A Major Windows Update
Every few years, Microsoft releases major changes to their desktop operating system. We’ve gone through many iterations–some of us might even remember the first edition of Windows! While some releases have been hits and others misses (does anyone remember Windows ME?), Windows 11 certainly has some new and interesting features to be aware of.
So what’s coming? Microsoft will be making some notable changes to the familiar Windows interface and functionality. While many more exist than the following limited list, these are noteworthy:
- The Location of the Start Menu
Instead of clicking on the bottom left corner, as we all have for ages, Windows 11 places the Start Menu on the bottom center of the Task Bar. If you want it back on the left where you’re used to having it though, you can change it back.
- Microsoft Teams Integration
Instead of a separately-installed program, Microsoft Teams will now appear in the Task Bar as part of Windows. You can more quickly start a chat, or meet via voice or video call to your contacts.
- Improved Dictation Features
For those of you wanting to opt out of typing your documents and e-mails, Windows has improvements to dication including automatic punctuation. It just keeps getting better and better!
- Multiple Desktops
Windows 11 allows you to create customized desktops you can easily switch between for work, personal, school, etc. It’s like having two or more different PCs in one!
- Snap Customizations
Have you ever wanted to fit two, three or more windows into just one screen? Now you can do so very easily–and even create a “Snap Group” template to use your custom layout again later. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
- Android Apps
If you want access to thousands of Android apps, from Disney+ to Uber, you can do it through the built-in Amazon Appstore, to get it on your PC. While not all Android apps from the Google Play Store will be there, many will be useable with Windows 11.
When it comes to when and how you can get Windows 11, the below questions and answers are directly from Microsoft’s Q&A section at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11:
- When can I buy a PC that comes with Windows 11 pre-installed?
PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed will be available later .
- Where can I buy a PC with Windows 11?
PCs that come with Windows 11 pre-installed will be available from a broad selection of retailers later 2021.
- I want to buy a PC now with Windows 10, will I be able to install Windows 11 later?
Most Windows 10 PCs currently being sold will be able to upgrade to Windows 11. For the PC to be able to upgrade to Windows 11, it must meet the minimum hardware specifications and specific hardware is required for some features. The upgrade rollout plan is still being finalized but is scheduled to begin late in 2021 and continue into 2022. Specific timing will vary by device.
- What are the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11?
The minimum hardware requirements are available here. https://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-11-specifications
- When will I be able to upgrade to Windows 11 on my Windows 10 device?
If your existing Windows 10 PC is running the most current version of Windows 10 and meets the minimum hardware specifications it will be able to upgrade to Windows 11. The upgrade rollout plan is still being finalized, but for most devices already in use today, we expect it to be ready sometime in early 2022. Not all Windows 10 PCs that are eligible to upgrade to Windows 11 will be offered to upgrade at the same time. To see if your PC is eligible to upgrade, download and run the PC Health Check app: https://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp. Once the upgrade rollout has started, you can check if it is ready for your device by going to Settings/Windows Updates.
- How do I know if my current Windows 10 PC meets the hardware requirements for Windows 11?
If you’d like to see if your current PC meets the minimum requirements, download and run the PC Health Check app: https://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp.
- What if my PC doesn’t meet the minimum hardware specifications? Can I stay on Windows 10?
Yes! Windows 10 continues to be a great version of Windows. Microsoft has committed to supporting Windows 10 through October 14, 2025.
Do You Have More Questions?
If you’d like to know if you should stay on Windows 10 or make the change, give us a call and we’ll be glad to assist. Philantech3 focuses on keeping your business safe in a continually shifting environment.
Image credit: Microsoft
I have 15+ years in the industry providing sustainable technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. I personally thrive on making systems more efficient and I am continually interested in ways to innovate using technology applications. I enjoy working closely with colleagues and clients to collaborate and provide a best fit solution for all IT-related needs.