Windows 11 – The Gist of It
This month Microsoft announced the next version of its Windows operating system, Windows 11. It’ll be available in new PCs as soon as late 2021, and be available as an upgrade for Windows 10 users in early 2022.
The new features in Windows 11 are mainly cosmetic. Importantly, it did introduce some new hardware requirements, so you’ll want to be sure any PC you purchase from now on meets those requirements.
You need to be prepared to upgrade to Windows 11 no later than October 14, 2025, when Microsoft will end its support for Windows 10.
What’s Windows 11?
It’s the new operating system from Microsoft and successor to Windows 10.
What happened to Windows 10X?
Windows 10X was a light, fast version of Windows being optimized for dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo. Microsoft decided to cancel it and focus on developing Windows 11.
When is Windows 11 coming out?
Microsoft will be making Windows 11 available on new PCs and as a free upgrade to Windows 10 users “beginning this holiday” so sometime in Q4 2021. The company has hinted that the new OS will be released in October.
An early preview version is now available to download for Windows Insider members.
What’s new in Windows 11?
New features will include:
- The ability to run Android apps
- More apps in the Windows app store
- Visual tweaks, including rounded corners on Windows and a simplified Start menu and File Explorer
- A new Widget panel
- Increased integration with the collaboration app Microsoft Teams
- Performance and security improvements
Why does it matter?
If the new features in Windows 11 don’t really excite you, there are still several reasons to take note of Win 11’s release:
- Microsoft could always introduce more interesting features to Windows 11 later as part of an update
- Microsoft will be ending its support for Windows 10 on October 14, 2025, which means you won’t get any new feature, security, or bug fix updates after that, and you’ll be highly susceptible to security breaches. You need to plan to upgrade your PCs to Windows 11 at some point between now and then, preferably sooner rather than later.
- Windows 11 introduces new hardware requirements. Any new PC you should buy from now then, whether it has Windows 11 or not, should meet these requirements.
What are the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11?
- Intel 8th-gen Core processor or AMD Zen 2000 processor or newer
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage
- DirectX 12
- 1280 x 720 resolution display
- TPM 2.0
Here’s how to figure out if your current hardware meets the requirements:
- For CPU, RAM, storage, and display, you can type “sysinfo” in your search bar and press enter. Your CPU model number should start with an 8 or above if Intel or 2 or above if AMD. (Though note that Intel is now in its 11th generation of processors, so your CPU model number may begin with a 10 or 11.) Use the menu at the left to select different components. You can also see your available storage in the File Explorer, and see your display resolution by right clicking your desktop and selecting “Display Settings”.
- How to check your version of DirectX
- How to check your version of TPM
TPM, by the way, is a chip that adds an extra, hardware-level layer of security to your PC.
I’m looking to buy a new PC. Should I wait until new Windows 11 PCs are available in the fall?
Probably not. Microsoft is expected to allow you to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free. Just make sure your new PC meets the hardware requirements for Win 11.
Can I download it now?
Right now you can download the Windows 11 Insider Preview build, sort of a beta version of Windows 11, if you’re a member of the Windows Insider Program. You can join the Windows Insider Program for free here.
We don’t recommend installing this early build of Windows 11 on a PC you use on a day-to-day basis since it may not be stable. Instead, install it on a backup or test device if you have one. You can switch back to Windows 10 within 10 days of upgrading if you want to.
Can I run Windows 11 on a Mac?
Not yet for the most part but Parallels, for one, is working on it.
How Can XOverture Help?
Certainly if you’re a business and you’re running a version of Windows earlier than Windows 10 on a PC that’s connected to the internet you should reach out to us immediately. Outdated operating systems like this pose a significant security risk to your organization. We can help you upgrade in a way that fits your budget, lets you keep all your data and settings, and doesn’t disrupt your business operations.
If you’re in the market for new Windows PCs for your business, we can help you acquire them at a discounted rate from one of our suppliers, as well as load them with all the software, data, and settings you want on there.
Also, feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions about how the new Windows OS may affect your business, and what you should do to prepare for it.