Windows Operating Systems have remained the world’s most popular OS choice due to a mix of versatility and user-friendliness. Windows 11, is at the risk of being redundant, the successor to Microsoft’s Windows 10. While the OS itself hasn’t been released yet, it promises to be Microsoft’s most ambitious project yet, jam-packed with features in a build that promises to be even more simplistic and user-friendly than Win 10.
Keep reading to know more about this controversial new release in the Windows series, along with facts like the Windows 11 Release Date and Download methods.
Windows 11 – Frequently Asked Questions
Common Questions About The Release, Features, and Requirements of Windows 11.
The entire world watched the Livestream introducing Windows 11. Still, most of the vital information about their new Operating System was released days later, along with the first preview of the beta build.
If you missed out on the information released along with the beta build (or were one of the thousands stuck on a laggy screen during the event), read these Frequently Asked Questions to know everything you need to about Windows 11:
1. What’s the Big Difference Between Windows 10 and Windows 11?
The burning question on everyone’s minds: what makes Windows 11 so different from Windows 10? The new OS comes with the same security and user-friendliness as Windows 10 but features an upgraded UI that makes it more accessible and less cluttered. The beta version already released shows off a broader range of tools and apps, along with the impressive ability to run Android apps from the App Store.
2. How Can I Get Windows 11?
Right now, the only people able to access Windows 11 are the Windows Insider Program members. After filling out the form, confirming your email, and completing the process, you can download Windows 11 from the Dev Channel using the Windows Update Feature.
It does sound a bit confusing. If you’d instead prefer to wait, that’s viable too, as the full version of Windows 11 is expected to arrive in October 2021
3. Can I Upgrade My Windows 10 system to Windows 11 When it Releases?
Details are still sketchy on this, but Microsoft has confirmed that computers running the up-to-date version of Windows 10 will be offered the chance to upgrade to Windows 11. There’s a caveat, though: your computer has to meet the minimum hardware specifications released by Microsoft.
You should also note that the official website for Windows 11 states that Microsoft will offer not all computers running Windows 10 the chance to upgrade simultaneously, meaning there’s probably a slew of information to yet be released.
4. If I Buy A PC Now, Can I Install Windows 11 Later?
Again, this answer depends entirely on a single factor: the hardware specifications of the computer you’re buying. Unlike what you’d expect, it’s not the CPU, RAM, or Storage that’s the problem. Instead, it’s the fact that your PC must have a TPM 2.0 module to run Windows 11, which nobody in the world has ever heard of!
5. Wasn’t Windows 10 Going to Be the Last Version of Windows?
Jerry Nixon, a developer, said that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, and after Microsoft didn’t correct him, people widely assumed that Windows 10 would indeed be the last.
Here’s the surprise, though: Microsoft’s leadership and interior view have changed radically since then. Panos Panay, a senior executive at Microsoft, is now in charge of Windows Operating Systems.
He revealed the Windows 11 OS at Microsoft’s June 24 online event as a significant surprise for people worldwide.
An Introduction to Windows 11, And What Everybody Knows About It So Far
What Really Is Windows 11 The Operating System?
If you own a computer (and you use it for something other than browsing Chrome), chances are you use Windows 10. Win 10 has remained everybody’s favourite operating system for almost six years now, released in 2015.
Still, it’s been… what, six years, since the millions of people using Windows operating systems got to see anything new. People are bored, and Microsoft’s new executive in charge of Windows client operating systems, Panos Panay, wants to capitalize on the demand for more functionality and accessibility in Windows OS.
On June 24, 2021, Microsoft held a 45-minute online event where they announced Windows 11, their newest Operating System in a legacy stretching decades. Panay himself made the reveal in a Livestream over several platforms, and reactions were mixed.
Some were overjoyed at the news, while others still were outraged (and still are, probably) at the hefty requirements for Windows 11.
Windows 11 The Operating System – The Big Windows 11 Reveal: A Recap
The Windows 11 event was nothing short of spectacular. Microsoft’s screenshots introducing Windows 11 look nothing short of amazing, featuring both new UI elements and new features meant to expand on the accessibility-focused Windows 10.
A centred taskbar, a redesigned Start menu, and heavy security features are just a few of the many things Microsoft announced Windows 11 would have.
In case you missed the Windows 11 Livestream, here’s a recap of the most important information given out during the 45-minute event:
- Windows 11 Will Come to Windows 10 PCs As A Free Upgrade: Of all the things Microsoft announced, a particular fact stood out the most to people. The update to Windows 11 will reportedly be free for people running a bought-and-paid-for (in other words, legal) version of Windows 10.
This was a huge relief to the millions of people using Windows 10 since the licenses for Windows 10 were already a substantial financial investment for both casual users and companies using Windows 10 for office computers.
- The OS Will Arrive This Fall: Okay, so the accuracy of this information is effectively in question. Microsoft states that the official first version of Windows 11 will be available sometime ‘this fall.’ This is also backed up by support documentation released by Intel, which hints that the release date for Microsoft’s brand-new Operating System will be in October 2021.
- There’s Been A Change In the Updates Model System: Previously, Windows 10 received two major updates throughout the year, the Spring and Fall Updates. Windows 11 will be leaving this update model behind and opting for one major yearly update.
Analysts and publishings speculate this is both for Microsoft to centre their update efforts behind extensive, meaningful updates instead of adding useless features (like the horrible little news tab in the Windows 10 taskbar!).
- Insiders Are Going to Get the First Look At the New OS: The Windows Insider Program, made for people who wanted to try out new Windows features still in development, is finally seeing some importance for the first time in months. Members will get the first look at the beta build of Windows 11 if their system specs match the hardware requirements released by Microsoft for Windows 11. This was also where the most outrage was seen, as Microsoft’s demands for running the new OS were relatively high.
- Windows 11 Will Be Using Intel Bridge Technology: A pleasant surprise for people interested in the development process of Windows 11 is that the OS will be relying on Intel Bridge technology. In simple words, Intel Bridge translates Android-app code and rebuilds the app to function on Windows 11 computers instead. This points heavily to the next piece of news: Win 11 will run Android apps!
- You Can Run Apps From the Amazon App Store: You heard that right. Windows 11 will be able to run Amazon App Store Android apps by using Intel Bridge technology. This won’t be some cheap emulator feature either: these apps will come with full support, allowing you to enjoy many Android apps on your Windows 11 system.
- Cloud Gaming, Auto HDR, and More Features Aim to Elevate Gamers: Microsoft wants to make everybody happy with Windows 11, and gaming is a large part of today’s online culture. The new OS will reportedly be ‘all in’ on gaming, with features like Xbox Cloud Gaming Service, Auto HDR for better visuals, and DirectStorage to enable shorter load times for massive Triple-A games and franchises!
- Microsoft Teams Will Be Integrated in Windows This Time: Microsoft Teams is the company’s proprietary platform for business communication and was released for Windows 10 as part of the Microsoft 365 product line. The thing is, actually getting it for Windows was a pain back in Windows 10, as you had to jump through several different paywalls.
This time, it’ll be directly integrated into the next Windows 11 to ensure a smoother experience for businesses using the OS. Video calling, work meetings, and online reunions have been made much easier with Microsoft’s updates for its Teams product.
The inclusion of so much information bombarded the Windows 11 Release Date audience and the Downloaded online event. It was too much for many people, and they could barely remember everything that Microsoft promised for Windows 11.
That’s why next, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the best highlights of the features announced for Windows 11 and what they mean for communities and workplaces worldwide.
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Highlights of the Windows 11 Reveal: What You Should Be Looking At
Windows 11 The Operating System – Elevate Gaming Experiences
Gaming has undeniably become one of the largest contributors to global culture today. Triple-A game franchises and talented Indie developers come out with new titles every year, and as time passes, the requirements for these only get higher and higher. Until Microsoft’s reveal of Windows 11, it was totally dependent on the user to optimize his gaming experience.
Now, sure, you could use the best hardware to ensure optimal performance and innovative software and APIs to shorten the stress on your hardware components. Still, the process was suboptimal for a lot of gamers who weren’t all that tech-savvy.
Windows includes a section of upgrades just for them, including things like:
1. Auto High Dynamic Range (HDR) Support
Auto HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, is a Windows feature that allows people to get a vastly improved visual experience. This applies especially to games built on DirectX 11 or after since it makes for a much broader and improved range of bright values and vibrant colours.
Now, in Windows 10, this was an optional feature that not many people knew about, and turning it on was obscure, vague, and complex. PC gamers will rejoice to hear that Windows 11 includes Auto HDR, vastly improving the visuals of any game they play.
2. Xbox Cloud Gaming
Cloud Gaming has seen rapid increases in demand over the years, as advances in technology have made the concept more viable. Essentially, Cloud Gaming lets users use remote cloud servers to play a game instead of running it locally on their own devices. The client software maps the player’s inputs, then sent back to the cloud server and executed in-game.
Windows 11 will feature XBox’s Cloud Gaming service to support remote gaming, allowing players to play their favourite games using devices with much lower system specifications than required to run the game. The servers are also reportedly optimized to deliver low latency, but that remains a matter of speculation right now.
This might be the best feature included by Microsoft in Windows 11 builds. DirectStorage was released as an API that enables faster SSD read times, and with how vital SSDs have become for big games, it exploded in popularity in just a few weeks. Windows 11’s built-in DirectStorage will vastly shorten loading times in games, improving people’s experience playing Triple-A titles that are usually massive in size.
Windows 11 – The New OS Will Feature Massive UI And Window Management Overhauls
1. The Start Menu And the Taskbar
For over 25 years, the Start button and the Taskbar have been Windows Operating System designs traditions. At this point, flicking down to the lower left when you want to navigate your computer is pure muscle memory. Windows 11’s radical UI overhaul will change that, as it will move the Start button to the very centre of the Taskbar.
One of the more controversial changes made in the Windows UI, the Start button relocation, greatly affects many people. It might sound like nothing, but it will take some severe getting-used-to for anybody who needs to navigate to an app or folder quickly.
When Windows 10 was released, one of its most aesthetic features was the introduction of Live Tiles. These were dynamic, changing tiles in the Start Menu, with common examples being the Mail, News, Weather, and Planner tiles.
In Windows 11, these have been replaced in favour of Widgets, which get their own space in the traditional spot of the Start Menu. Like the Live tiles, you’ll be able to choose the Widgets you want to see and move them around as you wish.
3. File Explorer UI Overhaul
You heard that right. The Windows File Explorer has featured its traditional design from Windows 7, with minor aesthetic changes here and there. Windows 11 will reportedly overhaul the File Explorer UI, aiming for a less cluttered but more accessible display.
However, details on this are few and far between, as Microsoft has yet to release important information regarding the File Explorer overhauls.
4. New Icons For System Apps
After years of using the same icons over different Operating Systems, Microsoft will be changing the icons displayed for a wide range of in-built system apps and features. The changes will apply to apps and features like Alarm and Clock, Browser, Email, Documents, Fingerprint Scanners, and even Music folders.
5. UI Changes for Windows Snap
Windows Snap was a big part of Windows 10 and allowed users to quickly snap Windows side-by-side, top-and-bottom, or even more than two windows presented on-screen.
According to the screenshots shown during Microsoft’s online event, Windows 11 comes with a new UI for quickly snapping and selecting window sizes, with six options shown for snapping 2 to 4 windows on-screen.
The fantastic thing is that Microsoft is nowhere near done announcing the changes they have in Store (get it?) for the initial build of Windows 11 and what future updates will bring.
Executives in charge of different departments promise functionality and accessibility upgrades, along with the mandatory adoption of something called Hardware-Assisted Security.
The Technical Side of Things
Windows 11 – The Operating System – System Requirements
And this is where the outrage starts. Although Windows 11 is built on the same core architecture as Windows 10, it has higher system requirements. Consult the list below to check the minimum specifications your PC must have to run Windows 11:
- Processor: 1GHz or faster 64-bit processor, with at least two cores
- RAM: 4GB of RAM, preferably more for optimal performance
- Storage: 64GB or larger storage device, with an SSD being the preferred choice
- Graphics: Integrated or Dedicated GPU compatible with DirectX 12, with a WDDM 2.0 Driver
- Display: 720p Display larger than 9″ diagonally
- Internet Connection: Like Windows 10, Windows 11 Home Edition will require an Internet connection for the first time.
- TPM: TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module. Your PC must support TPM 2.0 modules for greater Hardware-Assisted-Security.
Contrarily, Microsoft also offers the PC Health Check app. While this app usually checks the overall performance of your PC, you can also use it to check your PC’s eligibility to run Windows 11. All you have to do is:
- Download and install the PC Health Check app.
- Once it’s installed, run the program.
- Click on the blue button that says ‘Check Now.’
- If your system meets the requirements, you’ll see a pop saying, ‘This PC will run Windows 11
However, these are just the requirements for running the initial build of Windows 11. Microsoft says that future versions might come with higher standards.
Along with the additional requirements for enabling different parts of the OS, like a microphone for Wake-on-Voice. You might also face a problem with TPM compatibility, which is far easier to fix than it sounds.
Windows 11 The Operating System – TPM Modules, And The Problems Their Adoption Poses
Trusted Platform Modules have been around for years, but until Microsoft stated they were mandatory for PCs running Windows 11, these were only used by IT professionals. Essentially, these modules use your hardware to encrypt your drives and storage devices, ensuring that you have greater protection against digital attacks.
A common problem that people trying to upgrade to the beta version of Windows 11 faced is that their system wasn’t compatible with TPM 2.0. However, you don’t actually have to buy one of the chips right now (which can stand at anywhere from a low $24 to an astounding $99).
Instead, if you bought your computer at any point over the last ten years, all you have to do is head into your bios and enable the ‘PTT’ option, usually found under the ‘Advanced\PCH-FW Configuration’ Tab.
But, the TPM 2.0 requirement also presents a problem for older PCs. CPUs that are older than 8th Gen Intel CPUs and AMD’s Ryzen 2000 series will probably not support TPM 2.0, which in reality is a huge number of laptops and well-maintained desktops worldwide.
Combining both of these factors has led to the somewhat mixed receptions of Windows 11’s system requirements. IT professionals and people with sensitive information on their devices hugely appreciate the increased encryption security.
Still, casual users with older devices are immensely disappointed, and in truth, quite rightfully so.
Conclusion: Windows 11, Good News or Bad?
Windows 11 The Operating System might seem like a giant leap, especially with the hardware requirements and the controversial changes pressing down on users. However, Microsoft has never disappointed us before (except with Windows 8, but we won’t talk about that). The last instalments in the Windows Operating Systems series have all been widely popular, and with the quality-of-life features that come with Windows 11, you’ll fall in love with the OS, or at least once they polish out the bugs.
On the other hand, if Windows 11 isn’t to your liking, Microsoft will continue updates and full support for Windows 10 through to the end of 2025.