Microsoft has announced what it’s calling “the next generation of Windows”. Windows 11 will be a considerable change to Windows 10 and will be offered as a free upgrade*. Here is what else we know so far:
When is Windows 11 release date?
The official Windows 11 release date is October 5. Microsoft says that newer PCs will get it earlier than older PCs, and the staged rollout will last until mid-2022. Windows 11 will be delivered as an upgrade to eligible devices running Windows 10
Wasn’t Windows 10 going to be the last version of Windows?
The original plan was to have Windows on a service, and let it evolve over time. Maybe with a design overhaul at some point, but it would be rolled out as a Windows 10 update. But... that isn’t the case anymore. We should look at this release as more of a rebrand really. Under the hood, Microsoft claims this is the same Windows 10 that we have known, and it could have shipped as a Windows 10 update, however the release as “Windows 11” is about creating excitement around the idea that this is brand-new.
Is it a free update? Will my PC be able to run Windows 11?
Windows 11 will be a free update for Windows 10 users (no mention of a time period for it being free or if they will eventually charge for it like they did with Windows 10). *However, the system requirements are higher for Windows 11, so this may throw a wrench into the upgrade plans of many older model systems.
Here’s is the breakdown - contact us to help you verify:
- All systems will need a TPM 2.0 chip. TPM is short for Trusted Point Module, and it's primarily known as a means for security in PCs. (One thing to note is that several manufacturers have committed to upgrading the TPM from 1.2 to 2.0 for modules that shipped from specific date ranges. Dell, for example.)
- CPU: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC). There will be no 32-bit support, and older CPUs won’t be supported. (Seventh gen and older Intel - a select few SKUs, and some older AMD Ryzen chips may be exempted)
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB of larger
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Microsoft has made it clear that the Windows 11 system requirements are a must (no cheating with group policy to avoid them). If you want to use the new OS, then, you'll need the right hardware (and you should plan ahead for this see Be Prepared). You can also download Microsoft's PC Health Check app, which helps you test whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 11, again, we are here and ready to help you verify and upgrade as needed.
Will I be forced to upgrade?
As of right now, no. Microsoft wont force anyone to upgrade to Windows 11. The only time Microsoft forces a feature update is if the one you’re using is nearing the end of support, but that won’t happen with Windows 11.
What’s new in Windows 11?
Windows 11 includes a bundle of new features, such as the ability to download and run Android apps on your Windows PC. A few more key features:
- The overall look of the software, which is cleaner and Mac-like in design with more rounded corners on apps and a fresher look with a streamlined taskbar. There's also new colors and transitions, and a new dark mode that makes content stand out.
- The start menu is now a grid of select applications, and a second grid of recommended documents.
- Snap Layouts let you pick the Layout that you want to choose so you can run multiple apps at the same time. For example, you could have two apps side by side or three in columns or four in a grid, and there's six choices in total.
- A new selection of Widgets can help you check your calendar at a glance, the weather, news, your to-do list, photos and more. Access widgets directly from the Taskbar and personalize them to see whatever you'd like. Widgets bring you a feed of info you can personalize, and you decide how you want it to appear on your desktop.
- Microsoft Teams integration/face-lift will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 Taskbar, making it easier to access and streamlined communication through Teams' notification system and will also feature a revamped Together Mode with live emoji reactions, polls, calendar integration, chat history search, file sharing and the ability to directly assign tasks to others.
- A new docking experience. If you unplug a monitor to move locations, the windows that were on your monitor will minimize. When you re-connect to a dock, all your Windows will re-appear the way they were before. And like MacOS, toggling between multiple desktops, so you can have a desktop for work, home, school or gaming, each with their own apps and look and feel.
- Better multitasking with features called Snap Groups and Snap Layouts-- collections of the apps you're using at once that sit in the Taskbar and can come up or be minimized at the same time for easier task switching.
- Touch/Voice upgrades. Bigger touch targets while inserting visual cues aimed at helping you more easily resize and move windows.
- The onscreen keyboard is both redesigned and customizable. If you happen to use a pen or stylus to interact with your Windows 11 machine, you can expect improve haptics that sound and feel like you’re using an actual pen.
- Enhanced voice recognition for text input with more accurate voice-to-text transcription and automatic punctuation. Voice commands are supported as well, such as "delete that" when you're in a document.
BEFORE YOU UPGRADE?
Windows 11 Upgrade and issues related to the upgrade are not covered under normal agreement.
Our policy has always been, if an upgrade is performed by Braver, the support is included in your agreement, however, if issues arise related to any upgrade not performed by Braver, the support will not be covered under your agreement.
Right now, we recommend that you wait and not rush to upgrade just yet. With the launch of any new OS, it is best to err on the side of caution before committing to upgrade because there are just too many unknown variables to consider, from compatibility to age of the computer.
We will continue to provide information on the status of upgrading and will, of course, fully support, under agreement, any new systems purchased with Windows 11.
Overall, Windows 11 is not a reinvention of Windows, but a major upgrade for productivity and for entertainment. We will keep you posted on any major updates or info regarding this release. And as always, feel free to reach out if you have questions.