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Video credit: Windows YouTube channel.
A new yet familiar operating system.
On October 5th 2021, Microsoft launched the next major release of its operating system, Windows 11. As you’d expect, the latest version of Windows OS incorporates a number of additional integrated features for better communication, productivity and connectivity!
How much does Windows 11 cost?
Windows 11 is a free upgrade for existing users of Windows 10. In order to upgrade online, you’ll need a Microsoft account, in addition to a compatible device that meets the minimal system requirements listed below.
Windows 11 System requirements.
The below is a list of minimal system requirements for your computer to run Windows 11:
- Processor – 1Ghz CPU or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on Chip
- Memory – 4GB of RAM
- Storage – 64GB of storage space
- Graphics card – Must be compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display – 720p with a screen that’s greater than 9 inches diagonally and with 8-bits per colour channel.=
The above specification is taken from the Microsoft 11 specs, features and computer requirements webpage. Click here to find out more about the system requirements, feature specific requirements and much more.
Where can I download Windows 11?
Microsoft recommends waiting until the upgrade is available through Windows update. However, Microsoft’s download Windows 11 page contains various options for installing Windows, including the Windows 11 installation assistant, creating Windows 11 installation media by using the media creation tool, or downloading a Windows 11 disk image.
Windows 11 new features.
The below is a list of new features that you can expect to find in Windows 11:
- A new start button – Upon loading Windows 11, you’ll find that the start button has been relocated to the centre of the taskbar for ease of access. Thanks to the power of the Cloud, a history of the most recent Microsoft 365 files that you’ve accessed from any other devices is integrated in the start button.
- Better multi-tasking with New Snap Layouts and Desktops – Windows 11 now features Snap Layouts and Snap Groups which makes it far easier to organise multiple Windows on your desktop. Another awesome feature is the ability to create multiple desktops in the same account, which can be fully customised to your lifestyle. For example, you could have a desktop that is setup for working from home and then another that’s setup for gaming.
- Personalised widget feed – We all love a good widget (well, our Engineers do anyway) and now Windows 11 incorporates a widget feed that can be personalised to your liking. Widgets that can be added to Windows 11 include Weather, News, Internet search via Microsoft Edge, Calendars, to-do lists and many more!
- Chat is built into the taskbar – By default, Teams chat is now fully integrated into Windows 11 – allowing you to text, chat, and video call directly from the taskbar. Outlook integration has also been improved and you can now join meetings directly from your Outlook Calendar.
- Android apps are coming to Windows – Although not available at the time of launch, you will eventually be able to download and use Android apps natively on Windows 11 from the Amazon App store, via the Microsoft store.
- An improved gaming experience – Although not a critical update for business users, (well not during working hours anyway!) Windows 11 greatly improves your gaming experience by incorporating a number of technical improvements that were previously exclusive to Xbox consoles. These features include DirectStorage for faster loading times, Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) that can be applied to Direct X 11+ games and Direct X 12 Ultimate, which allows for higher framerates and better graphics.
- A much-improved Windows store – Windows 11 incorporates a feature rich Windows store that is both easier on the eye and much quicker & easier to navigate, with better search functionality and curations.
Windows is switching annual updates.
The Windows 11 release information published by Microsoft on 12th October reads “Windows 11 will have an annual feature update cadence. Windows 11 feature updates will release in the second half of the calendar year and will come with 24 months of support for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education editions; 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions”.
The same article also states that security updates for Windows 11 will continue to be released every month.
When does support for Windows 10 end?
Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 Home, Pro, Education and Enterprise editions until 14th October 2025. You can continue to keep using Windows 10 after this date but the operating system will become end of life and no longer receive critical updates and patches – so it will be sensible to upgrade before this time!
We’re busy testing Windows 11 in-house.
Our Ohso amazing techies have already started vigorously testing the final version of Windows 11. This is a standard procedure that we follow for all new major applications and updates, in order to ensure there are no technical or compatibility issues that could potentially affect our client’s systems before we start rolling out the update. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!