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Windows 11 is coming

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 7/12/21

Back when Microsoft released Windows 10 in July 2015, they said it would be the last version of their Windows operating system.

Although they said it would be updated in the future, the title would stay the same. For some time now there has been rumors of a new Windows version.

Well unsurprisingly, Microsoft changed its mind and recently made it official: They are releasing a Windows 11 version. The actual release date hasn’t been given, but Windows 11 should be publicly available later this year, maybe by the end of October. 

New look and feel in Windows 11: You’ll notice major changes to the look and feel of the main operating system right away, even if you’re coming from Windows 10. By default, the bottom taskbar icons are centered, which reminds me of Chromebooks. The Start menu has a different look as well. Throughout Windows 11 most of the windows have improved effects like rounded edges to make everything slicker and more modern looking. There’s new background and themes to choose from as well.

If you’re the type that dreads changes when it comes to the computer and technology, I wouldn’t worry too much. If you’re a simple user that only uses one or two applications, keep in mind experiences with specific applications themselves will remain nearly the same.

For instance, if all you do is browse the web, you might not notice any changes there as the websites you go to won’t have any changes between the different Windows versions. Additionally, if you don’t want such a major change to the main operating system look and feel, most computer techs will be able to get it looking closer to what you’re used to. 

Upgrading to Windows 11 for free: Like with Windows 10, Microsoft will be offering free upgrades to Windows 11 for existing computers. But this time there’s much stricter upgrade criteria and system requirements.

To upgrade to Windows 11, you must be running the most current Windows 10 version, whereas in the past Microsoft allowed most Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Computers and devices running Windows 11 will have to meet stricter system requirements regarding the processor, system firmware, TPM, graphics and the display. Most new computers selling now with Windows 10 will be eligible for the upgrade, but not all of them, especially the lower-end systems and devices. Nearly all computers that originally came with Windows 7 likely won’t be upgradable, even if they’ve been upgraded to the latest Windows 10 version.

Although the details aren’t public yet, I suppose Microsoft will try to push eligible Windows 10 users to upgrade to Windows 11, starting late this year or early 2022. Like with the Windows 10 upgrades in the past, I’ll probably encourage again that you do not utilize the self-upgrade process suggested by Microsoft, but instead get help from a computer tech for the upgrade. I’ve seen many upgrade issues in the past when you do the self-upgrade process. The upgrade might not work right, or it appears to have worked but there might be slowness and instability in the future.

When upgrading to a new operating system, I’ve found it to much more beneficial to backup the data, delete everything on the hard drive, and then install a fresh clean copy of the new Windows. It takes more effort and should be done by a computer tech, but the upgrade usually works much better this way. Time will tell if the same applies to Windows 11. 

Buying a new computer with Windows 11:Of course, instead of upgrading an existing computer, you could just buy one with Windows 11 pre-installed.

Computers with the new operating system should start hitting stores late this year. Similar to the past, I’d assume for a while you’ll see some computers selling with Windows 10 and some with Windows 11.

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