What to know about Windows 11

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 7/26/21

As you may have heard, Microsoft is releasing a whole new version of their operating system: Windows 11. There’s still no solid release date, but it may be out by the end of October. Here I share some answers on some of the frequently asked questions: Will I have to upgrade to Windows 11? No, you can certainly still keep using your current operating system after Windows 11 comes out.

Microsoft will support Windows 10 at least until Oct. 14, 2025. I assume they’ll encourage or push users to upgrade though. Back with the Windows 10 release, the upgrade was supposed to be something users had to specifically OK before it would install. But there were incidents where the process seemed to happen automatically without user consent. Time will tell how that process will work and play out for Windows 11.

This is a good time to evaluate your computer and ensure you aren’t using the already out-ofdate operating systems of Windows XP, Vista, or 7. If you’re using these, I highly suggest buying a new computer with Windows 10 now. There’s a chance you could upgrade a computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10, but it likely won’t be upgradable to Windows 11 later.

 

Should I wait to buy a new PC?

No, I don’t think you necessarily need to wait on buying a computer right now until Windows 11 comes out. If you need or want a new computer right now, go ahead. Even if Microsoft releases the operating system in October, new computers likely won’t have Windows 11 until this November or December. If you do buy before then, I strongly recommend making sure the new computer meets the system requirements for Windows 11. That way down the road you have the option to upgrade if desired. Right now, it won’t be an easy thing to figure out upgrade eligibility, but hopefully computer manufacturers and retailers start identifying eligibility for customers.


What’s new in Windows 11?

In addition to the desktop and theme changes with the slicker and more modern look and feel, the Start menu has been redesigned, again. You won’t see all the live tiles like in Windows 8 and 10, but you’ll have shortcuts to apps you’ve pinned and also shortcuts to recommended apps. The live tiles have sort of been repurposed into what they call Widgets. You can click on a different Widgets icon on the taskbar to view all the Widgets. Examples include weather, calendar, traffic, and news.

Microsoft is also bringing usability improvements in Windows 11, such as an easier way to snap windows into sections of the monitor to more easily see multiple windows. The multiple desktop views also allow you separate your opened applications by your desired task or category, like one desktop view for your financial stuff, one for games and another maybe for research.

Though it might not be really apparent to users, Microsoft is stepping up security in Windows 11.

There are stricter security requirements for computers and devices in order to even install Windows 11.

Are there features being removed in Windows 11?

One change to appreciate is Microsoft moving from doing two major updates per year to just one per year with Windows 11. Maybe not so welcomed though is the old web browser, Internet Explorer (IE), will not be available in Windows 11. Of course, they are pushing their newer browser, Microsoft Edge, and it includes IE Mode for sites and web applications that still are designed for IE.

Skype will no longer be installed by default in Windows 11, but Microsoft Teams will be. The Snipping Tool will be replaced by the very similar Snip & Sketch. The 3D Paint application will be removed, but the traditional Microsoft Paint application will remain with an updated interface.

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