Every time we turn around there seems to be another software update. Whether it’s a security update, a program update or another Windows update, but did you know that Windows 10 has now been around for six years since its launch in 2015? Time does fly! Earlier this year Microsoft announced its new operating system Windows 11, so what does this mean for you? Within this article we will outline some of the new features and improvements.
Microsoft has not given a release date yet for the update, however, the industry is expecting it to be released around September or October this year to coincide with the shipping of new computers with the Windows 11 platform. But upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10 will remain optional. Don’t worry though, Windows 10 will still be around and supported until 2025 so there is no rush!
There are minimum requirements for the operating system and for those tech-savvy readers – here is a list:
- A modern 1Ghz 64-bit dual-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB drive
- 9-inch display
- 1366×768 resolution
- UEFI, Secure Boot & TPM 2.0 compatible
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WWDM 2.x
You can source more information on the Microsoft website https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/windows-11.
So What’s New?
Windows has had its share of hit and miss operating systems; we all remember Windows 8 touted as some revolution that fell completely flat. Windows 10 was launched to get us back to some semblance of familiarity. Well, Windows 11 has been designed to make it even easier to use so as not to throw us all into a tailspin with trying to learn how to use it. Some of the new features you don’t need an IT degree to work them out, starting with its screen display, or User Interface as they like to call it. With a cleaner look, Microsoft has built a new Start menu and Taskbar experience, now centred by default. Pinned and running apps in the Taskbar are now also centred, and there are many new subtle animations when clicking and moving things around. There is a Snap Navigator that lets you easily customise the layout of your menu with the apps you use regularly. Gone are live tiles, and in their place is a grid of app icons that can be rearranged.
There’s also a new Chat app built right into the Taskbar, which lets you share files, text, and video with friends or family through Microsoft Teams. Microsoft is integrating Teams into Windows 11 in other ways, such as with the ability to share an app window into a Teams call directly from the Taskbar. There’s also a new lock screen, and File Explorer interface that is sleek and clean. Microsoft is also introducing a new “Widgets” panel that houses features such as To Do Lists, Calendar, Photos, and a News Feed.
If you have a Windows tablet or touch screen the new touch interface is a lot better with several new gestures to make it easier to use, including enhancing the pen interaction.
Microsoft is also building a new app store, so that you can easily find new apps to download, including games. Lastly, Microsoft also announced it will only release one major update a year as opposed to the two it was releasing through windows 10 – which is a welcome relief.
So where to from here?
If you are running a Windows 10 computer that is compatible, expect a notification on your screen somewhere between September and December to ask you if you want to upgrade. You have the option to upgrade for free or to stay with Windows 10. In my experience through the launch of Windows Vista,7,8 & 10 I generally suggest waiting for a few months before upgrading because this is the time when they find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as which computers are compatible, and which aren’t. Bear in mind there are hundreds of thousands of components within the computer industry made by hundreds of manufacturers and each one would not have been fully tested prior to the Windows 11 launch. I generally err on the side of caution and wait for at least three months so the bugs can be explored and an update to be released that resolves these issues and therefore, you are more likely to find a stable new operating system to explore. If you’re not a fan of the upgrade don’t worry you have plenty of time (until 2025) in which to continue using Windows 10.