It’s the much-anticipated release that Microsoft has been hinting at, but Windows 11 finally arrived on the 5th of October 2021!
The successor to the much-beloved Windows 10 operating system, Windows 11 promises to take all of the good stuff you know and love – like the in-built security in every aspect of its operation – and take it to a whole new level with a suite of improvements designed to integrate seamlessly into how we use our devices today.
But what exactly is different about Windows 11 and what should you be aware of before making the leap and upgrading your operating system? As your resident team of IT experts we thought we’d take the time to answer both these questions (and more!) in this breakdown of what exactly you can expect from Microsoft’s latest operating system.
What’s New In Windows 11?
Just like every other Microsoft software offering, security is at the heart of Windows 11 with the operating system shipping to market with a number of in-built data security protections – doubly so for its Pro version.
Windows 11 has also been optimised to better support you in the new normal by making it easier to create individual desktop views through virtual desktops. These desktops can be fully customised with different wallpapers and apps, meaning you can curate an entirely different experience for your work, home and even computer-based hobbies like gaming, all within the same device.
Similarly, Windows 11 will also include a new feature called Snap Layouts which allows you to arrange multiple open windows in different layouts across the screen. Yes that’s right, with Windows 11 you’ll have more layout options than just dual column – plus your new operating system will save all the windows in that arrangement for future use, so you can easily jump back into it in the way that you prefer to operate.
A few more of the changes ushered in with Windows 11 include:
- The ability to download Android Apps through the new and improved Microsoft store, a change that has long been anticipated and opens up a world of productivity capabilities
- A yearly update of the new operating system - similar to Apple’s macOS - that will be 40% smaller and subsequently take less time to download and install
- The movement of the Start menu to the center of the screen, which will now change dynamically depending on the time of day and the content you’re working with.
- The introduction of Widgets, which will pop out from the newly redesigned taskbar and give you a snapshot of everything you need to know at a glance through a series of small apps
And that’s just the beginning!
With Windows 11, Microsoft has really put the emphasis on integrations allowing you to operate seamlessly across every aspect of your life and the operating system’s suite of new tools reflect this focus.
What Should I Be Aware Of Before Upgrading?
If you’re currently using Windows 10, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll be automatically eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11 once the roll-out has been completed.
However, there is one caveat to being able to upgrade: Microsoft has released a very specific set of requirements for devices to be eligible to upgrade to Windows 11, in order to ensure that your devices will be able to keep up with Microsoft’s advances in cyber security.
One of these requirements is the need for your device to be equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 in order to run a fully supported version of Windows 11. Other requirements include:
- A 64-bit processor
- 1Ghz clock speed
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB drive
- UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- A display larger than 9-inches with a HD resolution (1366 x 768 pixels)
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
- An internet connection
While most devices released in the last few years will meet these requirements with ease, the requirement for the TPM 2.0 module is one that has taken many by surprise and resulted in many otherwise eligible devices becoming unable to upgrade to Windows 11.
As your team of IT experts we understand that this strict list of requirements can be confusing, which is why we’d just like to say that if you’re unsure about whether your devices are eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and a member of our team would be happy to help.
Similarly, if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your hardware and think the release of Windows 11 may be just the push you need, we’d love to discuss how we can help make the transition as smooth as possible for you.