Windows 11 Release Date to Download & Review 2021
Windows 11 Release Date to Download: 5 October 2021
Windows 11’s sleek design and more consistent interface belies what it actually represents as an evolutionary update to the world’s most popular operating system for laptops and PCs. I found out what is new in the OS and whether it is worth updating.
After six years of Windows 10, the most popular desktop operating system is getting a major update to Windows 11. Although Microsoft has stated that Windows 10 will be the latest version of the OS.
However, apart from the interface, there are few important changes in Microsoft Windows 11. Yes, the rounded corners of the windows, the dialog boxes have become more stylish, but this time you will not experience a large share of the sensations, as after switching from Windows 8 to 10.
How to get Windows 11 and system requirements?
So far, only ISO images (Beta, Dev) of the official Windows 11 Build 22000 are available … for members of the special Windows Insider program . The operating system update will be free for all Windows 10 users. Although the official price for everyone else is still unknown.
The system requirements have also changed, but they are relatively low: a processor with a clock speed of 1 GHz, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of hard disk space. The computer must have a TPM and Secure Boot.
|Minimum system requirements|
|CPU||At least two cores with a clock speed of 1 GHz or more on a compatible 64-bit processor or System-on-a-chip (SoC)|
|RAM||4 GB RAM|
|Inner memory||At least 64 GB of disk space|
|System firmware||UEFI, with secure boot support|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Graphics adapter||DirectX 12 / WDDM 2.x compatible|
|Screen||From 9 inches HD resolution (720p)|
|Additionally||Microsoft account and internet connection required to install Windows 11 Home|
It may seem that there are many restrictions, but they have long become the minimum standard for any modern computer. The processor can be a problem if your model came out more than 4-5 years ago.
However, everything is not scary here – members of the Windows Insider program install Windows 11 on PCs with 7th generation Intel Core i5 processors, although the requirements indicate the 8th generation. Perhaps, after the release, there will be support for older processors.
If you are not a member of the Insider program, the standard system update may not become available until 2022. Microsoft probably doesn’t want users to be updated to a newer version – it’s more important for the company that you buy new Windows 11 computers.
After the update, within 10 days you can return to Windows 10 if you don’t like the new version. At the same time, Microsoft promises support for Windows 10 right up to 2025.
Interface and appearance
Microsoft Windows 11 is more of a design update to Windows 10 rather than a new operating system.
In many ways, version 11 is similar to Chrome OS, although you can still freely place shortcuts and files on the desktop. The corners of all windows are rounded like in macOS, which makes the interface look nicer. However, some changes may seem unsuccessful to some.
The Start icon, along with the rest of the icons, moved to the center of the taskbar. Previously, it is always in the lower left corner.
The arrangement of the taskbar items now depends on the number of program icons that you pinned to it. By adding another icon, you will move the “Start” slightly to the left, to a new position. Fortunately, in the settings you can move the button to its usual place.
The icons on the taskbar have also decreased, making them less informative. On previous versions of Windows, you could instantly determine which programs were running. Now it is not so obvious. At least, when you hover over the icon, a preview of the program window will still be displayed, and when you right-click, a list of recent and pinned files will be displayed.
Start Menu and File Explorer
The “Start” menu in Windows 11 now looks completely different, although mini-tiles remain in the upper part, frequently launched and new programs and documents are displayed under them.
The Explorer has also been updated – the icons look more modern when there are much fewer elements at the top of the Quick Access Toolbar. The “New” button in the upper left corner allows you to quickly add a new folder or document.
On-screen keyboard and widgets
Much has been done in Windows 11 for the convenience of working on a tablet.
The on-screen keyboard has been updated, you can even set your own background for it. Tablet mode is similar to a PC interface, although there is more space between icons on the taskbar. Gestures have also been improved when a menu has appeared for ease of use with stylus.
One of the few new features in Windows 11 is the widget panel. However, Windows 10 also recently has a News and Weather widget that has a similar purpose. But, in Windows 11, third-party developers will be able to create their own widgets, which will be displayed in this new panel.
In the update for insiders, Microsoft announced the Entertainment widget. It displays new movies and TV shows, as well as an updated look for context menus with a transparent acrylic texture – Fluent Design. In the release (22000.120), the Family widget was added for those who use the Microsoft Family Safety parental controls.
Notifications and quick settings panel
Windows 11’s Action Center is split into two panels, much like Apple did with macOS.
However, the familiar common window for all notifications and quick settings seems more convenient to me. But now a circle with the number of notifications is immediately visible, like on mobile applications in a smartphone.
Windows 11 notifications
To open the Action Center on the touch screen, you need to swipe from the right side. The quick settings panel is opened by clicking on the Wi-Fi, sound or battery icon. By default, icons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Power Saver, Focus, and Accessibility are shown. You will also find volume and brightness sliders on this panel.
Pencil icon, allows you to change icons, you can add a new connection to the device (for external displays or sound devices), keyboard layout, options for sharing files, night light and projector mode.
Settings in Windows 11
One of the most annoying features of Windows 10 is the different types of windows in the settings.
Sometimes a program is uninstalled through a new application, sometimes through an old Control Panel. Windows 11 has (almost) fixed this problem. The content of some windows like the Volume Mixer has not changed yet, but the interface of the windows themselves has already been updated.
The settings for Dark and Light modes remain the same: you need to open “Options” – “Personalization” – “Color”. However, the modes themselves look much better, especially Dark, and the transparency effect is implemented as it should. Here, the new Windows is no worse than macOS.
Multitasking and Window Arrangement
Windows has long surpassed macOS in multitasking, but Microsoft’s new operating system has even more advantages. All thanks to the new option Snap Layouts.
To use it, hover your cursor over the maximize window button in the upper right corner. The method seems unclear, so we can only hope that Microsoft will somehow highlight the presence of this feature.
After hovering the cursor, the window arrangement selection panel will open: two side by side, one large on the left and two small ones on the right, and so on. The active window will appear in the area that you select on the panel, you can move it at any time as mentioned above.
Windows 11 customize windows
Windows 11 allows you to save a set of open windows with their location – the option is called – Groups. Saved groups can be easily transferred even to a second monitor. Microsoft has left users with the function of multiple virtual desktops, it is convenient for dividing programs into tasks. On tablets, you can switch between desktops using a four-finger swipe. The setting of different wallpapers is available for each.
Microsoft Teams chats and video calls
During the presentation of Windows 11, the Microsoft Teams chat and video conferencing app was at the very center of the taskbar, and for a reason.
Windows 11 chats
The company clearly expects to firmly establish itself as a leading video calling application, especially as the number of active Teams users has grown from 20 million to 145 million during the pandemic.
However, Microsoft is still not convinced that Teams will become the main core application of this kind. Although the Instant Chat icon recently appeared on the Windows 10 taskbar, it hasn’t become popular. Perhaps, after the distribution of Windows 11, everything will change.
Android Application Support
One of the new and most exciting features in Windows 11 will be the ability to run Android apps.
However, you will have to install them through the Android Store, or using APK files. Although the Microsoft Store interface has already become much nicer, it is impossible to launch applications now. In addition to applications, movies, TV shows and games are available here, but the standard programs remained: Photo, Groove player, Paint 3D, Mail, Calendar and all others.
Games and new technologies
PC gaming in Windows has always received a lot of attention, and the new version of the OS is no exception.
The Xbox app built into Windows 11 gives you access to a collection of games for Xbox Game Pass members. You can play Halo Infinite, Twelve Minutes, Age of Empires IV and many more titles. The cloud gaming service Xbox Cloud Gaming is also available to users.
Not without new technologies in Windows 11 – users will have technologies such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage. The former increases the color range, delivering sharper, more vibrant colors even in non-HDR games. Second, it speeds up the launch of games – the video adapter will be able to load resources bypassing the central processor.
Other important updates include Dynamic Refresh, which will reduce the refresh rate at the right time. This will help conserve battery power in laptops and tablets. The new Windows 11 operating system will also support the fast Wi-Fi 6E standard.
Microsoft announced new accessibility features for Windows 11, in addition to existing ones such as Narrator, Magnifier, Teletext, and Speech Recognition.
Windows 11 innovations
The system will update teletext and contrast themes, along with AI voice recognition technologies . APIs will be added for all of the listed applications, and even WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) will have accessibility features.
Windows 11 overview
The voice assistant Cortana has remained for now, but Microsoft says the AI assistant from the final version will disappear in the future. There will be no Live Tiles left – their work is now done by Widgets. Without a doubt, several other features will be gone from the final version of Windows 11. Which ones? Not yet known…
We are glad that Microsoft has finally paid attention to its operating system for laptops and PCs. The emphasis on the successful Azure cloud platform is understandable, but Windows has long needed a change. While Windows 11 is in many ways just a cosmetic update, users will have some interesting features.
Perhaps Microsoft will be able to lure many users of Chrome OS, and even Mac, to the new operating system. The release date for Windows 11 is planned for the end of 2021, but already now the new version of the most popular operating system looks promising.