Before delving into the newest Microsoft update, let’s talk about its beginnings. 

Bill Gates and Paul Allen (who later left the company due to disease) founded Microsoft in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After they relocated to Washington in 1979, the company became a multinational tech corporation. After that, 1987 was the year when Gates became the world’s youngest billionaire at age 31.

The company was originally for microprocessors and software, as they still sell software now (and have expanded to hardware as well). It wasn’t until the 1990s that the internet took off and Microsoft was able to introduce its web browser, Internet Explorer.

Its downfall was 1998 when the U.S. Department of Justice and 20 state attorneys charged the company with the violation of antitrust laws since it had become an economic monopoly. Apart from these, Microsoft was one of those mind-blowing self-employed job ideas that ended up working.

What are the requirements and how do you get a hold of the update?

The new Windows 11 was officially launched on October 5th of 2021 for new or recent PCs but will be trickled for free for two to five years from now to Windows 10 systems based on validated hardware configurations, hopefully, to be initiated by mid-2022.  

As for pricing, for those who have DIY PC builds, virtual machine installations, or those who don’t have Windows 10, it is speculated that it will cost the same or similar to Windows 10, so around $140 US for Home and $200 US for Pro editions.

People have grossly over-speculated the system requirements for this new update, in reality, they’re quite low. Windows 11 asks for a 1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64 GB of storage, as well as a 64-bit processor. In addition, you will need a TPM security chip and Secure Boot capability. Before you complain, these have been standards in PCs for the last six or so years. 

Microsoft also warned users that don’t meet the requirements that they won’t be denying them the update, but they won’t be entitled to it either, which doesn’t make too much sense but to each their own.

If you’re feeling unsure about your PC’s compatibility with the new update, you can check in with companies like DBA Web Technologies or the PC Health Check app.

Lastly, regarding installation, if you’re installing fresh, you have the option to install Windows 11 without a key and register your Microsoft account later, automatically adding your WIndows 10 credentials.

You can also try Windows 11 without activating it for a while if watermarks and lack of personalization don’t bother you. You will also have a 10-day rollback to Windows 10 if you end up preferring the older version. 

User interface

We’ve cyclically gone through phases of interfaces, from the 200s glassy, rounded look, to sharp, straight edges and solid coloring. Windows 11 has gone back to the delicate, rounded look of the 2000s, with a brighter color scheme when using it in light mode and new, softer icon designs. 

The new forms and colors seem to evoke the feeling the Windows XP wallpaper did as if you were idyllic in your cloudy internet exploring universe. It takes getting used to, but in a good way, since the themes compared to WIndows 10 feel more coherent.

There were also some icons moved away from their usual spots, like the Start menu being moved to the mid-bottom of the screen, with icons arranged next to it, giving it very much a MacOS vibe.

Overall, the feedback on its aesthetics is positive, it has a Mac-like interface being mentioned a few times. Prepare for round icons and pastel shades that please the eye.

Features

Windows 11 is like Windows 10 but with prettier packaging. Though not mind-blowing, it does include a few new features.

The first mentionable feature is integrating Android apps, which will be downloadable in the new Microsoft Store through Amazon Appstore. This isn’t a completely new concept, since if you owned a Samsung Galaxy phone you could access such apps, but this makes it native to your PC. 

This means you will be able to access nearly 500 000 apps, including Netflix, Pinterest, TikTok, and so much more. This doesn’t mean all apps though.

Microsoft Teams will also be integrated directly into the new update, which you will be able to find in the Taskbar, making it easier to access. 

Windows 11 will also allow you to set up multiple virtual desktops similar to macOS, where you can use one for work, one for personal use, one for gaming, and so much more. 

The new update also allows for easier transition between monitor and laptop, making it more convenient to multitask. This new feature is called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts. The multiple apps you use will be collected on the Taskbar and will pop up and minimize as you come and go for convenient task switching. 

New widgets will also be a thing, which will be accessed directly through Taskbar and have the option for personalizing. 

There will lastly be features exclusive to Xbox featured in the new update, like Auto HDR and DIrectStorage to improve your gaming experience on this new OS. 

Reliability 

Many individuals who have tested Windows 11 didn’t experience any crashes or notable issues with performance, making it feel like a revamped Windows 10. 

Unfortunately, many others did experience bugs. There was one tester who hit a screen of death when having plugged in their Logitech G305 mouse, and after a reboot, even their keyboard and headset seemed to not work. Other bugs include disappearing buttons, disappearing apps, and vanishing side panels. It is still better than Windows 95’s run. 

When should I get the update?

If you’re an average person, there are two main things to wait for and to keep in mind. 

The first is that Microsoft has stated that they will be using draconian system requirements meaning every Windows 11 user will be receiving the same updates. That being said, you might want to wait for the first big update in Windows 11, similar to Windows 10. The said update will likely be released next spring. 

The benefit to waiting out until the first big update is to let the developers fix any bug issues and to hopefully have some of the older Windows features reinstated, like the ability to move the Taskbar on whichever side of the screen and adding more of the old shortcut options. Another quaint addition would be making the Start menu more customizable again. 

The Windows 11 launch seems rushed, with a similar feeling to the Cyberpunk 2077 mess (though that too ended up being an amazing game), so I would say if you’re an average consumer, it is worth waiting for all the fixes. 

Gaming Performance 

Sources say that unless you have VBS chestnut enabled, you will have nothing to worry about when having WIndows 11 and gaming. Any issues that were encountered were on the first boot of the OS, so nothing to worry about.

Altogether, performance has only seemed to improve, though performance differences tend to be within the margins of benchmarking error, so Microsoft’s claim of Windows 11 being the best Windows for gaming is highly debatable, though it truly isn’t bad for gaming either, just not life-altering.

CITATIONS :

  1. A&E Television Networks. (2015, October 9). Microsoft founded. History.com. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/microsoft-founded. 
  2. Microsoft Windows 11 Review. PCMAG. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/microsoft-windows-11. 
  3. Rayome, A. D. N. (2021, October 24). Windows 11: 6 of the best features in Microsoft’s new OS and how they work. CNET. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.cnet.com/tech/computing/windows-11-6-of-the-best-features-in-microsoft-new-os-and-how-they-work/. 
  4. Fenlon, W., & James, D. (2021, October 5). Windows 11 review: We like it but you shouldn’t be upgrading today. pcgamer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from https://www.pcgamer.com/windows-11-review/#section-gaming-performance-is-the-same-or-better. 
  5. Unsplash. (n.d.). Beautiful free images & pictures. Unsplash. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from https://unsplash.com/. 
Website | + posts