Windows 11: new features & your computer’s compatibility

Microsoft has finally announced the release of Windows 11 after six years during which Windows 10 remained largely unchanged.

The software will roll out starting in late 2021, according to Microsoft, and will continue throughout 2022.

If your Windows 10 computer is compatible, you can upgrade for free.

Here is everything you must know about Microsoft’s latest software.

Book a Windows 11 Compatibility Check today

1. Will my computer support Windows 11?

Most modern PCs currently running Windows 10 should support the Windows 11 upgrade so long as they meet the appropriate specs. Later this year, all new computers and Surface devices will be pre-installed with Windows 11, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft had initially released a PC Health Check app to test whether your device could run Windows 11. However, many people reported that it was not giving enough detail as to why their device was not compatible. The company temporarily removed the tool.

A new independent open source tool called WhyNotWin11 could help users figure out whether Windows 11 will work.

You can also just simply bring your computer in for an easy compatibility check up with us!

Free Windows 11 Compatibility Check tool - WhyNotWin11

2. What are the new key features of Windows 11?

A visual redesign for Taskbar and Start Menu & better multitasking

    • With a floating centred Start Menu and Taskbar, the new look of Windows 11 gives a drastic new feel through its touch-friendly design.
    • Instead of Live Tiles, you have standard icons that link to your apps and that you can “pin” for your convenience.
    • Under your icons, you’ll find a list of recommended documents and files powered by OneDrive or the files you navigate to most on your device.
    • In the new window system, hovering over the maximize icon will show you new ways to split your apps for multitasking.

New animations, sounds & widgets

Animations throughout Windows 11 have also been updated to look more smooth and feel more natural. This is best seen when you click on the Start Menu itself or minimize and close windows. The animations look and feel fluid.

Windows Widgets are back in Windows 11, accessible via the dock, with Microsoft touting AI-powered dynamic features that enable widgets, as with the Start menu, to change depending on the apps you’re using and the time of day. On the touchscreen, you can slide from the left on the desktop to have widgets appear.

Microsoft says widgets are powered by an artificial intelligence serving you curated content. You can choose topics you want to stay up to date on, support local content creators by giving them a tip right in the feed, and also rearrange widgets however you want.

A new Microsoft Store with Android apps on Windows

Another big feature in Windows 11 is the new Microsoft Store. In Windows 11, you’ll be able to run Android apps via the Amazon App Store. Apps will run natively, without the need for a phone, and you can drag them around and pin them to your taskbar or Start Menu.

A new chat app powered by Teams

The operating system has a new Chat app – Teams. With it, you’ll be able to tap the icon and jump right into chat and video calls. When you click on it, you will see your recent contacts and conversations.

There are options to start a new video or chat, along with an option to launch the app for the full experience. This chat app will even allow you to connect with people on other platforms. According to Microsoft, if the person you’re chatting with didn’t use Teams, you can connect via two-way SMS.

Faster and more secure

Though Microsoft didn’t share specifics, there are some performance improvements in Windows 11.

    • The company noted that Windows updates are 40% smaller, and now install in the background.
    • Microsoft also mentioned that Windows 11 is “the most secure Windows yet.”
    • Even battery life is improved, as Windows 11 systems now use less energy.

Improvements for touch

There are also changes to the touch experience in Windows 11. The dedicated tablet mode from Windows 10 is now gone entirely, and Microsoft has replaced it with gestures and other features.

Better gaming experience

Gaming will be a much bigger focus in Windows 11:

    • A new Game Pass app will enable you to buy, manage and remove games, making it easier for you to access and download games.
    • HDR will also be supported on compatible machines, offering improved lighting and contrast for gaming and viewing media.
    • Direct Storage is also here, with the main game assets able to be downloaded and installed, enabling you to play your games even faster than before.

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