New Windows 11 Update: Everything You Need to Know

New Windows 11 Update: Everything You Need to Know

Six years since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has recently announced the release of a new version update for its Operating System (OS).

With the new Windows 11 update, a lot of features have been spruced up, polished, and improved to better cater to your productive and creative needs. 

Along with this major update are some big changes and PC requirements and that is why it has created the question:

Is it worth it to update from Windows 10 to Windows 11? How much improvement in the quality of life will the new update bring and is it convincing enough to update?

In this article, you will learn about the new features that Windows 11 brings to the table and know if upgrading your OS is the more viable option.

What changes will the Windows 11 update bring?

One of Microsoft’s main goals with the new version update is to help increase your productivity and help you develop a smoother workflow — which is exactly what you will immediately appreciate with the changes you will see in Windows 11.

There are a whole bunch of features that Microsoft has added, refined, and removed to make sure that your user experience is both familiar and intuitive for work or play.

The new Windows 11 user interface (UI) design was improved to look simple yet modern to make sure that you can focus more on your work. Also, Microsoft simplified the UI so the OS stays out of the way while you are working.

What changes will the Windows 11 update bring?

This means that you will much more easily stay productive without the minor interruptions that come from background processes.

Microsoft also promises that the new version update will be more open tech in comparison to its previous versions, which means that the new Microsoft Store is not limited to Microsoft products exclusively.

Your favorite Android apps are also sure to hit the MS Store available for download and even Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hinted that Apple’s iMessage and iTunes might even become available as well.

Having one major feature update per year was also the plan that Microsoft had for Windows 11 as opposed to Windows 10 that tried to publish two major updates which ended up causing problems due to major bugs from the update.

This also means that new features you get in Windows 11 are more meaningful and stable.

What new features does Windows 11 include?

A lot of improvements are made to previous features to accommodate the more modern look and simple interface of the new Windows 11.

You can immediately check the changes the moment you see the desktop since they have modified the taskbar and placed the start menu in the center as default.

Here are some of the features in Windows 11:

Window Management

Windows 11 has a new window management feature that helps you snap your windows wherever you want them to be on your screen to assist you in organizing your windows and apps.

Window Management in Windows 11

With Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops to help you out in optimizing the arrangement of windows on your screen you are sure to stay on top of what you need to do.

Built-in Microsoft Team Features

The chat feature from Microsoft Teams is also integrated into the taskbar to instantly connect with your loved ones. You can send texts, do voice or video calls, send pictures or videos to all of your personal contacts.

Windows App Store

In the App Store, Microsoft made their software available for you to choose from. You can even download Android Apps by searching for the app you want and be directed to Amazon Apps where you can download and run the app, even on the PC.

Windows App Store in Windows 11

New and Improved Widgets

Another feature you will find on the taskbar is the “Widgets” button which will present a collection of widgets that you want to add and personalize.

New and Improved Widgets in Windows 11

Touch Features, Surface Pen Configurations, and Voice Typing

Microsoft has improved its touch features for tablet devices since you can now more easily adjust window sizes and even perform three or four-finger gestures.

Enabling the haptic feedback makes your device respond with vibrations whenever you touch the screen. You can also customize your pen configurations to respond to different taps (double tap, tap and hold, and many more).

Windows 11 also recognized voice commands and can automatically add punctuations for you when you decide to use voice typing.

Extras: Gaming Needs

If you’re a gamer, then Microsoft has you covered with Auto HDR for a better visual experience, Direct Storage to give your games a faster load time, and DirectX12 Ultimate to immerse yourself in games at high frame rates.

When will Windows 11 be released?

Microsoft released an Insider Preview build for those who are part of the Windows Insider Program. The public beta is scheduled for July. The official release is scheduled sometime in the fall of 2021 with hints that suggest it could arrive around October.

What minimum specifications are needed for Windows 11?

You can check if your device meets the minimum specifications by comparing your device’s specifications to the one provided by Microsoft on their website.

A downloadable app was provided by Microsoft to check your PC’s compatibility with the new update but was removed due to some feedback. However, Microsoft will release a more up-to-date version of the compatibility checker once further testing has been done.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has published the minimum specifications for the update but they are subject to change since development is still going on and as we get closer to the official release date. Here are the minimum specifications:

Processor1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM4 gigabyte (GB)
Storage64 GB or larger storage device
System FirmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPMTrusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics CardCompatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
DisplayHigh definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Internet Connection and Microsoft AccountsWindows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. Learn more about S mode here.

For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.

How much does the upgrade to Windows 11 cost?

Updating your eligible Windows 10 to Windows 11 is absolutely free! But first, you need to make sure that your device’s compatibility is within the minimum specifications before updating to avoid any problems.

Along with the announcement of Windows 11, Microsoft has also guaranteed that if you purchase any PC, with Windows as its OS, after the announcement will surely pass the minimum system and hardware requirement.

Meaning, new units are compatible with the new Windows 11. So if you’re thinking of getting a new Windows device you can think of Windows 11 as a freebie that comes with the purchase.

How to upgrade to the new Windows 11 update?

Once Windows 11 is generally available, you can download it just like how you would when updating to a newer version of Windows.

However, if you really want to download it now, and assuming your computer is compatible with it, you can actually do so through the Windows Insider program.

Here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Register for the Windows Insider Program

To become an insider, simply open the “Windows Insider” settings. You can go directly to it by typing out “windows insider” on the search bar (in your Windows 10 taskbar).

Search for the Windows Insider Settings by typing out "windows insider" on the searchbar

Follow the instructions on the screen. You also have to link one of your Microsoft accounts to be able to register for the program. If you don’t have an account yet, you can simply rush to their website (it’s free).

Link a Microsoft Account to the Windows Insider Program

Step 2: Enable Windows Insider Program Dev Channel

After that, you can select the specific insider channel to join with. Choose “Dev Channel” as it’s the only one that will allow you to snag the latest updates from Microsoft that’s not available yet to the public.

Choose the Dev Channel Insider from the options

Step 3: Download and Install the New Windows 11 Update

Once you’re clear with that, simply head over to the “Windows Update” tab on the settings. You may have to wait for a little until Microsoft detects the change (a minute or so). The Windows 11 update will automatically begin.

Download and Install Windows 11

Once the download is complete, you can then install the update on your computer.

Potential Problems With Windows 11

At the writing of this article, Windows 11 is still in its beta phase which is why some bugs are sure to come up if you choose to upgrade your eligible Windows 10 to Windows 11. However, if you feel confident that you can handle those bugs then the update is a welcome experience.

Another thing to note is that Microsoft has stated that Windows 11 will require Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs as the minimum for its processors which is unusual from their previous releases (Windows 8 and 10 only requires the 1 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM and at least 16 GB of storage).

This would mean that not all devices with Windows 10 (especially older models from four years ago) are eligible to update.

Microsoft explained that the hardware requirements were to support the added security feature which was only optional in Windows 10 but they made it mandatory in Windows 11.

That’s it for now about Windows 11. If you have any questions regarding the new Windows 11 update or with any Microsoft products, drop a comment below or send me a message through the contact page.

About Ryan

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

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