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Windows 11: Updates, changes, and new features

Windows 11

Are you curious about Windows 11 updates and whether it’s worth upgrading? We’ve been using it for months and know everything you need to know.

Windows 8’s drastic overhaul was Microsoft’s worst mistake. After evaluating Windows 11, I’ve found that, despite its changed interface, it’s easy to use. Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, said at the launch event that he didn’t want to alienate Windows fans (though almost impossible, given the way many people react to change). Windows 11 is innovative despite its familiarity.

The new OS began upgrading PCs on October 4, 2021. Check if your PC can run Windows 11 before upgrading. Microsoft’s rollout will extend until mid-2022 when PC hardware and software configurations are certified. For Windows 11 tips and news, visit PCMag’s page. Let’s look at the key modifications and features.

Windows 11 requires devices produced and marketed after 2019. Older devices can’t run the OS. Windows 10 20H1 or later is required. It is coming to new devices.

Windows 11 Release Date

  • First release date: 5 October 2021
  • Free Windows 10 upgrade soon for eligible PCs
  • All compatible devices can manually update.

That’s when OEMs can release Windows 11 hardware. In-market devices eligible for the upgrade will receive it in a phased and measured manner, according to the blog post.

A January 2022 blog post confirmed this was early. Windows 11 has entered “its final phase of availability,” so any remaining devices should get the update soon.

You don’t have to wait until it’s on your computer. A final version can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website for manual installation. Download Windows 11 now to learn more. This ISO file is also for USB installation.

Windows 11 System requirements

Windows 11 requires the following minimum system requirements:

Processor. Need a 1 GHz or faster, two-core 64-bit processor or SoC.
RAM. Need 4GB+.
Hard Diskspace. Needs 64GB+ of storage. Downloading updates and enabling features may require more space.
Graphic Card. DirectX 12 or later with Display Driver Model 2.0 driver.
Microcode. Secure Boot requires UEFI.
TRPM. TPM 2.0 required.
Display. High-definition (720p), 9-inch or larger monitor, 8-bit colour channel.
Internet Connection. Certain updates, downloads, and functionality require internet access. First-time Windows 11 Home edition users need Microsoft accounts and internet access.

Windows 11 Key Features

Microsoft changes Windows 11 features. In Windows 11, Cortana won’t be activated by default. Microsoft also removed the timeline feature, but Microsoft Edge has similar functionality.

Windows 11 will run on tablets, but there is no tablet mode. It will have intuitive touch features without a separate mode.

Windows 11 clean installs won’t include Skype. Teams will replace Skype. The company’s goal is to entice more Teams users to try out the app’s consumer features and, hopefully, use the communication platform outside of work.

Microsoft changes the taskbar. Users can’t pin taskbars to the left or right anymore. Instead, the taskbar will stay at the bottom. Live tiles will disappear.

Windows 11 Home only has S mode. Windows 10 S mode only runs Microsoft Store apps. S mode requires Bing and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft designed S mode to enhance the security and performance of Windows 10.

Updates Frequency

Windows 11 will receive monthly updates and upgrades. Bug fixes, feature improvements, and security fixes.

Windows 11 will update more frequently. New features and quality updates are included. Microsoft releases one major Windows 11 update per year, in the second half. Windows 11 differs from Windows 10 in feature cadence. Microsoft updates Windows 10 in March and September.

Appearance and display

Microsoft kept the same basic layout, but redesigned it, to avoid upsetting millions (as it did with Windows 8). You’ll also notice rounded corners and a centralised Start Menu, which you can move to the side if you like.

New widgets can show the weather, stocks, news, and other things, replacing the old Start Menu’s live tiles. You can also group and snap open windows to focus on what you’re doing.

Windows 11 on tablets is much improved thanks to gestures and a new on-screen keyboard. Amazon Appstore lets you install and use Android apps, but you can also use Google Play Store.

Despite visual changes, Windows 11 should be an easy upgrade from Windows 10.

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