What is Windows 11?
Released last month, Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10 as Microsoft’s new operating system. This is the first major upgrade to the software platform since Windows 10 launched in July 2015. The upgrade marks a crucial point for Microsoft, particularly with regards to how they are adapting their technology to meet the evolving needs of the consumer.
Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices noted that Windows 11 represents “an exciting milestone in the history of Windows”, stating that “a new era for the PC begins today.”
Throughout the pandemic, the way we use our devices changed dramatically. We effectively transitioned from fitting PCs around our lives, to fitting our entire lives into our PCs – including work, socialising, entertainment, and shopping.
The new Windows 11 is designed to accommodate the social changes that have occurred since March 2020. Microsoft has aimed to create a calm working/social environment in one digital interface, helping you optimise screen space and maximise productivity.
Introducing: Windows 11
Watch Microsoft’s introductory video below for an insight into the appearance and functionality of Windows 11.
Windows 11: What’s new?
With its fresh, minimalist style, Windows 11 comes accompanied with many new features and updates to help you be more productive. These include:
- The Start button and Taskbar are now positioned in the centre of the display. This fully utilises the cloud and Microsoft 365, meaning all your recent files will display, no matter what device you were viewing them on before.
- Live Tiles have been replaced by personalised Widgets for news, events, weather etc.
- Snap Layouts allows you to open multiple windows at once in your chosen layout, adapting to the size of your screen and helping you view multiple documents, browsers, and platforms at once for more efficient working.
- Snap Groups remembers collections of apps you’ve used in a Snap Layout and displays them in the Taskbar. This allows you to minimise and get access to the Group at once, without having to control each window individually.
- You can create and customise different Desktops, helping you differentiate between different purposes and stay focused. E.g., you can create different Desktops for school, work, gaming, social etc.
- Microsoft Teams is built into Windows 11 devices, meaning you can instantly connect with colleagues directly from your Taskbar. It also integrates seamlessly with Outlook and Calendar, making communication even more streamlined.
- Updates are 40% smaller and happen in the background, so you’re not disrupted throughout the day.
- An improved health check app makes recommendations to suit you, including brightness settings, power saving modes, and more.
- You can now download Android apps, such as TikTok or Facebook, onto your Windows device via the Microsoft Store and Amazon App Store.
- Benefit from optimised gaming performance, with improved graphics and a new Game Pass app for buying and managing games.
How do I download Windows 11?
If you’re currently using Windows 10, you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free provided your laptop or PC meets Microsoft’s minimum system requirements.
Microsoft will be rolling out the update to eligible devices over the coming months, so you’ll be notified when the update is available to you. There will also be a yearly update of Windows 11 to ensure optimal performance and security, similar to Apple’s macOS operating system.
Alternatively, you can upgrade to Windows 11 now by visiting the Windows 11 download page.
Please note, that it may be worth refraining from upgrading immediately. This is to give Microsoft the chance to iron out any potential issues that may arise in the first few months of launching.
Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until 2025. After this point, you’ll still be able to use the software, but Microsoft won’t provide any active support or security updates, so we strongly advise upgrading to Windows 11 before 2025.
For any more advice on Windows 11, or any other Microsoft products, contact us today.