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Microsoft Teases Gaming-Changing Focus Mode in Windows 11

todayAugust 5, 2021 2

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Microsoft isn’t done yet with new Windows 11 features. A day after teasing a new Snipping Tool, Windows and Devices chief Panos Panay just revealed a new Focus Sessions feature for Windows 11 — hinting at new ways for the operating system to help you stay productive and creative.

The short 14-second Focus Sessions teaser clip highlights a completely redesigned clock app for Windows 11. In addition to the usual timers, alarms, world clock, and stopwatch, the clock app looks to now be the home to a special “Focus” section. These are where you’ll find focus-themed hubs for setting timers, checking tasks, checking your daily focus progress, and even listening to songs on Spotify.

Another first look from the team…#FocusSessions on #Windows11 coming soon. This has been a game-changer for me, especially with @Spotify integration #Productivity #Creativity #WindowsInsiders pic.twitter.com/HfJh4niDiS

— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) August 5, 2021

Judging from the video, Windows 11 users can begin Focus Sessions by selecting a task, a song from Spotify, and then setting a timed-focus mode goal with optional breaks in between. The session will then begin, show a countdown timer, and can be tracked against overall daily progress. That daily progress will show a daily goal, a streak, as well as focus minutes and hours from the day before.

Overall, this seems to be a very interesting new Windows 11 tool. Apple’s highly talked about Focus Mode in MacOS Monterey doesn’t seem nearly as complex. It doesn’t offer a Spotify integration, or the ability to track your focus goals. Rather, Apple’s implementation is all about syncing focus across devices and using A.I. to only allow notifications from different app types and different modes of work.

Microsoft didn’t share when this Focus Sessions feature will come to Windows 11. Panay mentioned that it would be “coming soon,” and Brandon LeBlanc, a Windows Insider Program manager, detailed in a Tweet that, “it is new and coming soon to Windows Insiders.”

Windows 11 is still in beta testing with Windows Insiders. Since this is the second tease from Panos Panay in two days, you can expect even more new features to be added to the operating system over time.

Microsoft is targeting a holiday 2021 release for Windows 11. The operating system can be installed on most devices right now in a few simple steps via either the “Dev” or the “Beta” channel of the Windows Insider program.

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