The much-awaited Windows 11 has finally arrived as Microsoft unveils its new UI and security-enhanced Operating System. After its leaked ISO file, many people installed Windows 11 and the hype was created after the first look and people were waiting for its official release, and finally, on June 24th, 2021 Microsoft live-streamed its launching event. Microsoft plans to release Windows 11 to the general public by the holidays, so we can probably expect it sometime around late November. Before that, we’ll likely see a slew of public betas, starting next week. It’ll be a free update to Windows 10 users.
Here are some new Features in Windows 11
Get a fresh perspective: New design and Start menu
Windows 11 provides a calm and creative space where you can pursue your passions through a fresh experience. From a rejuvenated Start menu to new ways to connect to your favorite people, news, games, and content—Windows 11 is the place to think, express, and create in a natural way.
The Start menu now moves away from the big list of applications and instead has a grid of select applications and the second grid of recommended documents. An “All Apps” button likely leads to the traditional list of apps.
The overall goal is to get to where you want to go faster. The new Windows 11 also includes more rounded corners on apps to make it look fresher and a streamlined taskbar. There’s also new colors and transitions, and a new dark mode that makes content stand out.
Windows 11 offers a whole new selection of Widgets, which is powered by Microsoft Edge and AI. These widgets can help you check your calendar at a glance, the weather, news, your to-do list, photos, and more.
Widgets bring you a feed of info you can personalize, and you can decide how you want it to appear on your desktop. You can have Widgets slide out to cover a portion or all of your desktop, depending on what you want.
Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and docking
Windows 11 now features Snap Layouts. You can pick the Snap Layout that you want to choose so you can run multiple apps at the same time. For example, you could have two apps side by side or three in columns or four in a grid, and there are six choices in total.
If you sometimes feel a little lost after having to respond to a notification, Windows 11 includes a new Snap Groups feature in the taskbar. So you can get right back to what you were doing before you had to answer that message.
The same thing applies to the new docking experience. If you unplug a monitor to move rooms, the windows that were on your monitor will minimize. When you go come back and then re-connect to a dock, all of your Windows will re-appear the way they were before.
I personally wanted this feature in Windows 10 as well, now Windows 11 lets you personalize different desktops with their own wallpapers. So you can have a desktop for work, home, school or gaming, each with their own apps and look and feel.
New Windows Store and Android Apps
With Windows 11, Microsoft is redesigning the Microsoft Store, making it faster and easier to find the apps you’re looking for. That’s all well and good, but the announcement that will probably garner the most attention is that Android apps will be directly available for Windows 11.
Later this year, Microsoft says that you’ll be able to find Android apps in Microsoft’s Store and download them through the Amazon Appstore.
Gaming: Auto HDR and Direct Storage
Gaming has always been a big part of Windows, so that’s obviously continuing with Windows 11. Microsoft is introducing some new features specifically aimed at improving the gaming experience in its operating system.
Specifically, Auto HDR is coming to Windows 11, bringing improved contrast and color output without requiring app makers to reconfigure their games. During the Windows 11 launch event, Microsoft showed off a split-screen of Skyrim — one half of the game appeared in SDR and the other in the new Auto HDR. The Auto HDR image was much brighter and featured greater detail.
Windows 11 also adds a DirectStorage API. If you’ve already used an Xbox Series X or Series S — both of which feature direct storage — you’ll notice how fast load times improve.
Finally, Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s gaming subscription service, will still be built right into Windows 11 via the Xbox app.
Although Windows 11 will no longer include certain Microsoft apps as standard, Microsoft is attempting to make Teams much more mainstream by integrating it directly into Windows 11. Chat from Microsoft Teams lets you connect through video calls but also text or voice. And it will work across Windows, Android, and iOS (while FaceTime won’t have an app but only work via web links). You can also start presenting directly from the taskbar.
Check for compatibility
Use the PC Health Check app to see if your current PC meets the requirements to run Windows 11. If so, you can get a free upgrade when it rolls out.
Minimum system requirements
|Processor||1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)|
|Memory||4 GB RAM|
|Storage||64 GB or larger storage device|
|System firmware||UEFI, Secure Boot capable|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Graphics card||DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x|
|Display||9” with HD Resolution (720p)|
|Internet connection||Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home|
Certain features require specific hardware, see detailed system requirements.
Shop for a Windows 11 compatible PC at these retailers