Review: Microsoft Windows 11
- Microsoft Windows 11 has new look that is both beautiful and more dependable
- There are a lot of alternatives when it comes to arranging the windows
- Microsoft Windows 11 has the inclusion of new video game features
- Enhanced multi-monitor capabilities.
- Improved performance thanks to the addition of new features in Windows 11
- Android apps support coming soon in Microsoft Windows 11
After Microsoft declared in 2015 that Windows 10 was the operating system's final version number, many people were surprised to learn that there will be a Microsoft Windows 11.
Due to increased competition from Chrome OS, Microsoft may have felt the need to make a more substantial interface update, and Windows 11 takes extensively from Google's lightweight desktop layout.
Despite its dramatically different appearance, Windows 11 is nearly identical in functionality to Windows 10, with the addition of a few new features and comforts to make it more user-friendly.
After six years of mediocre upgrades, the announcement of a major overhaul to the world's most popular desktop operating system Microsoft Windows 11 is a breath of fresh air. Windows users will finally have something to look forward to.
Although Microsoft Windows 11 is a new iteration of the operating system, we were surprised to find that it didn't feel all that different when compared to Windows 10. It still runs all of the same applications, and much of what's new is simply refinishing and rearrangement of the furniture in a different configuration.
With rounded corners for all windows and the Taskbar icons in the middle of them, as well as simpler icons and more elegant Settings dialogues, Microsoft Windows 11 is a visual improvement over Windows 8, but it does not feel completely foreign or necessitate a complete reinstall like Windows 8.
Although the new interface is visually appealing, if you favor the more comfortable Windows 10-style look, you may want to stay with Windows 10 for the time being.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Windows 11 vs its Predecessors and How to get Windows 11
As announced earlier on the Windows Experience Blog, Windows 11 was released on October 5, 2021, and will be available for purchase.
First and foremost, the upgrade is being made available to recently purchased and newly constructed PCs, and then it will be made available for free to Windows 10 computers on a rolling basis, based on certified hardware combinations. The implementation of Microsoft Windows 11 will be completed by the middle of 2022.
Windows 11 prices has not been revealed for non-upgrades, which include DIY PC builds, virtual machine installations, and computers that are not running Windows 10.
I assume the pricing for standalone licenses to remain the same as it was for Windows 10 — $139.99 for Home editions and $199.99 for Pro editions—but Microsoft has yet to provide any information on whether or not such an option would be available after the launch of Microsoft Windows 11.
The system requirements for Microsoft Windows 11 have been much discussed, but they are actually rather low: a 1GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Because there is no longer a 32-bit version of the operating system, a 64-bit processor will be necessary.
You'll also need a computer that has a TPM security chip and the ability to boot into Secure Boot mode. Because they've been defaulting on most PCs for the previous six or seven years, they're less of an issue than the internet makes them out to be, according to the experts.
The CPU model, which has to be from the previous four years or so, is the big stumbling block here. Microsoft recently re-released the PC Health Check program, which examines your PC's capability to run Microsoft Windows 11, and the company said that more PCs would be able to update to it in the future.
The installation of Windows 11 via Windows Update should be seamless for anyone using one of the newest processors available. Downloadable ISO disc image files for the beta Insider version of Microsoft Windows 11 are now available for installation on a PC or virtual machine.
This allows for in-place upgrades as well as clean deployments on a PC or virtual machine. In addition, a comparable setup option is now accessible for the launch version of Microsoft Windows 11 by visiting Microsoft's Download Windows 11 website.
Some sources claim that installing the operating system using the ISO installer skips the system's hardware requirements, but this is not recommended because you may not be able to get future operating system upgrades if you run it on incompatible hardware.
Just like with Microsoft Windows 10, there really are two versions of Windows 11: a Home edition and a Professional edition. To upgrade to Windows 11 Home, you'll need to sign in to your Microsoft account online, which has made some people upset in the comments section.
However, I don't think it's an issue worth getting worked up about. Those who are adamant about not configuring the operating system are likely to be using the Pro edition of the software. Could I propose Ubuntu as an alternative if you don't want to pay for it and you don't want to sign in with an online account for your operating system?
A final word on installation of Microsoft Windows 11 : if you prefer the earlier operating system version, you'll be able to roll back to Windows 10 for 10 days after you've completed the process. Microsoft has declared that it would continue to support Windows 10 until 2025.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: User Interface
After we've gotten those specifics out of the way, let's take a look at what's new in the Microsoft Windows 11. Because the majority of the effort was devoted to modernizing the interface rather than developing new capabilities, Windows 11 is more familiar than you may imagine, as I said before.
It incorporates concepts from Chrome OS, yet you may still set app icons on the desktop background, which is something that Google's lightweight desktop operating system does not allow.
Windowing and multitasking are still significantly more advanced in Windows 11 than they were previously. All windows in the interface now have rounded corners (similar to those in macOS), which is a small but noticeable improvement in the overall appearance of the operating system.
As you'll see in the next section, much of the new design provides a welcome new slickness and consistency to Windows' interface, but there are a few modifications that I'm not a fan of, as you'll see in the following section.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: File Explorer, Taskbar, Start Menu
The Windows Start button has been moved from the lower left-hand corner of the interface in Microsoft Windows 11 version. Therefore, getting accustomed to it is located at the left side of a screen full of centered icons may be one of the most significant habituations you have to make.
What's bothering me about this is that the Start menu has always been at the exact same location on my computer. However, when you add more apps to the list, the cursor goes further to the left.
Microsoft Windows versions dating back more than two decades, not having to worry about the location of the Start button was a significant convenience. Fortunately, there is a Taskbar alignment option that allows you to restore the Start button to its proper location in the left corner.
I'm also not a fan of the new Taskbar of Windows 11 Version, which has smaller and less-informative buttons than the previous version. Using Windows 10, it is completely obvious which apps are now operating, as the Taskbar buttons for currently running programs are broader if you opt not to combine them in the Settings.
Having said that, you can still hover your cursor over the buttons to view a thumbnail of the app window and right-click to open the Jump List, which displays recent documents and other popular activities for the program.
The Start Menu has been completely redesigned in the Microsoft Windows 11. Pinned app buttons (which are larger than icons but smaller than Windows 10's tiles) are located at the top of the panel's navigation bar.
Recent and frequently used applications and documents are located in a section beneath them. Because of this, the new mini-tiles in the Start menu are still useful for touch input; but, you lose the information that live tiles provide, which can be unpleasant at times.
Another issue I have in the Microsoft Windows 11 is with the new Start menu is that it is more difficult to get to the All Apps view than it was in Windows 10 prior to the update.
Starting with that version of Windows 11, you can view all of your installed programs as soon as you visit the Start menu; they're organized in a list on the left, and tiles for your pinned apps are organized on the right.
Especially notable are the revised left panel controls and folder icons in File Explorer, which serve as excellent examples of Microsoft Windows 11's new style. Take note of the simpler ribbon along the top of the screen, which is significantly less crowded and distracting than the previous File Explorer's ribbon.
A new folder or document supported by your apps can be created using the New button in the top left, and the same display choices (list, details, and different-sized icons) for files are accessible as with folders.
File compression, selection, and Properties settings, as well as the old Folder Options dialogue, are all available via the overflow menu of the File menu. Rather than becoming longer and longer over time, the right-click context menus in Microsoft Windows 11 become shorter, smarter, and easier to go through.
They now only display the options that are most frequently used.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Widgets
The New Microsoft Windows 11 includes a new Widget panel, which displays tiles with information like news, weather, stock quotations, sports scores, and other information. It isn't entirely new, as the News and Interests Taskbar popup that was introduced lately in the Microsoft Windows 10 is quite similar to the one described here.
Having the News and Interests weather indication permanently visible in the Taskbar in Windows 10 has become second nature to me, and a Windows Insider test build indicates that Microsoft is considering bringing this essential taskbar icon back.
In order to see the same information in the Microsoft Windows 11, you must first select the Widgets icon from the Taskbar. As an alternative to the first-party tiles created by Microsoft, third-party developers can provide content using the widgets available in Microsoft Windows 11.
To open them, touch screen users may just swipe in from the left, and you can expand the widget panel to fill the entire screen if you want a larger view.
The entertainment widget and acrylic context menu are displayed in Dark mode on the widgets.
A new movie or television show can be discovered with the Entertainment widget, while the Family widget is useful for individuals who use the Microsoft Family Safety parental control tools.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Quick Settings and Notifications
Microsoft has divided the Windows 10 Action Center into two different panels with separate tap targets for each of these panels. In this way, it is similar to Apple's redesigned macOS notification area, which was previously a neat, uncomplicated single panel, but is now a jumble of smaller popups.
I still prefer the single Action Center panel for notifications and quick settings in the Microsoft Windows 11, even though it isn't quite as terrible as the macOS version of the same feature. I enjoy the circled number that indicates how many alerts you have, which is similar to those found on several mobile app icons.
Users who use a touch device can bring up the Notifications panel by swiping in from the right in Microsoft Windows 11.
When you click or tap on the Wi-Fi, speaker, or battery icons on the home screen, the Quick Settings panel appears.
By default, it displays buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Battery Saver, Focus Assist, and Accessibility, as well as sliders for the level of the audio and the brightness of the display. It is possible to change the buttons that appear by selecting a Pencil icon from the toolbar in Windows 11.
You can choose from Connect (for external displays and audio), Keyboard layout, Nearby sharing (like AirDrop for PCs), Night light, and Project.
You can still hover over any of the three symbols in the Taskbar to check their current condition, but I like to have only sound settings surface when I click on the speaker icon and only Wi-Fi options appear when I click on the Wi-Fi icon, rather than the entire list of options.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Settings
Although the new Settings interface in Microsoft Windows 11 is a welcome improvement over the previous version, certain advanced dialogues retain features of the previous design.
When it comes to Microsoft Windows 10, one of the most vexing aspects is the inconsistency of its settings windows and dialogues. Sometimes you uninstall an application through the modern Settings app, and other times you uninstall a program through the ancient Control Panel.
It is virtually completely eliminated in Microsoft Windows 11 from this discrepancy. Some detailed controls, such as sound devices, nevertheless display their content in the old form, despite the fact that the window is designed in the new style.
Light and dark mode settings are still available in the Personalization > Colors section of the settings menu, and the modes appear significantly better than they did in Microsoft Windows 10, particularly the dark mode, which makes effective use of transparency. When contrasted to macOS, the dark mode can now hold its head high and be proud of its accomplishments.
You can still customize the system sounds in the Settings menu, but the new Microsoft Windows 11 default collection of sounds is smooth, speedy, and up to date with today's technology.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Snap Layouts and Multitasking
Windows has traditionally outperformed Mac OS X when it comes to the ability to arrange app windows on the screen, and the gap is growing even wider with the introduction of Snap Layouts in Microsoft Windows 11.
You can use this tool by hovering the cursor over the maximize button at the top right of any window—this appears to be a bit hidden to me, and I hope and expect Microsoft to make this feature more visible in some way.
You can choose from a variety of layouts in the Microsoft Windows 11. if you hover over the maximize button, such as two windows next to each other, three windows with one huge and two mini windows, and so on, as illustrated in the example below.
Snap Layouts display as alternatives in the Taskbar, allowing you to access either a group of programs or a single app depending on your preference. When you open a collection of programs on an external display numerous times, you'll see that the layouts are kept.
Multiple virtual desktops are still available in Microsoft Windows 11, which I find to be really beneficial for segregating business programs and webpages from personal websites and apps.
In order to go back and forth between them, I use the Ctrl–Windows Key–Arrow keyboard shortcut, or the Windows Key–Tab keyboard shortcut to choose one from Task View.
With Microsoft Windows 11, you can now navigate back and forth using a four-finger swipe, which is something Mac users have been able to do for years, though only via the trackpad rather than directly on the screen.
Another new feature is the option to customize the desktop backgrounds for each individual desktop.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Teams' Chat Integration
By default, Microsoft's Teams chat and video conferencing application is prominently displayed in the center of the Taskbar. In some senses, this is a logical decision: With the growing importance of virtual meetings, it is possible that Microsoft may capture a portion of the video conferencing business in Windows 11.
Even including the Skype Meet Now buttons in Windows 10's Notification Area failed to achieve this result. Although Skype has become less popular, it continues to be a fantastic and extremely capable communication tool.
However, it is possible that after Windows 11 becomes the dominant operating system, the widespread use of the operating system would speed the adoption of Teams chat.
To begin, select the chat icon from the toolbar. You will be prompted to enable the app access to your Microsoft account and associated contacts during the installation process. When you tap the icon again after completing the initial setup, you will be presented with a list of all of your contacts.
To begin a conversation, select one of the options. Because your friends are unlikely to be using Teams chat at this time, the app includes an invitation to join Teams (which is free for personal use) with the first message it sends.
While in a video chat, one odd aspect of the UI in the Microsoft Windows 11 is that you see a second Taskbar icon for Teams in addition to the center chat icon; this seems to me to be an unnecessary duplication of functionality.
One particularly compelling aspect of Windows 11's Teams application is that it allows you to communicate from your PC with anyone who has a mobile via SMS—and that communication is completely free!
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Snipping Tool
Snip & Sketch, a fantastic screenshot utility released with Microsoft Windows 10, is a must-have for anyone who uses the operating system.
You could take a screenshot by using the Windows Key-Shift-S keyboard shortcut, which allowed you to choose a portion of the screen (either rectangular or free-form), a window, or the entire screen, and then paste it into an image editor.
Instead, a new Snipping Tool is included with Microsoft Windows 11. In honor of a previous, less functional screenshot tool that was a fan favorite among Windows aficionados, this new tool has been named after it.
Before taking a screenshot, the Snipping Tool allows you to set an optional timed delay. The traditional PrtScr (Print Screen) key, the Game Bar, and several third-party snapshot programs are all still available as options for taking screenshots in Microsoft Windows 11, as is the case with previous versions of the operating system.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Windows 11 available on Tablets
Some of Microsoft Windows 11's most useful tablets and touch-friendly features are no longer available. Most crucially, you can no longer open the task-switching view by swiping in from the left, which is a gesture I use all the time on my Surface Go tablet, which is a disappointment.
In addition, you can no longer close an app by swiping down from the top of the screen. This deletion is less significant because you can still close the window by using the X button in the upper right corner, just as you would in desktop mode.
However, while using a mobile device, the down-swipe is more direct and requires less finesse than when using a desktop computer. A new three-finger swipe gesture has been introduced in Microsoft Windows 11 to expose the Task View and to reduce (but not close) an application on the desktop.
A three-finger swipe to the left or right changes between running applications. And, of course, you can utilize the Task View button in the Taskbar, but that isn't quite as quick as a sweep of the thumb on the keyboard.
However, tablet users with Microsoft Windows 11 Operating System will benefit from additional stylus capabilities and touch keyboard techniques that may be performed on the screen. It is always a plus to have haptic feedback with a pen-like the new Surface Slim Pen 2.
This latest-generation pen (which is available on the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio) buzzes in your hand when you perform actions such as deleting previously written text or tapping the Back button to access the Whiteboard app, among other things in Windows 11.
In that app, you can get the complete digital inking experience, which has progressed to the point where it feels almost identical to writing with a traditional pen.
Highlighting text, writing freehand (although sloppily), and sketching diagrams are just a few examples of what you can do with your pen on Microsoft Windows 11.
Microsoft Windows 11 allows you to turn what you write into digital text if you want to be more efficient. In addition to supporting swipe text entry and providing a large range of emoji and gifs, the on-screen keyboard also allows you to choose the background of your device.
Speaking of emoji, Microsoft has unveiled new emoji in Windows 11 that are influenced by the Fluent design language. You may access a small panel with a generous range of symbols, special characters, and emojis by pressing the Windows Key–. (period) on the Microsoft Windows 11, just as you could on its predecessor.
The new emoji "would scale to the expansive set of Unicode emoji," she writes, and as "more modern and expressive emoji to use in your hybrid communications, allowing you to add fun, expression,
Voice typing (which is useful for both tablets and non-tablet devices) is the new moniker for Microsoft Windows 10's great speech dictation capability, which was formerly known as Windows Speech Dictation.
Since its introduction several years ago, Windows' voice-to-text feature has advanced significantly, and it now employs machine learning algorithms to fix its guesses and punctuation.
To access the tool, use the Windows Key–H keyboard shortcut or the microphone icon on the on-screen touch keyboard to launch it, just as you did with the prior dictation capability. Then you simply dictate the text that you want to be entered into the on-screen text area and press enter.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Android apps support coming soon
The Store, like the rest of the interface, has been given a sleek aesthetic makeover. In addition to apps, the Store provides access to movies, television series, and video games.
One of the most anticipated new features is the ability for Microsoft Windows 11 to run Android applications, however, there are certain restrictions.
You'll have to either install them through the Amazon Appstore, which is housed within the Microsoft Store on Windows or use a sideloaded APK. However, Android applications were made available in the Insider beta version of Microsoft Windows 11, which was not available in the first Windows 11 release.
Even more significant for the store is the fact that developers will no longer be required to write with the UWP app type in order to be included. Even Microsoft's own colossal Visual Studio development tool is now available for purchase online.
Microsoft also stated that Progressive Web Apps, which are essentially websites that have been enhanced with code to give them app-like characteristics, will be added to the Store in the near future.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: Pre-loaded apps have been updated
The basic programs, such as Photos (which has an upgraded version in beta), the FLAC-capable Groove Music player, Voice Recorder, two Paint apps (3D and a rebuilt classic Paint), Mail, and Calendar, are all included in addition to the apps available in the Store.
As Microsoft Windows 11 development progresses, we can expect to see significant improvements in the last two areas mentioned. Initially, we will continue to use the existing applications, although with rounded corners, but future versions will be based on the fantastic Progressive Web App versions of Outlook.com, which are now under development.
Updates to the Paint software (though I've grown to appreciate the current Paint 3D), as well as new versions of Notepad (with a dark mode!) and the Calculator, have already been teased by Microsoft.
Although the venerable Windows Media Player program is still available in Microsoft Windows 11, Microsoft has announced that a slick new updated version of the media player app is on its way. The media player software is already available in Windows 10.
This Media Player will take the place of Groove, and if you have music stored in Groove, your collection and playlists will be immediately transferred to the new Media Player when it becomes available.
Whether the new player will also serve as a replacement for Windows' default video player and catalog application for content purchased from Microsoft's online store is unclear at this time.
The chrome-based alloy Microsoft Edge is the default browser in Microsoft Windows 11, as Internet Explorer is no longer available as stand-alone software. However, enterprises that require IE capability for their bespoke business apps can invoke that feature through Edge if that option is enabled in the browser settings.
Web critics have criticized Microsoft's decision to need Edge for several operating system-related functions such as the news widget and the built-in search, but you may still use the browser of your choice as the default link opener, despite the criticism.
In addition to the Microsoft Windows 11, the company is experimenting with a Set Default Browser button to make switching between browsers easier.
Particularly noteworthy is the revised Clock app, which now has a feature that assists you in completing tasks.
Despite the fact that it continues to include alarm clock features such as timers and a world clock, its Focus Sessions feature now integrates with Spotify to provide you with appropriate background music for your tasks as well as with the To-Do app, allowing you to check off tasks as they are completed.
It's a little more difficult to designate programs as the default for specific file kinds in Microsoft Windows 11 because you have to alter the setting for each file type, rather than choosing one app to handle all photo files, as you could in previous versions.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: New Possibilities and Gaming
Gamer PCs are rarely excluded from significant new Windows updates, and the release of Microsoft Windows 11 is no exception. There are two areas that benefit: game selection and technological advancements.
For starters, the Xbox app embedded into Microsoft Windows 11 gives you access to the Xbox Game Pass collection of video games, which is a subscription service. Among these are titles such as Halo Infinite, Twelve Minutes, and Age of Empires IV, among others.
Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft's streaming game platform, is also made available through the app. It essentially puts PCs on an equal footing with Xboxes, albeit users retain flexibility over how much hardware power they want to devote to their gaming sessions.
The gaming critic at Expert Reviews goes so far as to say that with Microsoft Windows 11, Microsoft has effectively turned every PC into an Xbox.
When it comes to new game technologies, Microsoft Windows 11 introduces Auto HDR and Direct Storage, among other features. The first widens the color space to reveal higher clarity even in games that are not high-dynamic-range (HDR).
Using the second technology, Direct Storage (which is a subset of the Xbox Velocity Architecture), you can reduce game loading times by bypassing the CPU and allowing graphics memory to be loaded straight from the disc.
One of the other technological advancements in Microsoft Windows 11 is Dynamic Refresh, which can help you preserve battery life on your laptop by lowering the high refresh rate of your screen when it isn't needed. Additionally, the operating system supports the much faster Wi-Fi 6E standard.
The requirements for TPM and Secure Boot are part of Microsoft's effort to strengthen the operating system's security technologies, which is a topic worthy of its own page.
According to various performance checker tools, the new operating system is roughly on par with Windows 10 in terms of raw performance. Our team performed benchmark tests on the same PC with Windows 10 and then again after upgrading to Windows 11.
The results showed that the gaming performance and productivity performance were both improved. The team discovered that Microsoft Windows 11 performs just as well as previous versions, and in some cases, even outperforms them in terms of frame rates and productivity tests.
Direct Storage has not yet been put through its paces, but except for a post on the subject in the near future on Expert Reviews.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: More in Accessibility
Adding to the existing accessibility features such as Narrator, Magnifier, Closed Captions, and Windows Speech Recognition, Microsoft outlined new accessibility features in Microsoft Windows 11 in a follow-up blog post to the one that announced the new operating system.
The company also provides detailed assistance for third-party assistive technologies For instance, Microsoft Windows 11 includes new Contrast themes, updated closed caption themes, and Windows Voice Typing is driven by artificial intelligence.
In addition, the new operating system has APIs for developing assistive applications, as well as the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) currently includes accessibility settings.
What Features Will Be Discontinued in Windows 11?
It is only logical that certain legacy functionalities will no longer work with the fresh approach taken by Microsoft with Windows 11.
There are a couple of window-related conveniences that I enjoy, but that isn't used very often that will be removed. Aero Peek, as well as Aero Shake, also are disabled by design in Microsoft Windows 11, so you can set them back on in the Settings app if you like.
Although the Cortana artificial intelligence voice assistant is not preloaded on Windows 11 PCs by standard, it is still accessible through the Windows Store. Live tiles have also been phased out, with Widgets taking up the functions they previously provided.
Instead of tablet mode, Microsoft has introduced "additional features and the ability for keyboard connect and release postures," according to the company. Another feature that has been removed from Windows 10 is the Timeline, however, the Suggested part of the Start menu still displays your most recently used documents and apps.
Microsoft Windows 11 Review: It's time to replace your Windows
Apart from a few minor quibbles, we appreciate Microsoft's continued focus on its flagship program. For the past couple of years, the organization has concentrated its efforts on its Azure cloud, which is understandable given the revenue growth of that division.
The Microsoft Windows 11 delivers a clean new design, handy new tools, improved default programs, additional abilities, and optimizations over its predecessors. Perhaps this will be sufficient to entice some Chrome OS or Mac customers to switch.
Although it is still beginning for the desktop operating system that is already installed on 1.3 billion computers, we anticipate Microsoft perfecting and improving the layout of the Microsoft Windows 11 in the upgrades.
While Windows 11 preserves the great majority of the features available in Windows 10, it also improves the operating system by incorporating more appealing, modern UI elements and new features such as Snap Layouts and Widgets into the mix.
As a result, amid some teething problems and the lack of familiarity it offers, Microsoft Windows 11 continues to be a top-rated desktop operating system, but with a slightly lower rating of four stars from Expert Reviews. We anticipate that Microsoft will continue to make significant improvements in a continuous trickle.