Microsoft recently had the tech world on its toes with its release of Windows 11 at its virtual event. Even though the company had previously said that Windows 10 was the last of its operating systems with the operating system continuing to release updates, they unveiled the “next-generation Windows” in June 2021.
Here is everything you need to know about Windows 11.
What is Windows 11?
Windows 11 is Microsoft’s next major software update. Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10, which was released in 2015. Some of the new features include:
- Fluent Design System
- Smart Menu
- Updated File Explorer which includes rounded corners and larger text
- Updated Taskbar – Center aligned by default
- Task View
- Snap Layouts – Allows the user to select pre-determined layouts that they want to use
- Windows Dashboard
- Touch Improvements – instead of selecting tablet mode, Windows will automatically adapt.
- Notification Center and Quick Settings
- Refreshed Lock Screen
- New font – Segoe UI Variable
- New GIF menu
- Other new features include new system icons, animations and sounds.
To see a list of which features have been removed from Windows 11 that are present in Windows 10, go here.
What system requirements do I need?
Windows 11 has minimum system requirements for you to be able to adopt it as your new operating system. These are set so that Windows 11 works securely and optimally on your device. Below are the minimum requirements:
|Processor||1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)|
|Memory||4 GB RAM|
|Storage||64 GB or larger storage device|
|System Firmware||UEFI, Secure Boot capable|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Graphics Card||DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x|
|Display||>9″ with HD Resolution (720p)|
|Internet Connection||Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home|
How much will it cost?
Windows 11 will be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. There is no time limit on this as there was with Windows 10 so you don’t have to upgrade straight away.
If you are running Windows 7, you can upgrade to Windows 11 according to Lenovo. “Most devices available for purchase now will be upgradeable to Windows 11. You will have the option to upgrade, clean install, or reimage Windows 10 devices to move to Windows 11. For Windows 7 devices that meet hardware requirements, you will need to clean install or reimage to go directly to Windows 11.” We would suggest you speak to the experts (Dial a Nerd) if you want to do this as it requires complete formatting of your system drive.
Should I download it?
As of this writing, Windows 11 is still in the beta phase, which means the software is feature complete but will likely contain a few known or unknown bugs. Software developers use it to test. Microsoft does say it plans to roll out Windows 11 from the end of 2021 through 2022. We think it’s best to wait it out a bit. Microsoft will obviously start advising you to upgrade to Windows 11 but if you want to stay on Windows 10, the company will be supporting updates until 2025.
How do I get Windows 11?
If your device matches the tech specs mentioned above, you can get a preview of Windows 11 as it stands now. You’ll need to join the Windows Insider Program (it’s free). We recommend doing this method on a device you want to test with and NOT your primary device.
As mentioned in “Should I download it”, we recommend that you wait for Windows 11 to be available to the public. Once Windows 11 becomes available to all Windows users with compatible computers this fall, you’ll download it the same way you would with any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see a Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install.
What impact does Windows 11 have on my Business?
Windows 11 is built for modern business. Tons of the features have been created with how people work in mind. The operating system has been optimized for hybrid-working with many options that will help users multitask more easily.
Windows 11, most importantly, set a new benchmark for performance and security. This helps businesses optimize for productivity whilst remaining secure.
Windows 11 should deliver value to businesses of all sizes and across industries, as they look to capitalize on new opportunities in the post-pandemic landscape.