Windows 11 officially launched in October of 2021 and has seen steady improvement over the months since its release since Microsoft has been patching it on a regular basis. You are likely wondering if now is the time to jump into the new version of Windows. Read on to find out if it makes sense for you to do so at this point.
As with any new operating system, Windows 11 had its share of bugs upon initial release. However, the issues have been steadily dropping with each new patch making it quite a stable OS. Many businesses have now made the switch, and with a few exceptions, are seeing quite exceptional performance.
Windows 11 is latest in a long line of operating systems from Microsoft and represents much of what they see as the future of computing. It is noticeably simpler and more streamlined in its performance and features compared to Windows 8 and 10. Microsoft says this is due to massive user testing and feedback from users of Windows 10 who often said that former versions of Windows were bloated and too difficult to use.
New Features in Windows 11
Windows 11 also shows off some of the company's Fluent Design System which is an open source, cross-platform framework for creating highly-engaging product experiences along with accessibility, internationalization, and high-performance.
“We’ve simplified the design and user experience to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity. It’s modern, fresh, clean and beautiful. From the new Start button and taskbar to each sound, font and icon, everything was done intentionally to put you in control and bring a sense of calm and ease. We put Start at the center and made it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device,” Microsoft says.
New Start Menu
Compared to Windows 10, the new Start menu is much simpler and scaled down. First, the menu itself is positioned in the center of the screen (similar to Mac OS) and the pinned app icons are very neatly laid out in rows. The All apps button gets you a deeper dive into apps you do not have pinned.
Search is very clearly laid out across the top of the menu and there is only one other section under your pinned apps called Recommended which usually consists of recently opened apps and files.
This is one of the highlights of Windows 11 and most users are delighted with the new ways to snap and arrange windows on the desktop. If you hover your pointer over the minimize/maximize button in the top right corner of any window, you now get a menu of possible layouts to choose from for arranging your app windows. There is also the new Task View button on the Task Bar for organizing and switching between Desktops. This can be very useful for separating your work apps/programs from your personal or entertainment apps.
There are some outstanding issues that are still associated with Windows 11, namely compatibility. One of the first things to consider when thinking about upgrading is the minimum system requirements. The OS has some very strict system requirements and if you do not meet them, you are unfortunately out of luck unless you can find ways to meet them.
Here are the minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11:
- CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor (opens in new tab)or System on a Chip (SoC)
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB of larger
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
- Internet: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account (opens in new tab)to complete device setup on first use.
One very simple way to make sure your system meets the minimum specifications is to use the Windows PC Health Check app. The Health Check app will tell you if your PC is capable of running Windows 11. You can find all the information about it on the official Windows 11 page.
As one can see, Windows 11 offers a host of new features that are both beautiful and functional for the Windows PC user. We highly recommend upgrading if your daily workflow and applications do not depend on using Windows 10.