On the Front Page (and on each course) there should be a Latest News block available to display (It's usually there by default, so not sure why it isn't on yours) - and also if you go to the front page settings, you can opt to show the Latest News as part of the main content.
I don't think, by default, Moodle sends the email to the person sending the announcement, so you may have to set your test student up with a different email address ie as a different user. If news emails are not sending at all, then you may need to as your administrator to check that the cron job is properly set up and is running.
As for other LMS' - no they are not all the same, and you will also find helpful things on Moodle that are not possible/default on other LMS'. Different tools work in different ways, just as an iPhone works slightly differently to an Android - yet both are powerful and both serve their users' purpose. BUT displaying announcements/latest news/ etc. IS a standard feature of Moodle already