What is Windows 11?
If you use a Windows PC at home or at work, how will this upgrade affect you? we collecting your questions and have assembled the answers here.
At the risk of mentioning the blindingly obvious, Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10. It’s built on the equal core structure as Windows 10; indeed, Microsoft ought to have chosen to supply the new facets in Windows 11 via a series of semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 barring a name change.
Instead, they selected to make this a good old-fashioned “big bang” release, with a new foremost version wide variety and a laundry listing of new features.
For starters, there may be a new consumer experience, with refreshed colors and icons, major modifications to the Start menu and taskbar, a considerable reworking of the Settings app, a Widgets pane designed to supply bite-sized chunks of information and reminders, and a greatly expanded way to snap windows into position.
Hardware-assisted security, which has been an optionally available section of Windows 10, is now mandatory, which means Secure Boot and device encryption are available through default to protect against more and more sophisticated online attacks.
If you have been unimpressed with the paltry decision of apps in the Microsoft Store, you are now not alone. Windows 11 affords a primary update to the Store, which includes the alternative for third-party developers to make their conventional Win32 desktop apps available for secure downloads thru the Store.
And talking of apps, Windows 11 will include a new Windows Subsystem for Android, permitting Android apps to run on the familiar Windows desktop. There’s one catch, though: For now, at least, these apps will come from the Amazon app store, which additionally suffers from Paltry App Selection Syndrome. In theory, the availability of Android apps may want to enlarge in the future with the addition of extra robust app repositories like the Samsung App Store or even (gasp!) the Google Play Store. That feature is now not but turned on in preview releases, and all of us with a long memory of Microsoft’s experiments in this area has a proper to be skeptical.
How often will Windows 11 get feature updates?
The most important exchange in the Windows 11 generation is not software at all. Instead, seem to be at what Microsoft calls the servicing schedule, which will now produce feature updates as soon as per year instead of adhering to the frenetic twice-a-year feature update agenda of Windows 10.
The aid calendar (what Microsoft calls the Windows lifecycle) is pushed out as well, with Microsoft offering 24 months of guide for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education editions, instead of the cutting-edge 18 months. IT group of workers in enterprise and schooling environments can look ahead to 36 months of aid for Enterprise and Education editions. That’s an enhancement over the unusual tick-tock guide agenda carried out for Windows 10, the place only H2 releases get three full years of updates.
Security updates will proceed to arrive monthly, on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
What are the minimum system requirements for Windows 11?
Unlike Windows 10, which was once mainly designed to run on older hardware, Windows 11 requires fairly new hardware and will no longer installation on older PCs. Most PCs designed and sold in 2019 or later will work with Windows 11, even though there are some noteworthy exceptions.
Older hardware is much less possibly to pass Windows 11’s stringent compatibility checks; Intel 7th Generation Core processors, for example, are now not on the listing of like-minded CPUs, nor are PCs built the usage of AMD Zen 1 processors. PCs purchased in 2016 or in the past are nearly certain to be unsupported.
Windows 11 additionally requires a hardware security issue known as a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), alongside UEFI firmware (no legacy BIOS allowed) and Secure Boot. Virtually all PCs designed and built since 2015 consist of TPM 2.0 support, though you may have to go into the firmware settings to allow it.
Processor: 1 GHz or faster with two or extra cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or Device on a chip (SoC)
RAM: at least 4 GB
Storage: at least 64 GB of available storage
Security: TPM version 2.0, UEFI firmware, Secure Boot capable
Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM two driver
Display: High definition (720p) display, 9″ or larger monitor, eight bits per color channel
Naturally, you may want an internet connection to hold Windows 11 up to date and to download and use some features. Windows 11 Home version requires a net connection and a Microsoft Account to whole the out-of-box device setup; the option for a local account is now available solely on enterprise editions, the place it is a necessary first step on the road to becoming a member of a PC to a Windows domain.
And this may be the right area to raise a farewell toast to 32-bit Windows, which is now officially retired. Windows 11 is available solely as a 64-bit OS for 64-bit CPUs (32-bit Windows apps will proceed to be supported, however).
What’s new in the Windows 11 user interface?
When a preliminary build of Windows 11 leaked in advance of Microsoft’s June announcement, the leak kicked off a flurry of superficial coverage that obsessed over tiny visible changes. To a casual observer, Windows 11 looked like a glorified theme pack for Windows 10.
That’s now not the case. There are some noticeably visible tweaks to what Microsoft calls the Windows 11 person experience (UX), inclusive of new icons, with more vibrant colors and rounded corners, as properly as a new system font.
The taskbar contains one new button, which opens a Widgets pane on the left facet of the display. For now, at least, the selection of widgets is limited ordinarily to Microsoft services. Other taskbar tweaks (except for the newly established alignment) are highly minor, though the ability to fine-tune the visibility of tray icons and a crisper, cleaner Quick Settings app are welcome.
Visuals aside, Windows 11 additionally makes some fairly radical modifications to fundamental components of the Windows UX, including the Start menu and taskbar. The Start button nevertheless sits at the left of the taskbar, however, the taskbar itself is now situated at the bottom edge of the display. (There’s putting to go the whole lot again to the left if you do not experience like overpowering your muscle memory from decades of having Started in the lower left of the screen.)
Clicking Start slides open a new pane that barely resembles the scrolling lists of apps and utilities found on the traditional Start menu. In Windows 11, this house is cut up into two rectangles underneath a search box, with the pinnacle half dedicated to program icons and the bottom 1/2 given over to shortcuts to the latest documents. You can pin programs to that pinnacle area and drag them into your favored order, however, that’s pretty a lot the extent of customization picks for programs, which can not be grouped into subfolders.
The only different tweak for Start is the option to pin some system folders to the bottom row, between the user profile image and the power button.
File Explorer receives the equal visible refresh as the rest of Windows, with a simplified ribbon and shortcut menus; otherwise, it retains the familiar three-pane arrangement. The Settings app, on the different hand, receives an entire makeover. A new navigation pane on the left gives ready to get right of entry to to the main categories, with sections on the proper that slide open as wanted to allow adjustments to system settings and personalization options.
On touch-enabled devices and tablets like the Surface Pro, you may discover big changes in the way that the pen and contact elements work, with extra graceful transitions from PC to tablet mode and vice versa. On conventional PCs with a couple of monitors and docking stations, the system is in the end smart enough to be mindful of the arrangement of windows when you reconnect.
Options for arranging windows on massive external displays are significantly expanded compared to Windows 10. The familiar “snap” shortcuts nevertheless work to position windows facet with the aid of side, however hovering the mouse pointer over the icon in the higher right corner of any window shows extra options for arranging three or 4 windows, as proven here. Those arrangements are reachable from the taskbar as well, permitting you to restore a specific arrangement with a single click.
Despite the great UX refresh, you may nevertheless encounter locations the place bits of older, even ancient Windows elements peek out. That’s mainly actual for the ultimate closing bits of the legacy Control Panel as nicely as any app that is hosted by using the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).
When will Windows 11 be released to the public?
Windows 11 will arrive in October 2021, and you would be foolish to bet against them.
The process of updating Windows 10 PCs that meet Microsoft’s hardware requirements will start around the same time and will extend into 2022.
What do I have to do to test Windows 11 today?
As of July 2021, Microsoft is making preview versions of Windows 11 available for anyone who opts in to the Windows Preview Program and signs up for the Dev Channel. More polished versions of Windows 11 preview releases should arrive in the Beta channel in August and September.
What happens if my system doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements?
In advance of the professional launch of Windows 11, Insider preview releases can be installed on devices that do not meet the minimal hardware requirements. When the preview period ends, however, these PCs will no longer receive updates until their owners wipe them clean and reinstall Windows 10. It’s possible that a handful of older processors, mainly Intel 7th Generation CPUs like these in the luxurious Microsoft Surface Studio 2, will be delivered to the processor compatibility list. But the extra likely result is that older PCs will be blocked from the upgrade.
Hobbyists and hackers will, of course, find methods to fool the Windows 11 compatibility checker into allowing installations on unsupported hardware. But selecting that choice will no longer be in compliance with Microsoft’s license agreement and will probably motive serious compatibility issues; this kind of hacking is no longer recommended for anyone interested in productivity.
How much will Windows 11 cost?
On any PC with a properly licensed copy of Windows 10, the upgrade to Windows 11 will be free.
Microsoft hasn’t announced prices for Windows 11 retail editions yet, but it’s reasonable to expect they will be identical to the prices of corresponding Windows 10 editions.
Will Windows 11 run in a virtual machine?
Yes, you can install Windows 11 in a VM. In fact, you can create a virtual TPM in a Windows 11 virtual machine that will satisfy the hardware requirements of the new operating system. On Type 1 (bare metal) hypervisor like Microsoft’s own Hyper-V, you’ll be constrained by the same CPU requirements that govern installations on a physical PC. On a Type 2 hypervisor such as Oracle Virtual Box or VMware workstation, you might be able to spoof that requirement, but the effort is probably not worth the risk.
Will my existing apps and hardware devices work with Windows 11?
Most apps and devices that work with Windows 10 should work as expected under Windows 11. The new operating system is sufficiently similar to its predecessor that the differences shouldn’t pose a problem for most apps. Of course, answering that question is why we have preview releases, so the best way to check compatibility for a device or app is to install the latest Windows Insider preview release and try running it. (If you encounter an error, be sure to use the Feedback Hub app to file a report.)