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Everything you need to know about Windows 11

August 17, 2021

Everyone is talking about Windows 11 now. No wonder, since Microsoft's new operating system was not supposed to exist. In 2014, the original plan was that the current version would only be extended with updates at regular intervals - so-called rolling releases. Windows 10 was to remain Windows 10. But then the executive board decided to launch Windows 11, which was announced on 24 July 2021 by Microsoft product chief Panos Panay.

So many questions arise for us users about the new operating system from Microsoft. When will it be available? What will change? And what are the system requirements?

In this article, we will take a closer look at the latest Windows version and find answers to these questions and more about Windows 11.

windows-11

Windows 11 release date

There is a lot of information circulating on the Net about Microsoft's latest operating system. A release date of Windows 11 for October 5, 2021 has recently been circulated.

In addition to "Home" and "Pro", another five business versions of Windows 11 will be released, according to Bluetooth launchstudio. Microsoft is keeping a low profile in this regard.

The cost of Windows 11

The new version of Microsoft's operating program basically costs just as much as Windows 10. After all, Windows 11 is nothing more than an extensive update, so to speak. If you are already using Windows 10, then you can switch to Windows 11 at no extra cost - provided that your hardware meets the new operating system’s requirements.

If you have a volume license for your company, it will cover all devices with Windows 10 even after the update.

Speaking of hardware and system requirements

In terms of hardware requirements for Windows 11, a simple rule of thumb: all computers built in 2019 and later should be compatible with Windows 11. The Microsoft website lists the requirements in detail. These are:  

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
  • RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) minimum.
  • Memory: At least 64 GB* of available memory is required to install Windows 11.
    • Additional memory may be required to download updates and enable certain features.
  • Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or higher, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • System firmware: UEFI, secure boot
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Display device: high-definition display device (720p), monitor of 9 inches or more, 8 bits per color channel
  • Internet Connection: Internet connection is required to update and download and use some features.
    • Windows 11 Home Edition requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft account to complete device initial setup when first used.

Be sure to run the Windows 11 update on devices running Windows 10 version 20H1 or later. In addition, Microsoft lists quite a few feature-specific requirements, which you can also find on the company's website.

What new features does Windows 11 offer?

Appearance immediately catches the eye with the latest version of the Microsoft operating system. The redesign looks rounder and more harmonious - rounded corners of windows, icons, etc. The Start menu can be placed in the center of the screen and floats just above the taskbar. The first impression emphasizes what Microsoft wants to achieve with Windows 11: increase productivity and bring users together more easily.

The significantly higher speed of the new operating program compared to the predecessor already speaks for more usability and productivity. Here are key test data of a pre-release version of Windows 11:

  • Geekbench multi-thread test:     5.8% faster
  • Geekbench single core:                 2% faster
  • Chrome v91:                                 10% faster
  • Cinebench R23:                           8.2% faster
  • 3DMark: still must be optimized for Windows 11. Therefore, still a bit slower.

Another focus is on the hybrid use of the system. Windows 11 is much easier and more intuitive to use on touchscreens than its predecessor. Despite the redesign, Microsoft has still managed to retain the familiar "Windows feeling".

What is also noticeable - and to the delight of many users - is that the sometimes very controversial tiles have disappeared from the Start menu. Skype has been kicked out as pre-installed communication software in Windows 11 and replaced with MS Teams.

In addition, the "widgets" from Windows Vista get a revival. The small news windows can be called up via the left edge of the screen and give the user brief information about the weather, stocks, news, and so on. Of course, you can choose which information you want to see.

One of the most convincing features of Windows 11 is simplified operation. For example, open windows can be moved or arranged next to each other with a mouse click via "Snap Layouts". The possibility of creating different desktops - for example, one for the office, one for customer consulting and one for private use - is also one of the many innovative features provided by Windows 11. Based on this, the new Microsoft operating system also enables the simultaneous use of several windows and - if desired - also arranging them across several monitors.  

Our conclusion about Windows 11

In our opinion, Windows 11 is more than a glorified update of its predecessor. Improved and also new features enhance the user experience, facilitate communication, and enable greater productivity. Certainly, the new design features are debatable, but there is no accounting for (design) taste. We are looking forward to the new operating system and will of course support you in integrating the Office add-in suite from empower® into Windows 11.

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