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Microsoft Windows 11 Review- Everything You Need to Know Before Upgrading

 Windows 11

While Microsoft said back in 2015 there wouldn’t be any newer versions of Windows, Microsoft recently announced there is now a Windows 11. Looking drastically different, you might be wondering if getting the new Windows 11 is worth the hassle of learning your way around the new software or if you should just stick with Windows 10. The functions are actually pretty identical though, so once you get used to the new look, you shouldn’t experience any major inconveniences.


Let’s dive into exactly what makes Windows 11 different and why it might be a great choice to upgrade as soon as you can to get the most out of your computer’s operating system.


How Can I Get Windows 11?


Windows 11 is available on recent and new PCs. On currently operating Windows 10 computers, it will be offered for free on a rolling basis. However, the hardware configurations first need to be validated by Microsoft before the selections are offered. The rollout should be completed by mid-2022.


Pricing is yet to be announced for other PCs or non-Windows 10 computers. Most experts don’t expect the pricing to be too much more than for Windows 10 computers. We will have to wait and see though.


Requirements for Windows 11


Your computer will need to have certain requirements to be able to get Windows 11 though. System requirements are 1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage. You will also need to be able to have a computer with a TPM security chip and a Secure Boot capability to get Windows 11 when it becomes available to all computers for a potentially upgraded price.


Most of these features are pretty basic and your computer probably has all of them unless you have a really old computer model. The CPU is the most limiting as you will probably need a computer from the last four years or so at least.


If you aren’t sure what the specifics of your PC are or you’re not sure if you can have Windows 11, you can use an app to check the qualifications of your PC. You can also take it into your nearby computer store and have them check the stats to see if you will be able to qualify for Windows 11. If not, it might be time for a new computer.



How to Download Windows 11


As with most computers, your PC should notify you when there is an update available. If you already qualify for Windows 11, your computer should alert you that there is time for an update. Microsoft has made it extremely easy to download the new Windows 11. There is a downloadable ISO disk image. If you have a new PC, you can also simply go to the Download Windows 11 page.


As with Windows 10, there is a Home and Pro version. If you decide you prefer Windows 10, you have 10 days to roll back. This means you have a short time period where you can always go back to Windows 10 if you decide that 11 simply doesn’t do it for you.


New Features with Windows 11


Nothing is worse than getting a computer upgrade and then realizing everything is in a different place and you can’t find anything. This won’t be the case when you upgrade to Windows 11 though. Most of the new things come with simple designs, not with the actual features.


It also borrows many things from Chrome OS. So, you might be more familiar with Windows 11 than you think. The new designs also bring more slickness and consistency to make working or gaming much easier.


Taskbar, File Explorer, and Start Menu


The start button on PC Windows computers has always been in the lower-left corner. While the movement of the start button might not seem like a huge deal, it can take some time to get used to if you have been using Windows for the last two decades.


If you use the taskbar alignment options though that come with the upgrade, you can still choose to move the start button back into the left corner. The taskbar is also one of the most different features though in Windows 11.


Instead of the taskbar items that are currently running appearing larger, they are the same size as the apps and programs that are running idle. This can make it hard to differentiate what you currently have open and what you’re using.


You can hover over the apps though to see the thumbnail. Once you’ve hovered, you can right-click it and open the Jump List. This will allow you to see if the program is running as well as see recent documents or common actions you used the app for.


The start menu is also drastically different but doesn’t take long to get used to. Your pinned app buttons will now be at the top of the panel, while the recent documents and frequent apps will be in the section below.

The icons are pretty small compared to the tile size in Windows 10. The mini tiles are easier to use for touch input, but you lose the live options you got with tiles on Windows 10. You also won’t be able to see the apps as soon as you open the start menu.


They will be on a list to the left and your pinned apps will be on the right. Again, not a huge deal. However, it takes some time to get used to.


File Explorer is also a new change. The right-click context menus are shorter and work clearer in Windows 11. They only show the most needed options which makes sorting through your tasks much easier.


The New button at the top now only shows new folders or documents supported by your apps that are open. The viewing options also only show the list, details, and icons for files now.


If you go into the overflow button, you will see compression, selection, and properties options.


New and Different Widgets


While most of the things in Windows 11 are simply a change, the widget panel is something that’s brand new. The panel will show you panels or tiles for news, weather, stock quotes, sports scores, and a few other things.


The News and Interests Taskbar popup in Windows 10 works essentially the same way as the Widget Panel though. So, you will have some of the same features but in a new place. The Widget panel also makes using the icons and tiles much easier.


To get to the Widgets panel, you will simply click the Widgets icon in the Taskbar. If you have a touch screen computer, you can easily swipe in from the left to open them. You can also make the widget panel bigger if you want.


The entertainment widget also shows new movies and TV shows. If you have young members in the family, you can use the Microsoft Family Safety widget. They have clear parental control tools.


Notifications and Quick Settings


Windows 11 puts the Action center into one panel rather than the two separate panels that are in Windows 10. This resembles Apple’s revamped notification area, so if you’re moving from an Apple computer, you might not have a hard time getting used to it.


The circled number on the app icons shows how many notifications you have similar to the numbers you see on the icons of your apps on your phone. This makes it super easy to see if you have notifications and if you need to open an app to update it. If you have a touch computer, you can also swipe in from the right to show the Notifications panel.


Different from Windows 10, the quick settings panel will automatically open when you click or tap the WIFI icon, the speaker, or the battery icon. It also shows buttons for WIFI, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Battery saver, Accessibility, and Focus Assist. The sliders on Windows 11 also make it easy to adjust the audio volume and the screen brightness.


The small pencil icon is also new. You can customize the way the buttons appear to make the apps you use more frequently appear at the top. You can also change the keyboard layout and the nearby sharing options.


To see the status of apps in the taskbar, you can hover over the icons to see their status. You can also just open the apps like in Windows 10 if you prefer to see the status that way.




One of the largest complaints with Windows 10 is that the installation and uninstallation of programs are very inconsistent. Sometimes you will uninstall a program in the Settings app, or you will have to go into the control panel.


This inconsistency and confusion go away in Windows 11. Light and Dark modes stay in the same control areas. The dark mode in Windows 11 is much more efficient though and compares to Apple’s dark modes on their computers and laptops.


Multitasking and Snap Layouts


Windows has always been known for its ability to arrange app windows on the screen. Apple computers do not allow you to do this, so this is one of the main reasons why people prefer Windows computers. On Windows 11, the personalization is unmatched.


If you go into the Maximize button at the top right of any window, you can see all the choices of layouts you have. The Snap Layouts will also appear in the taskbar, so you can open them all together or just one single app at a time.


Windows 11 is still available for having multiple virtual desktops. This allows you to separate work apps and websites from personal ones. So, if you use the same computer for work and personal use, you can easily differentiate between the two windows.


With Windows 11, you can use a four-finger swipe to move back and forth. You can always use different backgrounds for different desktops as well.


How Does Windows 11 Work on Tablets?


Windows 11 is not as user-friendly when it comes to tablets. If you have a tablet, you might want to consider sticking with Windows 10. See exactly what features are missing with the new upgrade though. Windows 11 still might be a better choice for you if you don’t do much task-switching.


You can no longer swipe in from the left to go into multitasking mode which can be very annoying. You also can’t swipe down anymore from the top to close the app either. However, you can easily hit the X in the upper right-hand corner just as you would in desktop mode.


You can also use the taskbar to do everything, but that’s quite as efficient as just being able to swipe up and down with your fingers whenever you want to switch apps.




Gamers also tend to use PCs with Windows because they are more user-friendly and have many more features than Apple computers. With Windows 11, gamers will have a built-in Xbox app. It also comes with a game pass collection of video games that are extremely easy to use and download all your games onto.


Some of the games in the collection include Halo Infinite, Twelve Minutes, and Age of Empires IV. The app also enables you to use Xbox cloud gaming and the Microsoft streaming game platform.


Is There Anything That Goes Away with Windows 11?


As you can see, many of the feature changes are minor. There are a few things that don’t come preinstalled with Windows 11 though such as the Aero Peek, Aero Shake, and Cortana Al voice assistant. You can still get them from the app store though.


Final Thoughts


With only minor feature changes and easier accessibility for apps and programs, Windows 11 is a solid upgrade that won’t take much time to get used to. The new arrangements of apps and icons are also much easier to use and allow you to multitask and get work done easier.

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