On October 5, 2021, Microsoft has launched its newest operating system, Windows 11 - almost six years after Windows 10 introduction. For those already using Windows 10, the software upgrade is available to download and install.
Windows 11 offer new features and several updates including a simpler, sleeker design to increase efficiency, faster connection, ease of use and creativity, more solutions to get the information you need, an all-new Microsoft Store and more additional software elements, that aim to improve levels of efficiency at work – either based at the offices or remotely.
If you are running Windows 10 for your business and looking to upgrade, we have listed below the operating system’s main features, what has been changed and how to upgrade it.
Is Windows 11 free?
Windows 11 is available as a free update to all eligible devices that are currently running Windows 10. Eligibility for automatic upgrades is based on the device's minimum hardware requirements.
What new features come with Windows 11 and how do they work?
Windows 11 rolled a newer, fresher design that aims to boost productivity at work, and the new features help to connect faster, collaborate easier, and strengthen device capabilities whiles working remotely such as improved security and accessibility to virtual collaborative tools. The following features and updates include:
- A new, intuitive design
Microsoft have redesigned the desktop that is much easier to operate and more intuitive. The Taskbar icons are now centered instead of the corner, but the Start button has stayed to the left of the other app icons. Windows get also rounded corners which visually give a sleek and modern feel. These small design touches have been made for a more pleasant user experience and are purely cosmetic, although looks much sleeker and makes the visual difference in the upgraded version.
Microsoft is bringing back the widgets that will be displaying a personalised feed powered by AI and Edge for rendering. Widgets can be expanded to the whole screen.
- Snap layouts
These functions let you choose from a variety of window layouts, easily populating them with app windows of your choice. Additionally, the layouts are saved and accessible from the app taskbar icons so you can work on other tasks on your PC without losing the layout when you want to return to it.
- Multiple desktops
A new feature for Windows 11 is the ability to set a different background for each virtual desktop. This is a very handy feature that will let you recognise and separate all of the desktops that you use, from work to personal or dedicated to your other tasks.
- Redesigned setting app
The redesigned Setting app will now display a left menu. This improvement aims to save you from having to back out of nested settings to get to another group.
- Teams will be integrated
One of the biggest and ever-growing videoconferencing and messaging tools that Microsoft has rolled out – Teams, will now be available on Windows 11 with a click away, giving even easier access to open and instantly communicate. If you start a message to someone who doesn’t have an account, they get an invitation message to sign up and use the free service.
- Even more secure operating system
Updates in Windows 11 will run more regularly, and in the background without slowing a working machine down. This is a great improvement and means that updates can be actioned at any time without causing any delays when turning off a computer.
- Improved performance and longer battery life
Windows 11 gives improved Internet performance, all thanks to Microsoft Edge, which replaced Internet Explorer last year. Improved longevity of battery life for laptops and tablets will give extra comforts to those who work flexibly, in and outside of their offices.
Other features include:
- Tablet Mode and Docking, where you will be able to plug your laptop into a monitor, and it will remember the last layout app that you were using. The tablet mode is more similar to the desktop mode, with small changes such as space between taskbar icons. There is also added the new three-finger swipe actions that let you call up Task View and minimise or recall running applications.
- New Sounds – the soundscape of Windows starting up, as well as notifications, warnings, and more, become gentler, shorter and more soothing, which should make your computing sessions more enjoyable.
How do you upgrade to Windows 11?
Windows 11 has started a tiered rollout, beginning with newer computer machines. All other devices should be eligible to upgrade by the-mid 2022, according to Microsoft's estimates.
If you want to find out more if your business is eligible for the new software update, give us a call and we can advise you further on how to upgrade to the newest systems for your business.
Can my computer run Windows 11?
If your device is already running Windows 10, then it should be compatible with Windows 11. We suggest that one of your IT team can download the PC Health Check app that will be able to show if your computer or laptop devices are compatible with the update.
The full list of requirements to support Windows 11 are on Microsoft's website, but we have listed some that you should consider, especially if you want to upgrade the software running on your business devices:
- 4 GB of RAM
- 1 GHz, 2-core, 64-bit Windows-compatible processor
- 64 GB of storage
- An easy-access internet connection for initial setup and additional updates
Other requirements for specific features are:
- an infrared-capable webcam or fingerprint reader for biometric Windows Hello features
a microphone for Cortana support
It’s worth noting that Windows 11 will only run on computers that are no older than 5 years old.
How long will Microsoft continue to support Windows 10?
If you don't want to upgrade to Windows 11, there is no need to. Although bear in mind, Microsoft will only continue to support Windows 10 for the next four years. Windows 10 is slated to continue receiving support until the 14th of October, 2025.
This means that using Windows 10 after this timeline it's not recommended. Once an operating system has reached its end of life, it becomes a security hazard in many ways. To find out more speak to our IT specialist for more information.
If you would like to find out more about Windows 11, and upgrade the software on your business devices, you can follow this link to explore more about the software. Alternatively, we are here to help and advise. Speak to our friendly IT specialist today and find out more about the software update, how this can improve and benefit your business, or any other IT enquiries that you may have.
ADT Systems has been working with small to medium businesses since 1993, providing tailored IT solutions, support, and specialist advice.
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