What’s New in Windows 11?
PC users have been anticipating the release of Windows 11 for a while. It’s been six years since Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 in 2015. The new OS will be installed on new computers and will then be rolled out to existing computers in early 2022. Microsoft will make Windows 11 available for download, but it’s usually best to wait for updates to new technology solutions so bugs can be worked out. In the meantime, here’s what’s new and different with Windows 11.
As is typical with every new Windows release, certain features disappear, and new features are added. Here’s a look at what’s different in Windows 11.
Microsoft has scheduled the retirement of Internet Explorer by June 15, 2022. Therefore, it’s not surprising that IE will be removed from the new version of Windows. Windows 11 is the first Microsoft OS in two decades to officially drop Internet Explorer. However, it will be replaced by Microsoft Edge.
Access to Cortana was made easier to access in Windows 10 by integrating it into the taskbar. Initially, it was launched as a competitor to Google Assistant and Siri, but users never quite caught on and it fell behind in the voice assistant market. Microsoft doesn’t even consider Cortana a direct competitor to other assistants While it’s not entirely gone from Windows 11, its presence has been significantly reduced and is not available in the Windows setup. It also will not live in either the taskbar or Start Menu.
Start Menu and Taskbar
There are significant improvements and changes in the Start Menu of Windows 11. The tiles that were new with Windows 10 have been removed and replaced with the icons grid. The “News and Interest” tab is missing as well. However, Microsoft expects to replace them with its new and improved “widgets” feature.
In Windows 11, the flexibility and customization of the taskbar are limited. You can no longer drag and drop files into apps on the taskbar. Additionally, the taskbar in Windows 11 has a permanent home at the bottom of the screen and is longer movable to the top or sides of the display.
Microsoft decided to save time and omitted several preloaded apps from Windows 11. The apps are still available, but instead of being preloaded, the user will have the option to install them when they click the icon. Previously pre-installed apps that now need to be installed by the user are:
- One Note for Windows 10
- 3D Viewer
- Paint 3D
Microsoft’s operating system has undergone a massive overhaul with the incorporation of the latest features. Here’s what you can expect to see when Windows 11 rolls out.
The new user interface definitely makes Windows 11 stand out among other technology solutions. Users will immediately notice the changes in the Start Menu, taskbar, and overall visuals.
- The Start Menu is completely revamped—from its appearance to the location. The Start Menu will now be found at the bottom center, although it is movable, and can be relocated to the left where it was in Windows 10. When opening the Start Menu, you will find a grid of apps rather than live tiles, and the most frequently used apps will appear on the bottom.
- The apps on the Taskbar are also moved to the center alongside the Start Menu. The Search Bar is reduced to an icon you can find in the center. For Windows users who have used a Mac before, the experience will feel familiar as the Windows 11 features a more Mac-like user interface.
As for the visuals, the new Windows logo, rounded corners, and dark mode option add to Windows aesthetics.
Snap Layout and Snap Groups
Snap is a productivity feature in Windows that allows users to arrange applications and other windows on the screen. Windows 10 introduced Snap Assist allowing the user to “snap a window” to fit a space on-screen. Windows 11 takes multitasking to the next level with Snap Layout and Snap Groups giving the user multiple layout options. Snap Groups is precisely how it sounds: In Windows 11, once a layout is selected, the different windows can be grouped and easily minimized or expanded with just one click.
Windows 11 allows users to create virtual desktops which help improve efficiency by enabling users to separate apps based on different purposes. Programs and files that are used for personal reasons can reside on a desktop separate from work-related apps and files and you can easily move between different desktops by simply clicking on the taskbar.
When’s the Best Time to Upgrade?
A free upgrade of Windows 10 to Windows 11 will be available from Microsoft, but before upgrading, make sure the computer has the minimum requirements needed to run Windows 11.
- 1 GHz of Processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 64 GB of Storage Device
- TPM version 2.0
- DirectX 12 Graphics Card
- Microsoft Account
- Internet Connectivity
Even with the required computer configuration and components, we suggest waiting even after the general release of Windows 11. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 through 2025, so there’s no rush to update when it first comes out.
Use a Managed IT Service Provider for Your Windows Upgrade
Before upgrading to Windows 11, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can assist with evaluating computers, testing and help determine the right time to upgrade. An MSP can work with the company’s IT support team to resolve any issues with the upgrading procedure and can work directly with Microsoft to get things resolved quickly.
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