If you’re unsure about whether or not to upgrade from Windows 11, this blog post should help you make that decision. We have summarized the most important facts about the latest operating system from Microsoft.
1. Basics explained quickly
Windows 11 comes with welcomed improvements. However, many of them are so subtle and hidden that you probably won’t notice them at first glance. To help you decide for or against an upgrade, we have summarized the most important key points of Windows 11 for you below.
- Fast and energy-efficient operating system
- Inviting, sleek design with rounded corners
- Centered start button
- Multiple desktops for work and play
- Widgets inform about news, weather and calendar appointments
- With compatible hardware, Auto HDR and DirectStorage improve gaming performance
- Not all computers have the necessary system requirements for the update
- New Snap Assist and Layouts features for easier management of multiple windows
Those who have been working with Windows 10 so far can update to Windows 11 for free. For all those who do not want to say goodbye to their familiar Windows 10 so quickly, Microsoft guarantees the supply of updates for the older operating system until 2025.
2. Free upgrade
The new operating system has been available as a free upgrade for owners of the predecessor Windows 10 since October. In the settings, you select the option “Check for updates” under “Update and security”. If Windows 11 is available, a notice will pop up and then all you have to do is click “Download and install”. For the Windows 11 download notice to appear, the latest Windows 10 21H1 must be installed beforehand. This version of the operating system can be installed in advance using the Update Assistant.
3. System requirements
For Windows 11 to run optimally, the system requirements for the hardware should be met. Otherwise, the operating system might run much too slowly and start to judder. Many PCs that came on the market before 2018 unfortunately fall through the cracks because they do not meet the characteristics specified by Microsoft. At the time of writing, the following information about the minimum requirements was available:
|CPU||1 GHz with 2 cores on a compatible 64-bit processor (Intel, AMD, Qualcomm) or SoC|
|Hard disk||64 GB|
|Secure boot enabled|
|Screen/resolution||1280 x 720 pixels (720p display), with a diagonal greater than 9 inches|
8 bits per color channel
|Graphics card||DirectX 12 or higher with WDDM 2.0 driver|
|TMP||Trusted Platform Module (TMP) version 2.0|
|Webcam||Starting in 2023, laptops must have a mandatory HD camera to use Windows 11. This does not apply to desktop PCs|
|Internet Connection||For the “Windows 11 Home Edition” version, it is mandatory to have an internet connection and a Microsoft account to complete Windows 11 setup. This also applies to “Windows 11 Home” in S mode. All other versions do not require internet for installation.|
We recommend the freeware tool «Windows Health Check» to check if your current device is compatible for the upgrade to Windows 11.
4. Green-IT Hardware from Prime Computer for Windows 11
Fully supported = new installation and upgrade to Windows 11 possible
- PrimeMini IoT: Only new installation supported
- PrimeMini Slim 2: Fully supported
- PrimeMini Connect: Only new installation supported
- PrimeMini 4 i7: Fully supported
- PrimeMini 4 i3 and i5: New installation only supported
- PrimeMini 5: Fully supported
- PrimeStation Pulsar: Fully supported
5. A new look
The most obvious change in the new Windows 11 is the design. Windows 11 puts the Start menu in the center and the design is rounder and softer than its predecessors. The new user interface looks amazingly similar to the UI design of Apple’s macOS, and Microsoft also cuts out many unnecessary elements in favor of a minimalistic, tidy user interface, just like its biggest competitor Apple.
At the release of the new OS, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, said that the new operating system should strengthen the user’s own productivity and boost creativity. “It’s modern, fresh, clean and beautiful.” The new look is supposed to make it as pleasant as possible for the user to devote themselves to computer work in a calm, focused manner with few restrictions on what they can do. A nice idea, considering that most of the population has retreated into the home in the last 18 months thanks to the COVID lockdown and that work, entertainment and socializing are mostly done digitally – so the operating system must keep up with their demands.
6. Multitasking through multiple desktops
Remarkable is the revised function of multiple desktops, with which you can set up several desktops for work, leisure or other purposes.
Sounds complicated at first but it can be implemented quite easily in practice. Next to the “Start” button is a new “Task View” button that looks like two overlapping windows. If you move the mouse pointer over this button, a preview of all open desktops is shown, as well as the option to set up new ones. Also, the background images of the respective desktops can be changed individually and given names so that they can be distinguished from each other more easily.
7. Integrated Teams
Teams experienced a surge in users in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, and now Microsoft has preloaded this tool and made it a fixed part of its OS.
8. Snap Assist for a tidy screen
Microsoft has set out to make Windows 11 as user-friendly as possible. One of the many tools that should contribute to this is Snap Assist. This tool makes it easier to group open windows into different layouts. This helps to make the best use of the display area with just a few clicks.
9. The new start menu
Windows 11 builds on the familiar foundation of Windows 10 and thus does not represent a paradigm shift but refines and simplifies applications such as the Control Panel or the Start button. The latter has now left its decades-old location in the lower left corner of the taskbar and has moved to the center, just like the applications pinned in the Start menu. The new Start menu also has a search bar prominently displayed at the top, which can be used to search for programs, files, or menus at lightning speed. Overall, the Start menu looks calmer and tidier than that of the predecessor operating system.
One of the big new features in Windows 11 that Microsoft is touting is widgets. These are automatically updated tiles that display news, weather and calendar appointments. Many may be familiar with this concept from smartphones. The widgets are located in a hidden drawer that you pull open from the side by pressing the Widgets button.
Right now, the options for customizing widgets and playing with different layouts are pretty limited. When Microsoft announced the introduction of widgets in Windows 11, we were shown demos of a widgets panel that can be customized, expanded to full-screen mode, and rearranged at will.
11. Our conclusion
Microsoft promotes Windows 11 as a secure, powerful, and easy-to-use operating system with an inviting design that should make PC use easier than ever for both work and play. If the move from Windows 8 to Windows 10 was a true revolution, the latest upgrade from Windows represents a refinement of its predecessor. The advantages of Windows 10 are not lost by the upgrade to Windows 11, but are further expanded. Users of the old Windows will also quickly find their way around the new Windows after a short familiarization period, since many functions can be accessed intuitively in familiar ways.
Windows 11 is customizable and new tools such as multiple desktops and Snap Assist ensure optimal use of existing resources. The streamlined design also makes Windows 11 easier to use with touchscreens.
We like the fact that Microsoft allows users to set up the new operating system in such a way that they do not have to do without familiar features from the previous version.
Many new tools and features can indeed help you work more productively and quickly and organize applications on the screen. The only question is whether most of these tools will be used in practice – even the Start button can be moved back to the lower left corner by clicking a button in the taskbar settings. Those who don’t like Windows 11 at all can safely ignore the upgrade and continue using their old Windows 10 until 2025. It is likely that Microsoft will put the finishing touches on Windows 11 and fix minor bugs in the near future. For this reason, you can definitely take your time with the upgrade.
Pros: Windows 11
- Cleaned up user interface
- Improved tools for productive work and more screen space
- Simpler and intuitive menus
Cons: Windows 11
- Not every PC has the necessary system requirements to upgrade to Windows 11
- New widgets bring little added value
- Rigid taskbar