. Click on one to start a chat. Your contacts are likely not using Teams chat yet, so the app sends along an invite to join Teams (it's free for personal use) along with that first message. One strange thing about the interface is that once you're in a video chat, you see a second Taskbar icon for Teams along with the centered chat icon. It seems like an unnecessary duplication to me. A fantastic feature of Windows 11's Teams app, though, is letting you call anyone's mobile phone from your PC for free!

Teams Chat includes AI-powered Windows Studio Effects that you can control from the Taskbar in Quick Settings. These effects include eye contact, background blur, automatic framing, and voice focus.

Updated Stock Apps in Windows 11

In addition to apps you can get in the store, Windows 11 comes with standard apps like an updated Photos app (which now lets you easily sync iCloud photos), the new Media Player, Voice Recorder, two Paint apps (3D and a redesigned classic Paint), Mail, Calendar, and more.

The Paint app has gotten several updates, including a new AI Background Blur feature. New versions of Calculator and Notepad with Dark mode and autosave have arrived. A dedicated template-based video editing app called ClipChamp now comes with Windows. The 2023 Windows 11 update added an AI feature to ClipChamp that lets you describe the kind of video you want to create to build a template for you.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

The Photos app recently regained the Retouch tool, which works well. The 2023 update adds a Background Blur effect and AI search that lets you find photos based on their contents.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Both the legacy Windows Media Player and the Groove music player have recently been replaced by the Media Player app. If you had music stored in Groove, your library and playlists automatically migrate to the new Media Player when your PC gets the update. The new player does not, however, replace the Movies & TV app, the default video player and catalog app for content bought through the Microsoft Store. Movies & TV also supports the cross-platform Movies Anywhere system. And the 22H2 Windows 11 update added CD ripping capability to the Media Player app.

The Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is the default browser, with Internet Explorer no longer existing as a standalone program, though companies that need IE functionality for their custom business apps can invoke it through Edge. Web pundits have panned Microsoft's decision to require Edge for some OS-related features like the news widget and the built-in search, but you can still use the browser of your choice as the default link opener. The company has added a Set Default Browser button to make switching easier.

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Of special note is the updated Clock app, which has a way to help you complete tasks. Its Focus Sessions feature integrates with Spotify to deliver you appropriate background music for your tasks. It also works with the To-Do app, so you can check off those tasks upon completion.

When it comes to setting apps as the default for certain file types, Windows 11 makes things somewhat trickier. You now have to change the setting for each file type rather than just choosing an app to handle, for example, all photo files.

Windows 11 Gaming and Security (Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

PC gamers are seldom left out in major new Windows updates, and Windows 11 is no exception. The two areas that benefit are game selection and technologies. For game selection, the Xbox app built into Windows 11 offers access to the Xbox Game Pass collection of video games. It includes titles like Halo Infinite, Twelve Minutes, and Age of Empires IV. The app also enables Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft’s streaming game platform. It puts PCs on a par with Xboxes, though with users in control of how much hardware power they want to throw at their games. PCMag gaming analyst Jordan Minor goes so far as to declare that with Windows 11, Microsoft makes every PC an Xbox. You can also read about how to optimize your Windows 11 PC for gaming.

As for new gaming technology, Windows 11 introduces Auto HDR and DirectStorage. The first expands the color space to reveal superior clarity even with non-HDR game titles. The second technology, DirectStorage (a subset of the Xbox Velocity Architecture), can speed up game loading times by bypassing the CPU and allowing graphics memory to load directly. For some advice on setting up your Windows 11 PC

Other technical advances in Windows 11 include Dynamic Refresh, which can save laptop batteries by decreasing a screen’s high refresh rate when it’s not needed. The OS also supports the much faster Wi-Fi 6E standard. The requirements of TPM and Secure Boot are part of Microsoft’s beefing up the OS’s security technology—a subject worthy of an entire article. PCMag lead analyst Neil Rubenking has written one you should read called Windows 11 Is Ultra-Secure: Don't Mess It Up!

In terms of raw performance on traditional synthetic benchmarks, the new OS is largely equal to Windows 10. Their hardware team ran benchmark tests both for gaming performance and productivity performance on the same PC with Windows 10 and then again after upgrading to Windows 11. The team found Windows 11 performs just as well and even showed some gains in frame rates and a slight edge in the productivity tests. In any case, you can still speed up Windows 11 with a few tricks if you notice it getting sluggish.

The OneDrive cloud storage and syncing service and app is a key piece of the Windows ecosystem. It can automatically back up your desktop folders, documents, and photos, making it easy to access them from a web browser anywhere, from your mobile phone; it also eases moving to a new PC considerably and can automatically save screenshots snapped with the Print Screen key.

Beyond Accessibility

Microsoft has written extensively about the new accessibility features in Windows 11 that join existing ones like Narrator, Magnifier, Closed Captions, and Windows Speech Recognition, along with support for third-party assistive hardware and software. For example, Windows 11 has Contrast themes, redesigned closed caption themes, and AI-powered voice typing. The OS also adds APIs for programming assistive apps, and even the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) now has accessibility options.

Voice typing is the new name for Windows 10’s fantastic speech dictation tool. Windows’ voice-to-text feature has improved remarkably in exact years and now uses machine learning algorithms to correct its guesses and punctuation. As with the previous dictation feature, you press the Windows Key-H keyboard shortcut or press the on-screen touch keyboard’s mic icon to launch the tool. That done, you simply dictate the text you want to enter in any on-screen text area.

(Credit: Microsoft)

Live captions can display transcriptions of spoken words whether they come from playing video or audio or from the PC's microphone. And Microsoft has added braille display support that lets users switch between Narrator and other screen readers.

What’s Gone in Windows 11?

It only makes sense that some legacy features no longer fit in with the new approach of Windows 11. A couple of conveniences I like (but are apparently hardly used) are gone. Aero Peek and Aero Shake are turned off by default in Windows 11, though you can re-enable them in Settings.

The Cortana AI voice assistant isn't preinstalled on Windows 11 systems, but it's still available in the app store—for now. Microsoft is quietly retiring it. Live tiles are gone, too, with Widgets now replacing their functionality. Tablet mode is replaced by what Microsoft calls "new functionality and capability...for keyboard attach and detach postures." Another casualty is the Windows 10 Timeline, although the Start menu's Recommended section still shows your exact documents and apps.

What's Next for Windows?

The software-as-a-service strategy has hit its stride with Windows 11, though it's still a work in progress. The company is committed to delivering some feature updates when they're ready rather than waiting for a major release. These come in what the company internally calls moments, which will be up to four times a year.

As with Windows 10, you can let the company know what you'd like to see added to the software in a dedicated Feedback Hub app, and you may be surprised at how often it listens. Anyone can sign up for preview builds of the OS through the Windows Insider Program. It lets you experience new features before they're available for general release.

Microsoft has updated its major upgrade schedule to a more traditional three-year release cycle. Some have extrapolated that it means they could see Windows 12 in 2024.

Time for a New Windows

Some minor complaints aside, they like that Microsoft is giving its marquee software some attention. Windows 11 has a slick new look, useful new tools, updated default apps, extra capabilities, and performance advances. It's the first desktop operating system to offer built-in generative and assistive AI. Perhaps that's enough to lure away some ChromeOS or Mac users. For dedicated Windows users, 11 retains most of the vast feature set of Windows 10. Updates have addressed most of the criticisms they had of the initial release—especially those concerning unwelcome changes to the Taskbar and Action Center. These and many other improvements have led us to raise their rating for Windows 11 from 4.0 (excellent) to 4.5 (outstanding), now equaling macOS Sonoma's score. Both are PCMag Editors' Choice winners for desktop operating systems.


Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality

  • Microsoft/
  • Tech/
  • Virtual Reality
  • Microsoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed RealityMicrosoft is discontinuing Windows Mixed Reality / Microsoft added the mixed reality platform to a list of deprecated Windows features.Share this story
  • A photo showing a Windows Mixed Reality headset Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

    It’s over for Windows Mixed Reality. In an update to a list of deprecated Windows features, Microsoft added Windows Mixed Reality, along with the accompanying Mixed Reality Portal app and Windows Mixed Reality for Steam VR.

    The company says Windows Mixed Reality is “deprecated and will be removed in a future release of Windows.” Microsoft first introduced Windows Mixed Reality in 2017 as part of its bid to compete with virtual reality rivals like HTC and Oculus (now owned by Meta).

    Windows Mixed Reality served as a portal to games, apps, and other experiences within the VR space. In addition to the Microsoft HoloLens, other companies, including Acer, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, and Samsung, made mixed reality headsets compatible with Microsoft’s platform. It doesn’t look like the enterprise-focused HoloLens 2 is going anywhere for now, though, as Microsoft added a free Windows 11 upgrade and several other improvements for the $3,500 headset earlier this year.

    Related
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  • Microsoft has been gradually downsizing its VR division. HoloLens boss Alex Kipman left last year over allegations of sexual misconduct, and the company later cut 10,000 jobs, many of which affected the workers behind Microsoft’s mixed reality projects, including the now-discontinued AltspaceVR app.

    Despite this, Microsoft continues to focus on other applications of VR, such as its Microsoft Mesh app that will soon let co-workers meet in a virtual space without a headset. It also started letting Quest users access Office apps and its Xbox Cloud Gaming platform through a partnership with Meta.

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    Microsoft unveils Windows 11 operating system

    By Zoe KleinmanTechnology reporter

    Microsoft's Panos Panay introduced Windows 11 at a live-streamed virtual event.

    Microsoft has unveiled Windows 11, its "next generation" operating system, at a virtual event.

    The new software will let Android apps run on the Windows desktop.

    Product manager Panos Panay promised smaller, faster security updates - a common complaint for Windows users - and said they would happen in the background.

    Windows 11 will also let users configure multiple desktops for work, home, and gaming, like on a Mac.

    Microsoft says there are currently about 1.3 billion devices running Windows 10.

    An early preview version of the new system will be released for app developers next week.

    Windows 11 will be available as a free update to existing Windows 10 users - although some devices will not have the right specifications. These include a minimum of 64 gigabytes of storage and 4 gigabytes of RAM.

    One cosmetic change is putting the "Start" button at the bottom-centre of the screen rather than left-hand side.

    The 'Start' menu is now centre-aligned and available in a dark mode A new widgets window will provide personalised updates Microsoft Teams chat will be built-in

    In addition, Windows 11 will feature tighter integration with Microsoft's communications platform Teams. Xbox Games Pass, a subscription service offering access to hundreds of games, will also be pre-installed.

    The tech giant said it would share more profits from its app store with creators and developers - as rival Apple continues to face challenges over its business model.

    When Windows 10 launched in 2015, Microsoft said it would be the final version of the operating system. It has since announced Windows 10 will be retired in 2025.

    Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella described the launch as "a major milestone in the history of Windows", but analyst Geoff Blaber from CCS Insight said he did not consider it to be "a revolutionary step".

    "Windows 11 is an iterative release that pinpoints where Windows needs greater ambition, rather than introducing the sweeping changes seen with its predecessor," he said.

    "The end game for Microsoft is ensuring that the step up from Windows 10 to Windows 11 provides significant enough improvements to offset any complaints."

    Forrester's principal analyst JP Gownder noted that the new operating system was based on the code of Windows 10, which should prevent upgrade glitches such as those seen in the past with Windows Vista.

    "These user-friendly nods to the past are a double-edged sword, though," he added.

    "They're great for continuity of experience, but they make you wonder what the 11 really stands for. Is this really more of an admittedly feature-rich Windows 10 update than a full-version release?"

    Copyright 2024 BBC. All rights reserved.  The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about their approach to external linking.

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    Warum sind Cyberrisiken so schwer greifbar?

    Als mehr oder weniger neuartiges Phänomen stellen Cyberrisiken Unternehmen und Versicherer vor besondere Herausforderungen. Nicht nur die neuen Schadenszenarien sind abstrakter oder noch nicht bekannt. Häufig sind immaterielle Werte durch Cyberrisiken in Gefahr. Diese wertvollen Vermögensgegenstände sind schwer bewertbar.

    Obwohl die Gefahr durchaus wahrgenommen wird, unterschätzen viele Firmen ihr eigenes Risiko. Dies liegt unter anderem auch an den Veröffentlichungen zu Cyberrisiken. In der Presse finden sich unzählige Berichte von Cyberattacken auf namhafte und große Unternehmen. Den Weg in die Presse finden eben nur die spektakulären Fälle. Die dort genannten Schadenszenarien werden dann für das eigene Unternehmen als unrealistisch eingestuft. Die für die KMU nicht minder gefährlichen Cyber­attacken werden nur selten publiziert.

    Aufgrund der fehlenden öffentlichen Meldungen von Sicherheitsvorfällen an Sicherheitsbehörden und wegen der fehlenden Presseberichte fällt es schwer, Fakten und Zahlen zur Risikolage zu erheben. Aber ohne diese Grundlage fällt es schwer, in entsprechende Sicherheitsmaßnahmen zu investieren.

    Erklärungsleitfaden anhand eines Ursache-Wirkungs-Modells

    Häufig nähert man sich dem Thema Cyberrisiko anlass- oder eventbezogen, also wenn sich neue Schaden­szenarien wie die weltweite WannaCry-Attacke entwickeln. Häufig wird auch akteursgebunden beleuchtet, wer Angreifer oder Opfer sein kann. Dadurch begrenzt man sich bei dem Thema häufig zu sehr nur auf die Cyberkriminalität. Um dem Thema Cyberrisiko jedoch gerecht zu werden, müssen auch weitere Ursachen hinzugezogen werden.

    Mit einer Kategorisierung kann das Thema ganzheitlich und nachvollziehbar strukturiert werden. Ebenso hilft eine solche Kategorisierung dabei, eine Abgrenzung vorzunehmen, für welche Gefahren Versicherungsschutz über eine etwaige Cyberversicherung besteht und für welche nicht.

    Die Ursachen sind dabei die Risiken, während finanzielle bzw. nicht finanzielle Verluste die Wirkungen sind. Cyberrisiken werden demnach in zwei Hauptursachen eingeteilt. Auf der einen Seite sind die nicht kriminellen Ursachen und auf der anderen Seite die kriminellen Ursachen zu nennen. Beide Ursachen können dabei in drei Untergruppen unterteilt werden.

    Nicht kriminelle Ursachen

    Höhere Gewalt

    Häufig hat man bei dem Thema Cyberrisiko nur die kriminellen Ursachen vor Augen. Aber auch höhere Gewalt kann zu einem empfindlichen Datenverlust führen oder zumindest die Verfügbarkeit von Daten einschränken, indem Rechenzentren durch Naturkatastrophen wie beispielsweise Überschwemmungen oder Erdbeben zerstört werden. Ebenso sind Stromausfälle denkbar.

    Menschliches Versagen/Fehlverhalten

    Als Cyberrisiken sind auch unbeabsichtigtes und menschliches Fehlverhalten denkbar. Hierunter könnte das versehentliche Veröffentlichen von sensiblen Informationen fallen. Möglich sind eine falsche Adressierung, Wahl einer falschen Faxnummer oder das Hochladen sensibler Daten auf einen öffentlichen Bereich der Homepage.

    Technisches Versagen

    Auch Hardwaredefekte können zu einem herben Datenverlust führen. Neben einem Überhitzen von Rechnern sind Kurzschlüsse in Systemtechnik oder sogenannte Headcrashes von Festplatten denkbare Szenarien.

    Kriminelle Ursachen

    Hackerangriffe

    Hackerangriffe oder Cyberattacken sind in der Regel die Szenarien, die die Presse dominieren. Häufig wird von spektakulären Datendiebstählen auf große Firmen oder von weltweiten Angriffen mit sogenannten Kryptotrojanern berichtet. Opfer kann am Ende aber jeder werden. Ziele, Methoden und auch das Interesse sind vielfältig. Neben dem finanziellen Interesse können Hackerangriffe auch zur Spionage oder Sabotage eingesetzt werden. Mögliche Hackermethoden sind unter anderem: Social Engineering, Trojaner, DoS-Attacken oder Viren.

    Physischer Angriff

    Die Zielsetzung eines physischen Angriffs ist ähnlich dem eines Hacker­angriffs. Dabei wird nicht auf die Tools eines Hackerangriffs zurückgegriffen, sondern durch das physische Eindringen in Unternehmensgebäude das Ziel erreicht. Häufig sind es Mitarbeiter, die vertrauliche Informationen stehlen, da sie bereits den notwendigen Zugang zu den Daten besitzen.

    Erpressung

    Obwohl die Erpressung aufgrund der eingesetzten Methoden auch als Hacker­angriff gewertet werden könnte, ergibt eine Differenzierung Sinn. Erpressungsfälle durch Kryptotrojaner sind eines der häufigsten Schadenszenarien für kleinere und mittelständische Unternehmen. Außerdem sind auch Erpressungsfälle denkbar, bei denen sensible Daten gestohlen wurden und ein Lösegeld gefordert wird, damit sie nicht veröffentlicht oder weiterverkauft werden.

    Ihre Cyberversicherung sollte zumindet folgende Schäden abdecken:

    Cyber-Kosten:

    • Soforthilfe und Forensik-Kosten (Kosten der Ursachenermittlung, Benachrichtigungskosten und Callcenter-Leistung)
    • Krisenkommunikation / PR-Maßnahmen
    • Systemverbesserungen nach einer Cyber-Attacke
    • Aufwendungen vor Eintritt des Versicherungsfalls

    Cyber-Drittschäden (Haftpflicht):

    • Befriedigung oder Abwehr von Ansprüchen Dritter
    • Rechtswidrige elektronische Kommunikation
    • Ansprüche der E-Payment-Serviceprovider
    • Vertragsstrafe wegen der Verletzung von Geheimhaltungspflichten und Datenschutzvereinbarungen
    • Vertragliche Schadenersatzansprüche
    • Vertragliche Haftpflicht bei Datenverarbeitung durch Dritte
    • Rechtsverteidigungskosten

    Cyber-Eigenschäden:

    • Betriebsunterbrechung
    • Betriebsunterbrechung durch Ausfall von Dienstleister (optional)
    • Mehrkosten
    • Wiederherstellung von Daten (auch Entfernen der Schadsoftware)
    • Cyber-Diebstahl: elektronischer Zahlungsverkehr, fehlerhafter Versand von Waren, Telefon-Mehrkosten/erhöhte Nutzungsentgelte
    • Cyber-Erpressung
    • Entschädigung mit Strafcharakter/Bußgeld
    • Ersatz-IT-Hardware
    • Cyber-Betrug