Windows 11 will be out on October 5. Microsoft’s new operating system (OS) is touted to be sleeker and more powerful than its predecessor but is also expected to present some adjustment challenges for users coming from Windows 10.
If you’re planning to upgrade to the latest Microsoft OS, here are 10 things you need to know:
1. A centered Start menu – By default, the Start menu in Windows 11 appears at the center of the screen, although you can change its setting so that it appears on the left, as in the previous Windows versions. According to Microsoft, this is an effort to put the user and their content at the center of the Windows experience. The Start menu also harnesses the power of the cloud and shows you your most recent files, regardless of whether you used a PC, a tablet, or a phone to access them.
2. Dynamic refresh rates – Windows 11 enables users to switch between low (60 Hz) and high (120 Hz) refresh rates in order to balance user experience and power usage. If you have a monitor, a graphics card, or an app that supports 120 Hz or higher refresh rates, Windows 11 will automatically go to lower refresh rates when the screen is inactive, then pick up the refresh rate when you scroll or interact with the screen.
3. Snap layouts – By hovering over the minimize/maximize button on the taskbar, you can choose ways to lay out several windows you’re working on. For instance, if you have three windows open, you can split the screen evenly into three, or you can have one window take up half of the screen while the other two share the remaining half of the screen. This eliminates the need to switch between tabs and makes working easier.
4. Teams integration with Windows – Teams is now more accessible than ever: simply click the Teams icon on the taskbar to make calls or send messages to anyone using Teams. This is sure to be a welcome addition for hybrid workers who often use Microsoft’s communication platform to communicate with their colleagues.
5. Wallpapers on virtual desktops – Being able to change wallpapers may not be a groundbreaking Windows 11 feature, but being able to personalize virtual desktops is — and employees working remotely will be especially pleased with the feature. As with Windows 10, virtual desktops can still be renamed for better organization.
6. Windows widgets – Windows 11 brings an upgraded version of the weather and news bar, which can be found on the left side of the taskbar in Windows 10. Called “Windows widgets”, this new feature shows a set of curated information such as news, weather, or stocks via a slide-out pane on the left side of the screen.
7. Improved touch experience – Both touch and pen experiences get an upgrade in Windows 11. For instance, the screen in 2-in-1s is now laid out in a way that allows you to use on a tablet the same gestures you use on a Windows Precision touchpad.
The touch keyboard is also completely redesigned and customizable. You can even turn on haptic feedback as you write with a pen to better simulate the feeling of writing on paper. What’s more, voice typing now adds punctuations automatically and is able to take voice commands like “delete that” so you can edit more efficiently.
8. Better display and performance – Windows 11 is optimized for both work and play with superior graphics. For gamers, auto HDR automatically adds HD enhancements to games built on DirectX11 or higher, allowing for brighter colors, richer textures, and sharper images. Windows 11 also promises amazing speeds, thanks to a technology called DirectStorage, which enables users to load assets to the graphics card quickly without burdening the CPU.
9. New Microsoft Store – The Microsoft Store has been completely redesigned to make it easier for users to search and discover apps, games, shows, and movies. Microsoft’s partnership with Amazon is also expected to bring Android apps to Windows: customers can use the Microsoft Store to discover Android apps, which they can then acquire via the Amazon Appstore.
10. Relatively powerful minimum system requirements – Because Windows 11 is packed with features and upgrades, it requires an equally powerful set of hardware to be able to run. While the new OS should be compatible with relatively newer devices (released 2-3 years ago), it’s better to check your devices’ specs against the requirements released by Microsoft. You can also use your PC’s Health Check app to see if your computer can run Windows 11.
If you’re keen on upgrading to Windows 11, or if you want to learn more about the OS before making a decision, don’t hesitate to contact our tech experts at HERO Managed Services. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling us at (727) 291-9461 or by filling out our Contact Us form.