Windows 11: Fresh New Look, but Is It Enough of an Upgrade?

When Home windows 10 was launched again in 2015, Microsoft said that this could be the final main launch with a definite model quantity, as Home windows would turn out to be extra of a service receiving fixed minor updates. Quick ahead to 2021, and Microsoft has different plans for Home windows and its ecosystem. Home windows 11 was introduced in June 2021, and now it is time for the official launch. Let’s have a look at what Home windows 11 brings to the desk.

Getting Home windows 11:

After the announcement of the launch of Home windows 11, there was quite a lot of fuss in regards to the gadgets that would help it. Home windows 11 formally requires a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, UEFI, and Safe Boot with a view to run on a machine, and if yours does not meet these necessities, you won’t be able to put in it. The best option to verify whether or not your {hardware} is eligible is by putting in Microsoft’s personal PC Well being Test software.

If you have not already obtained an alert prompting you to replace, and your PC is appropriate with Home windows 11, you should use the Home windows 11 Set up Assistant Device to obtain and set up the replace onto your system. This won’t erase any of your private information and is much like an OTA (over-the-air) replace – nonetheless, it is at all times advisable to have backups. Equally, you possibly can create a bootable USB drive or a disk picture to carry out a clear set up.

Home windows 11 shall be a free improve for folks coming from Home windows 10. Retail pricing for folks with custom-built PCs has not been revealed but. The set up course of has been given a easy and minimalist redesign, which I personally discovered fairly nice. Microsoft’s official web site showcases the system necessities for Home windows 11: a 1GHz CPU or quicker, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of free storage, a excessive definition (720p) show that’s better than 9 inches diagonally and helps 8 bits per color channel, a GPU that’s appropriate with DirectX 12 or later with a WDDM 2.0 driver, and naturally, the above-mentioned TPM 2.0 safety chip, UEFI, and Safe Boot functionality.

Home windows 11: Design and interface

The Home windows taskbar with a Begin button within the backside left nook is now acquainted to hundreds of thousands of PC customers. Nevertheless, this time round, Microsoft has modified that. The corporate says “With Begin, we have put you and your content material on the centre.”

Sure, the Begin button is now situated roughly within the centre of the taskbar. It took me a while to get used to the truth that it isn’t within the lower-left nook of my display screen anymore. My muscle reminiscence nearly at all times signalled me to maneuver my cursor to the nook. Fortunately, we now have an possibility to maneuver the Begin button again to its conventional place.

The Begin Menu has been redesigned to record all your apps in a extra systematic and arranged method, and you may in fact pin apps that you simply use incessantly. You may as well see all of your put in apps right here. There is a Really useful part, whereby yow will discover not too long ago accessed information and folders. The Begin Menu has been designed to be according to the frosted glass theme that you’re going to see all through Home windows 11, and it appears to be like good. Oh, and say adios to Dwell Tiles. These have been the animated squares you possibly can see everytime you opened the Begin menu in Home windows 10. They have been applied to indicate you reside updates for apps similar to Climate, Calendar, and many others, however that performance has been moved elsewhere – extra on that later.

startbutton taskbar windows11 gadgets360 Start Menu Windows 11

The taskbar is centred and a few purposes are pinned for straightforward entry

In case you right-click on the taskbar, you now see only one possibility that allows you to enter the taskbar settings, as an alternative of the plethora of choices in earlier variations of Home windows. Nevertheless, this implies you can not reposition the taskbar to both facet or the highest of your display screen anymore with Home windows 11, which is type of a bummer. The Begin button follows all the brand new design fundamentals of Home windows 11 with rounded corners, vibrant icons, pinned apps, and an enormous search bar. The search button feels extra helpful and responsive in comparison with Home windows 10’s model. In case you hover over the icon, it’ll present you your most up-to-date searches, which may prevent a while.

Additionally, you will see Microsoft Groups built-in into the taskbar. I am not completely certain how pinning Groups right here is helpful to everybody, however it’s one thing Microsoft needs you to strive. Through the pandemic, many individuals have turned to video calling on platforms similar to Zoom, Google Meet and Groups, and that may very well be the explanation that Home windows now has Groups positioned entrance and centre. In case you favor to not use Microsoft Groups, you possibly can disable this from the taskbar settings.

Home windows 11 brings some new themes and wallpapers which are enticing. The Personalisation settings panel shouldn’t be a lot completely different in comparison with Home windows 10 – each setting possibility is neatly organised right here, and you may change the wallpaper and tweak the theme colors, lock display screen, taskbar, font, and background to your liking.

Home windows 11: Widgets

The taskbar now additionally offers you entry to widgets, which I personally am not an enormous fan of. These mainly present fast updates from apps and providers, considerably changing Dwell Tiles. The Information widget exhibits present occasions from internationally of politics, finance, sports activities, know-how, and many others. This was made out there in current variations of Home windows 10 as properly. Nevertheless, it has a distinct look right here and it additionally exhibits up from the left facet of your display screen as an alternative of the underside proper.

widgets windows11 gadgets360 Widgets Windows 11

Widgets seem in a panel on the left facet of your display screen

You may add numerous widgets, and there are 11 choices from Microsoft to select from at launch time. These embody Outlook Calendar, Ideas, Sports activities Information and Scores, Images, Leisure, Visitors Updates, Household Security, and curiously sufficient, Esports as properly.

Sadly, we can not but combine third-party widgets into this panel, which makes it much less helpful. In case you click on or faucet on any of those widgets, the linked content material will open in Microsoft Edge, it doesn’t matter what your default browser is.

Home windows 11: Notifications Panel and Settings

One other main design change you may see all over the place is rounded corners. These have been applied throughout the UI, and I’ve to say, I fairly prefer it. Microsoft is clearly taking some inspiration from Android and macOS with respect to design. This will also be seen within the Notification Centre which not has its personal icon. It’s now built-in into Time and Calendar. This appears to be like very well completed and suits completely into the imaginative and prescient of Home windows 11.

The standing icons subsequent to the clock within the decrease proper nook of the desktop have now been grouped, and a single click on will pull up a brand new Fast Settings panel. Lots of the Fast Toggles that used to sit down within the Notification Centre have additionally been included right here. This panel means that you can tweak audio settings, display screen brightness on a laptop computer, and Wi-Fi in addition to Bluetooth connections. Home windows 11 permits you to add further controls similar to Casting, Cell Hotspot, Keyboard Layouts, and many others.

wifisettings windows11 gadgets360 Quick Settings Panel Windows 11

Fast settings for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and different incessantly used options are grouped on this panel

The Settings app has gone by way of a design overhaul too. Home windows 10 made us swap between the Settings app and the age-old Management Panel for a lot of superior settings. You would possibly nonetheless have to go to the Management Panel for some duties, however we are able to see that with Home windows 11, Microsoft remains to be making an attempt to eliminate it. The Settings app now appears to be like and feels extra nice and user-friendly. It exhibits you all of the classes with icons, considerably much like a smartphone expertise, which could make issues simpler to seek out for many individuals

Windows11: File Explorer

File Explorer has been fully redesigned. The icons look good, and the frosted glass look has been unfold over your complete UI. It feels as if Home windows is making an attempt to appear like macOS but additionally not appear like macOS on the identical time. One factor that bugs me is the truth that folder icons not present thumbnails of their contents, similar to photographs. The default Paperwork, Downloads, Movies, and Footage folders are actually vibrantly colour-coded, and these look cartoonish, however they’re now extra differentiated and rapidly recognisable.

file explorer windows11 gadgets360 File Explorer Windows 11

File Explorer will get a vibrant overhaul

The Home windows Explorer toolbar, which contained all the required instruments and shortcut buttons, has additionally been redesigned fully and can present contextual choices relying on what is chosen. Proper-clicking on any file or folder will open up a compact context menu with the standard Lower, Copy, Paste and Rename choices moved to the highest

Home windows 11: Snap Layouts and Snap Teams

That is in all probability what excites me probably the most about this improve. Microsoft is specializing in multitasking with the launch of Home windows 11, and I’m all for it. Snap is one thing that was first launched with Home windows 7, permitting customers to rapidly tile program home windows facet by facet. Home windows 10 improved that, including extra flexibility. This time round, Microsoft has launched Snap Teams, that are unique to Home windows 11.

Hovering over the Maximise button on a window or hitting Win + Z will now allow you to select a Snap Format. A menu exhibits you completely different grid templates that you would be able to select from, relying in your wants. When you select a template, Home windows will present you the apps you’ve open within the background, so you possibly can assign them slots.

snaplayouts windows11 gadgets360 Snap Layouts Windows 11

Snap Layouts and Snap Teams make multi-tasking simpler in Home windows 11

Home windows will now keep in mind your Snap Teams and present them as a set while you hover over an app’s taskbar icon, making it simpler so that you can multitask. In case you minimise an app when within the Snap Group, now you can return to the identical format by hovering over the taskbar icon of the app and deciding on Snap Group. One of the best half is that even for those who typically join your laptop computer to an exterior monitor and create Snap Teams, Home windows 11 will keep in mind the proper association the subsequent time you are plugged in. That is actually environment friendly because you wouldn’t have to create one other Group every time you hook up with an exterior monitor.

Home windows 11: Microsoft Retailer

The Microsoft retailer, identical to all the pieces else, has additionally obtained a recent new look. The shop classes have now been reduce all the way down to Apps, Films, TV Reveals and likewise Video games. The primary spotlight of the Microsoft Retailer is the upcoming help for native Android apps, with the assistance of Amazon’s Appstore.

microsoft store windows11 gadgets360 Microsoft Store

Microsoft Retailer additionally will get a model new look

Microsoft confirmed us a fast preview of this on the Home windows 11 launch occasion by opening the TikTok app on a Home windows 11 PC. There is no mounted date for when this performance shall be prepared to be used, however it’ll include a future replace. The apps presently out there within the retailer are Progressive Internet Apps in addition to Legacy Win32 and UWP apps.

Home windows 11: For players

There isn’t any approach Microsoft will overlook players. Home windows 11 advantages from some new gaming-centric options, together with Auto HDR, DirectStorage, and a extra built-in Xbox app.

What does Auto HDR imply and what is going to it do to enhance your gaming expertise? In easy phrases, HDR (Excessive Dynamic Vary) refers back to the potential to breed a large spectrum of sunshine between the darkest a part of the show and the brightest. This could change your complete feel and appear of a sport with richer colors and better distinction. Auto HDR is a brand new characteristic that permits video games that weren’t designed from HDR to nonetheless profit from it. You may want a monitor or a laptop computer show that helps Excessive Dynamic Vary, and video games that run on DirectX 11 or larger.

As for DirectStorage, it helps video games to load quicker by eliminating bottlenecks between your PC’s storage and graphics {hardware}. This requires no less than a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD with 1TB of area, and a GPU that helps DirectX 12. A PCIe 4.0 SSD is really useful for optimum efficiency. This is identical know-how used within the not too long ago launched Xbox Sequence S and Xbox Sequence X. Each DirectStorage and AutoHDR shall be supported on Home windows 10 as properly, although.

Final however not least, the Xbox Sport Go for PC and Xbox apps have been mixed so that you not have to juggle between them. A membership allows entry to 100+ high-quality PC video games from Microsoft and Bethesda on launch day. Moreover, you will get an EA Play Membership with Sport Go for PC or Final.

Home windows 11 Verdict: Does it make sense to improve?

Microsoft has restricted the variety of gadgets that may formally run the most recent model of Home windows, with its restrictive {hardware} necessities. A lot of the newest laptops will help Home windows 11, however you are in all probability out of luck for those who constructed your personal desktop PC or use something greater than round 4 years previous. With that mentioned, in case your gadget helps Home windows 11, there is no such thing as a motive you shouldn’t improve.

It’s under no circumstances a colossal enchancment over Home windows 10 in the case of performance, nevertheless it does provide you with a recent new feel and appear. Microsoft has targeted extra on the person expertise, and applied just a few minor adjustments right here and there. Due to the improved Snap Help and Snap Teams, it’s now a lot simpler to multitask on Home windows.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is but to truly roll out among the main options that have been highlighted on the launch occasion, which embody help for native Android apps by way of the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft has additionally eliminated fundamental features similar to the flexibility to tug and drop information into purposes pinned to the taskbar. Some remnants of Home windows 10 and even older variations can nonetheless be seen too.

General, if you’re used to Home windows 10, this new improve mustn’t hinder your expertise with something unfamiliar or sudden. As I mentioned, the replace is extra about design than operate. If you’re sceptical about Home windows 11, I would counsel ready, because you would not lose out on a lot.

As soon as you have put in Home windows 11 and want to roll again to Home windows 10, you are able to do so by going into the Begin menu > Settings > Home windows Replace > Superior choices > Restoration after which hitting the ‘Go Again’ possibility. Take into account, it will solely be attainable for 10 days after the improve since Home windows will delete all of the rollback information to avoid wasting area after that.


  • Contemporary and enticing UI
  • Snap Layouts and Snap Teams are very useful


  • No help for native Android apps but
  • Some acquainted shortcuts and customisation choices do not work anymore
  • Requires trendy {hardware}

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