On Thursday this week, Microsoft held their much anticipated online event announcing the next big thing for Windows, which turned out to be Windows 11 as many had guessed. Windows 11 comes with a fresh new look and a host of new features to make your life easier and your Windows experience smoother. And the good news is that it is a completely free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, much like the free upgrade that was offered from Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10.
New Windows 11 User Interface & Start Menu
One of the new features that is sure to please most users is the Snap Layouts feature. This has preset layouts for your tabs , allowing you to quickly set up multiple programs displaying on a single page, with the most important stuff taking up the most space on your screen. Another quality of life feature is the new docking experience, if you unplug a monitor from your PC to move it or for any other reason, the apps that were showing on that monitor will minimise. When you plug the monitor back in, the apps will go right back where they were before.
Widgets For Windows 11
Windows 11 brings with it new widgets powered by Microsoft Edge and AI that allow you to track things such as the weather, your calendar, to do list, photos and much more. And the widgets are completely customizable, so you can personalize it to your tastes and have it take up as much or as little space on your desktop as you like.
Windows Desktops, New Windows Store & Android Apps
Windows 11 allows you to set personalised desktops to suit each need, be it work, gaming or home use. Each desktop will give the apps a look to suit the theme. Microsoft will also be reworking the the Microsoft store to make it faster and easier to navigate. Another big change is that Android apps will be available directly without the use of an emulator. These apps will be available through the Microsoft store, more information about it will be revealed later this year.
PC Requirements for Windows 11
Microsoft released a list of the requirements to run Windows 11, and most of it seems pretty standard:
- CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB of larger
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
- Internet: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.
However, the first thing on that list to note is the compatible CPUs, which includes Intel 8th gen and above CPUs, and AMD 2nd gen and above. That means that any generation lower than those will not be officially supported by Windows 11. And many people still use older generation processors.
The next issue, which is probably the largest, is that Windows 11 requires a TPM module. TPM is a module that is used for security and often to store cryptographic keys. Why Windows needs this isn’t clear. Many if not most PCs don’t come with a TPM by standard, and if your pc doesn’t have one then it can’t run Windows 11. To see if your PC has a TPM, simply press the Windows key on your keyboard and ‘R’ at the same time to bring up the Run option. Type in ‘tpm.msc’ and hit Enter.
If you get a message like this, then you have a TPM, if there is no information on an available TPM, then you’re out of luck.
Microsoft has yet to release an official release date for Windows 11, only stating that it will be released in the next holiday, whichever holiday that may be.