Since early last spring, rumors have been swirling that this is the latest version of Windows. On October 5, Microsoft finally proceeded to the official launch of this operating system. Users of earlier versions will also be able to take advantage of it if their PC is compatible with it. They will have the opportunity to download Windows 11 and take advantage of the features that the company has reserved for them with this new edition.
Windows 11: what changes
Since the day of the official release, Windows 11 is not only pre-installed on new PCs (Acer, Asus, Dell, HP…), but also open for free download for devices running Windows 10.
The key words of this operating system are “productivity”, “creativity” and “freedom” according to the launch conference given by Microsoft . With this new, simpler and more ergonomic version, users will be entitled to a redesigned interface with new uses. There has been a change on the side of:
The taskbar has been reorganized with the Start menu , the search tool, and pinned apps displaying in the center by default. The icons are slightly apart from each other, making it easier to use Windows 11 on a touch screen.
As for the “Start” menu, the overhaul has been total. It features only pinned apps, suggestions and recent items, and the power button.
A Widgets button placed in the taskbar allows you to display different modules (weather, finances, sports scores, news, etc.) transparently over the rest of the screen. It is possible to customize the widgets according to your interests and also refer to applications (calendar, task manager , etc.). Microsoft could collaborate with third-party publishers to offer new functions.
Icons for apps and system functions have been modernized. For example, folder icons are more colorful, making it easier to tell them apart.
Multitasking is improved on Windows 11 via the function Snap Layouts feature . This makes it possible to display up to three application windows simultaneously on the screen. The operating system also includes the Snap Groups feature that allows you to return to an already used layout through the taskbar. The user will thus be able to save the layouts he frequently uses in a virtual office to pass it on from his workstation to his laptop or tablet. Note that the number of virtual desktops is not limited.
Microsoft Teams was integrated into Windows 11 as an interface accessible from the taskbar. Users will therefore be able to take advantage of the free version of the videoconferencing solution integrating chat, audio and video calls, but also videoconferencing with several people.
Gamers are among the users Microsoft has thought of with this new operating system. Windows 11, Microsoft supports DirectX 12 Ultimate, which will enable immersive graphics at high frame rates. Two technologies from its Xbox console are also there. Direct Storage, which speeds up loading speed and reduces latency, and Auto HDR, which enables high-resolution game streaming, are on the Windows 11 menu.
The change also operated at the level of the Microsoft Store . This has been redesigned and now includes applications, games or even film offers (including third parties such as Disney +). The marketplace integrates old-generation Windows software (Win32), in particular in .msi or .exe format. alongside Windows 10’s Universal Windows Apps (UWP) and progressive web apps. Zoom Cloud Meetings, Discord, VLC, TeamViewer, Adobe Acrobat Reader, LibreOffice. On the UWP side, Reddit, Wikipedia, TikTok, Lyft and Tumblr are examples of publishers who have answered Microsoft’s call.
Is my PC compatible with Windows 11?
The migration to Windows 11 should go smoothly if the configurations necessary to meet the compatibility criteria are met. The publisher has also published on its site the list of Intel, AMD and Qualcomm processors officially compatible with Windows 11 and it is possible to turn to the PC Health Check application which identifies the possible components (processor, graphics card, TPM 2.0…) which can cause problems. It was designed to check the compatibility of a PC with Windows 11. It is good to know that the Super Geek team can assist during this step in order to identify if the configurations of your PC are those requested by Microsoft for that the operating system is working properly.
Note that a 64-bit 1 GHz processor with two or more cores, 4 GB of Ram, 64 GB of storage, but also a DirectX 12 / WDDM 2.x graphics card are part of the minimum hardware configuration necessary to run Windows 11.
Non-compatible PCs can also host Windows 11. Microsoft offers a solution to unlock the installation on devices that are not equipped with the processors or the TPM 2.0 hardware security function. However, this is not without risk if the registry is modified incorrectly.
Windows 11 setup
To update a PC under Windows 10 to Windows 11, the operation is simple. After verifying that the device is compatible via Microsoft’s PC Health Check app, just download the installation wizard. Then, click on the wizard installation file to launch it and follow the instructions. If the terminal’s hardware configuration is not compatible, PC Health Check notify you of the problem items.
If, after installation, Windows 11 is not satisfactory or annoying bugs appear, it is always possible to roll back to Windows 10, without losing personal applications and files.
Windows 10 vs. Windows 11
Support will continue until 2025 officially and the update to OS 11 is free. Therefore, users will not have to worry about the license number which will be automatically retrieved during installation. Windows 11 has some new features, but how does it differ from Windows 10?
The interface is modernized, its ergonomics improved and its many system applications rejuvenated (Paint, Notepad, etc.). Apart from the fact that Windows 11’s new Microsoft Store allows traditional Win32 desktop apps and other software, which will make regular Windows software work even better, the OS can run Android apps. While Windows 10 users were entitled to not two big updates per year, there will only be one big one on Windows 11. The operating system will be entitled to 40% smaller upgrades which will be installed in the background.
Although Windows 11 has its share of new features, some features have not been carried over from the previous version. The most important are:
- The taskbar changes – it can no longer be moved to another edge of the screen, it must always be bottom-aligned. Window labels can no longer be activated in the taskbar.
- Simplified start menu – live tiles have been replaced by widgets in the panel. It is no longer possible to name pinned application groups or folders in the Start menu.
- Cortana is no longer pinned to the taskbar by default, and Cortana is no longer present during the PC setup process.
Windows 11: what the first tests say?
A few weeks after the release of Windows 11, various tests were posted on the web to assess the quality and performance of the new system, among other things.
Overall, updating from Windows 10 went smoothly in most cases. On the other hand, Windows 11 has not been spared by bugs and Microsoft also devotes a page on its site to known Windows problems, often indicating the associated solution. It is possible to consult it to try to prevent these faults or to call on computer troubleshooting for a quick resolution.
Early Windows 11 updates were pushed to multiple non-compatible PCs on which it had been installed. This is what emerges in many media such as ghacks.net, HNovo or guru3d.
At PhonAndroid, there are reports of an operating system that lags behind in terms of CPU performance. A particularly striking finding on 7-zip, with performance up to 25% lower compared to Windows 10. Game test results also show a drop in game performance on Windows 11. The specialized site attributes however this falls back to VBS, a security feature that may be too resource intensive. The biggest drop was seen for Far Cry 5 which, in Ultra, scores 8% lower.
Bonus: deployment of Windows 11, a busy schedule
Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system was announced on June 24 and then Insider program affiliates were entitled to version 22000.100, released on July 22, 2021. The operating system was launched in final version on October 5, 2021. It will be released gradually by mid-2022. The goal is to prevent too many devices from being affected in the event of bugs and, at the same time, to further optimize Windows 11 for large-scale deployment. Microsoft says Windows 10 will be supported with security updates until October 14, 2025.