Windows 11 is on the way, here is everything you need to know about Microsoft's latest Operating System.
Do I need to download Windows 11?
Microsoft has not made the update mandatory however, it is a good idea to stay up to date with the latest software. It will have the most relevant cybersecurity features and will eventually replace older Operating Systems.
How Long Can I use Windows 10 For?
Support for Windows 10 will cease on the 14th of October 2025. This means, from that date, Microsoft will no longer release updates and patches for Windows 10, leaving you computer vulnerable to cyberattacks. You can learn more about why patching is important in our blog post on the Australian Government's ASD Essential 8.
What Are The New Features of Windows 11?
A New Clean Interface
Windows 11 features a new clean interface with rounded corners, pastel shades and a centered Start menu and Taskbar.
Integrated Android Apps
Android apps will be available to install on Windows 10 through the new Microsoft Store, via the Amazon App store.
Widgets From The Task Bar
Widgets have been around for a while, they originally popped up in Windows Operating Systems in Windows Vista. With Windows 11, you can access widgets directly from the Taskbar and customise them.
Microsoft Teams integration
Microsoft Teams is integrated directly in the Windows 11 Taskbar, making it easier to access. You'll be able to chat from the Taskbar, and access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
Better Virtual Desktop Support
Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops in a way that's more similar to MacOS, toggling between multiple desktops for personal, work, school or gaming use.
Transition From Monitor to Laptop Simply + Easier Multitasking.
Windows 11 includes two new features called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts. These are collections of the apps you are currently using and that sit in the Taskbar.
They can pop up or be minimised at the same time for easier task switching. It also lets you plug and unplug from a monitor more easily without losing where your open windows are located.
Windows 11 will require Intel 8th Gen 'Coffee Lake' or Zen 2 CPUs and up, TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) support, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.
Generally, Microsoft doesn't force specific processor requirements like these and Windows users have, for the most part, been able to upgrade their Operating Systems, regardless of the hardware they're running.
It seems Microsoft's hardware requirements for Windows 11 is a push to enable a more modern BIOS (UEFI) that supports features like Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module). Essentially brining Windows users a more secure platform.
Microsoft claims that a combination of Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualisation-based security, hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), and Secure Boot “has been shown to reduce malware by 60 percent.”
You can see the full list of hardware requirements on the Microsoft website.
How Much is Windows 11?
Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Microsoft will most likely make Windows 11 available as a stand alone purchase, as they have with previous Operating System upgrades.
When Will Windows 11 be Available?
A specific date wasn't announced however, the free upgrade will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 computers around October 2021, and will continue into 2022. There is a beta version available under the Insider Preview program.
How Can Powernet Help
We are an IT Support Managed Service Provider and a Certified Microsoft Gold Partner, our IT support teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are experts in the entire Microsoft product suite and would love to help your business plan an upgrade to Windows 11.