It has been over five years since Windows 10 was released, and now, the next in line has been released. Windows 11 is embracing changes in design, but the actual usability remains much the same. There are some interface changes that may take getting used to, and a new layout to familiarise yourself with. Overall, though, from our research and use of the OS upgrade, the pros do seem to outweigh the cons.
The most immediately noticeable changes are, of course, the central toolbar and rounded-edge design. Adopting a more MacOS style, the idea is to give you a cleaner, less cluttered view. The start menu has also undergone a simplification. This includes the disappearance of Live Tiles and the introduction of a pinned apps list, with your most frequent documents below that. Of course, there is the option to move your taskbar back to the left. You can also change any of the default pinned apps, letting you customise your layout in a way that works for you.
Further customisation comes in the form of a new feature called Snap Layouts. This allows you to better organise apps and windows by grouping them together. It is somewhat like using split screen or app grouping on Android and iOS. Windows 11 will even remember the layouts you have chosen, letting you access them quickly and easily for future use. Another part of this feature is Snap Groups; Windows 11 remembers the apps you were using, letting you group them. This way, if you’re working on something that requires multiple programs in a multi-window layout, future access will be easier.
There are a few day-to-day usability changes, such as right-clicking on the taskbar will now bring up taskbar options only. Previously, you had a toolbar with multiple options, including loading the Task Manager. File Explorer also underwent an update, with redesigned icons, a simplified top ribbon, and shorter, smarter right-click context menus.
To learn more about new features in Windows 11, you can click here.
Can I get it?
Good news if you are already a Windows 10 user with a compatible machine. A free, automatic update will appear on your machine once Windows 11 becomes available for you. This change is due to roll out gradually between now and mid-2022.
The requirements for Windows 11 are as follows.
While most of the above terms may be familiar, a relatively unknown but crucial requirement is a TPM chip of version 2 or higher. A TPM chip is what enables the encryption of the local hard disk in a safe and secure way. This makes it almost impossible for your hard disk to be accessed if either your computer is tampered with, or the hard drive is removed entirely. A quick way to figure out if your machine has TPM 2.0 is the year of purchase. If you purchased your computer after 2016, chances are good that you have one. Before that date, you may have an earlier version, or no TPM at all.
If you are still not sure if your machine is compatible, you can find out by running a Health Check.
How long do I have to decide?
We all know that change isn’t as simple as it’s often made out to be, especially in business. There are a lot of factors to consider when upgrading your OS, including how to roll out the change amongst your employees.
Windows 10 has an End of Life (EOL) date of 14th October 2025. From then, Windows 10 will join its predecessors, in that it will have no available support or patching for issues. It would be best to have a plan in place to upgrade your OS to Windows 11 sooner rather than later and engage with IT Support where needed to plan the move, allowing you plenty of planning and execution time.
As always, enablesIT is happy to help with any requirements, and our trained engineers are always on-hand to assist.
If you would like to know more about upgrading to Windows 11, or need any help with planning your upgrade, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking below.