With the official Windows 11 announcement taking place on June 24, we’d like to provide an update to our previous post as some of the knowledge gaps have been filled. Please note that until the new OS is released and in use, we will not know how successful the following implementations will be, or even that they will be included at all.

In a nutshell, the announcement of Windows 11 is exciting. (Yes, I’m a nerd. I work for an IT company so I’ll accept your understanding for being excited about such things.)

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 11 highlights several key points of design the software company is seeking. These include designing an OS that highlights security, familiarity, and connectivity. Microsoft acknowledged Windows as a central feature of work and school, but also as a gathering place of sorts and a social playground. While this function of technology has been exponentially growing over the last decade or so, COVID really showed how people can stay connected in remote situations. Microsoft has seized on this and attempted to design Windows 11 to best accommodate technology use in this way.

The Good:

Windows 11 Snap Layouts allow easily customizable screen layouts, including dock features to ease transitions connecting and reconnecting dock features. This looks to be a great and useful feature for many who use their laptops as we and many of our customers do: on the go. We’ve been touting dock use as a way to unite multiple locations and design them around one laptop that moves with you. Snap Layouts improves this by maintaining screen layouts and gets you back to work faster.

Microsoft is also touting voice command and gaming advances along with increases in integration for apps including the Android and Amazon store. As well, Microsoft Teams will be directly integrated into the OS, allowing a more seamless and productive experience for those utilizing that platform.

Importantly, during the Windows 11 announcement, the upgrade from Windows 10 is reported to be free! However, Microsoft specifically denotes that it is not committing to a “free forever” model. At minimum, Microsoft has committed to free upgrades for one year from date of general availability.

Microsoft is working to ensure compatibility between Windows 10 and Windows 11 for apps using a feature called AppAssure. While I personally have reservations as to the efficacy of being able to do so with all applications, I am glad to see specific efforts being made to combat some of the growing pains that occurred between Windows 7, 8, and 10.

The Less Good:

Thankfully, this list is relatively short.

Windows 11 requires higher minimum specs than windows 10. This includes 8th Gen or newer Intel proc and Ryzen 2000 and newer procs with 2nd Gen EPYC chips. Microsoft has identified this list as non-exhaustive and some older processors may be able to run Windows 11, but will not be officially supported. Link to full list of supported processors available here.

While I personally enjoy the aesthetics of the OS as presented during the Windows 11 announcement, I have talked to several folks who did not care for the changes. In this most informal of polls, results are mixed thus far for the visual design.

Can I Run It?

Can run PC Health Check from this Microsoft site (approx 3/4 down the page).

Windows 11 is expected to be available later this year for purchase with new PCs and early next year for Windows 10 upgrades.

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