Get A Fresh Perspective - Introducing Windows 11!

12 Sep 2021

Over 1 billion devices across the world are running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. Released in July of 2015, Windows 10 has become the default OS for many desktop, mobile and 2-in-1 devices, including many of the desktop and laptop systems available today here at Computer Lounge. While it seems like not too long ago that Windows 10 replaced its predecessor Windows 8.1, it’s now been over 6 years since its launch and now in 2021, Microsoft is releasing the next large update to the Windows operating system.

Windows 11 will become available starting October 5, 2021, and will be rolling out on eligible devices starting from then. Microsoft is offering the new OS as a free upgrade from Windows 10, presumable for a limited period while many users are making the transition to the new OS. Microsoft expects that all eligible devices will be offered the free upgrade up until mid-2022, and users will be notified of the availability of the upgrade through Windows Update on Windows 10 systems.

As this new release is right around the corner, let’s look at some of the new features and changes being implemented with this update, as well as the updated hardware requirements to make sure that you are ready for the next big Windows update!

New Updates and Features

Refreshed UI

One of the first things that will stand out to users about Windows 11 is the updated UI (user interface). Microsoft is marketing the new look of the OS as having a "modern, fresh, clean and beautiful" design which brings users a "sense of calm and peace". Microsoft has tried to simplify the UI to allow for better productivity and creativity while using the OS.

Right from the get-go, the desktop has a refreshed look with the centred icons on the taskbar, updated application icons and a new start menu. Users will probably also notice that windows and other menu elements now have rounded corners as opposed to the sharp corners of Windows 10. Some of you may note that this does give Windows 11 a more Mac-OS like feel – whether that is a welcome change is up to you to decide.

Android App Integration

One of the more interesting features that Windows 11 is set to implement is native support for Android applications. Unfortunately at this point in time, it looks like the feature will be released as an update after the launch date, but here is what we know so far.

Microsoft is currently working with Amazon to bring Android applications to the Microsoft Store which is getting a visual update. The new store is supposedly optimized for speed and ease of use with the overhaul. Thanks to Intel Bridge technology and the new Android Subsystem built into Windows 11, the applications will be able to run natively just like any other native Windows application. While performance is not 100% confirmed, judging by benchmark scores running on a few different configurations of systems it looks like performance should be pretty good with modern PC hardware.

Widgets and Teams Integration

With the increased usage of video conferencing and online communication Microsoft has integrated Teams into the taskbar - providing a faster way to connect to people. In addition to this, Microsoft has also been working on getting users to access information faster through an AI-powered personalized news feed and updated widgets, accessible through a new button on the taskbar. This gives quick access to things like weather, news, photos and traffic. Some of you may remember in past operating systems Windows Vista and Windows 7 that there was the inclusion of a 'gadgets' feature which was eventually removed due to security concerns. Windows 11 widgets work a little differently and are built to be more easily accessible and secure.

The Best Windows Ever for Gaming

Microsoft has also been marketing the new OS as "The Best Windows Ever for Gaming", referring to a range of new features being supported on the platform. This includes Auto HDR, DirectStorage, and DirectX12 Ultimate. Auto HDR automatically adds HDR (High Dynamic Range) enhancements to SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) games built on DirectX 11 or higher. This allows games to take advantage of a wider range of colors and brightness which gives games a richer and more immersive feel. DirectStorage is a feature that aims to bring download times through utilizing NVMe SSDs which are already becoming hugely widespread in mainstream gaming PCs. DirectX12 Ultimate is a new 'standard' for gaming PC hardware, giving users the reassurance that their PC is guaranteed to support a range of next-generation graphics hardware features including DirectX Raytracing, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback.

Hardware Requirements

Windows 11 is going to be available on a huge selection of devices with a host of form factors and features. Microsoft has updated their minimum system requirements, so if you are looking to grab the update as soon as it is available then here is what you need to get ready for the update:

HardwareMinimum System Requirement
Processor1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
Memory4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB or larger storage device
Graphics CardCompatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
DisplayHigh definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel.
System firmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capable. Check here for information on how your PC might be able to meet this requirement.
TPMTrusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. Check here for instructions on how your PC might be enabled to meet this requirement.
Internet connectionMicrosoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home

Your device must be running Windows 10, version 2004 or later, to upgrade. Free updates are available through Windows Update in Settings>Update and Security.

Certain features require specific hardware. System requirements to run some apps will exceed the Windows 11 minimum device specifications. Check device compatibility information specific to the apps you want to install. Available storage on your device will vary based on installed apps and updates. The performance will scale with higher-end, more capable PCs. Additional requirements may apply over time and for updates.

Check out our range of Gaming PCsWorkstations and Laptops - most of which will be Windows 11 ready straight out of the box! If you are in need of additional advice or are interested in picking one up get in touch with one of our team and we can find the right device for you!


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