For the past 6 years, Windows users have sat passively by while the technological world has transformed at an alarming rate. Windows 10 stayed basically unaltered over this time. Because of the many issues that plagued Microsoft’s occasional “feature upgrades,” the company had to put a halt to the releases. And yet, despite its bumpy road, Windows 10 will be remembered as a triumph, a band-aid to the problems its predecessors left behind. PC users got dependable performance, touchscreen screens were popular, and hybrid 2-in-1 laptops became commonplace as a result.
However, Windows 10 has had a difficult time remaining relevant. Operating systems used by over a billion people have dated interfaces and outdated applications. The solution to this problem may be found in Windows 11 which we will see in this Windows 11 review. For about a month, We’ve been using the OS in some form, and We’ve just spent the last few days working with the finished result.
In general, Windows 11 is a positive move forward for the operating system industry. However, this current update builds on the foundations of Windows 10 while also providing contemporary aesthetics and some beneficial productivity tools. It will not alter the way you interact with the digital world. Even yet, it’s not always a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the glass. While some of the new features may annoy consumers, there aren’t many surprises under this fresh coat of paint in terms of substantive improvements.
Keep in mind that this operating system is still under development. As a result, this Windows 11 evaluation is also valid. We’ll keep you informed on Windows 11’s developments by updating this Windows 11 review regularly.
- Modern interfaces and icons
- Stable performance
- Microsoft Store is a major upgrade
- Snap View works great
- Gorgeous new backgrounds
- Integrated Microsoft products feel intrusive
- Restrictive system requirements
- Some interfaces are stuck in the past
- Android app integration missing at launch
- The Taskbar can be frustrating
Download and Setup
On October 5, 2021, Microsoft released Windows 11 as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users with a suitable PC (see below). Even though Windows 11 won’t be made accessible to all machines until mid-2022, you may go ahead and manually download it now. All new PCs will have it pre-installed.
Even if your PC checks all the compatibility boxes for Windows 11, you’re under no obligation to upgrade to Windows 11. If you choose not to update, Windows 10 will be supported until October 14, 2025, at the earliest. To put that in perspective, Microsoft will continue to support it for a further four years before putting an end to it altogether. If everything goes according to plan, Windows 11 will be a smooth sailing experience by then (and you might have to update your hardware anyway).
Windows 11 users who wish to go back to Windows 10 have 10 days from the time of download to do so.
System Requirements may compel you to buy a new PC
Windows 11 can only be used if your PC meets the minimum system requirements. If you’re using AMD, you’ll need a CPU that’s at least as recent as the Ryzen 2000 series (which arrived in late 2017). The Snapdragon 850 and later Qualcomm PC CPUs will function as well.
A dual-core 1-GHz 64-bit CPU, 64 GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM are also required. A 9-inch or higher resolution monitor is required, as is a graphics card that is compatible with DirectX 12 or later and the WDDM 2.0 driver.
The requirement for a TPM, a security chip mounted on the CPU, has produced a lot of uncertainty. It’s a relief to know that TPM 2.0 is now standard on Windows laptops launched after 2016, so you’re fine to go. All of this information can be found without digging through your laptop’s specifications or trying to recall when you bought it. It’s now possible to check whether your PC is up to date using Microsoft’s helpful PC Health Check program, which is free to download.
Becoming Fluent in Fluent
In 2017, Microsoft created a vision for the future appearance of its operating system using its Fluent design language. As a result of this technology’s implementation, Windows becomes a softer operating system with rounded edges, transparency, and splashes of color. Recent Windows 10 upgrades gave us a glimmer of what’s to come, but it was like applying touch-up paint to a faded canvas. Windows 11 has undergone a radical transformation.
To begin, there are some stunning new wallpapers to enjoy, but the most notable change is the redesigned Start Menu, which is now positioned in the Taskbar’s center. Although moving the icons has had no quantifiable influence on our productivity, We appreciate the more symmetrical appearance. It’s OK if you don’t. With Microsoft’s help, you can easily restore your Start Menu to its original location on the left side of the Taskbar.
When you click on the Start Menu, your favorite programs will appear, but they won’t be displayed in tiles as they usually are. Yes, Windows 8’s Live Tiles have been phased out and replaced with a grid of program icons on a consistent grey backdrop. The “Recommended” area follows the “Featured” section and displays recently used files and programs.
The new configuration is preferable since it has a clearer interface and the suggested section helps you return to a file you may have closed without remembering where you stored it.
There is a search box at the top of the Start Menu, or you may use the Search tool on the Taskbar next to the Start Menu. Searching for answers to random questions or the location of files may be as simple as using the universal search feature. There was a preview of the Kansas City Chiefs’ game before it was sent to us online, which was great.
It’s unfortunate that Edge and Bing are the only search options available to you. It was simple to switch Edge’s default search engine from Bing to Google, but it didn’t affect the universal search tool. Unfortunately, Bing is currently the only search option available to Windows users.
The Taskbar has undergone a few more changes. Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated personal assistant, is no longer pre-loaded and must be installed separately. Additionally, Task View (for virtual desktops) and Widgets (explained in greater detail below) are available, as well as Teams Chat. As a result of Microsoft’s desire to inundate Windows 11 customers with its goods, Teams is now permanently installed in the Taskbar.
People who don’t use Teams will have to go into Settings to unpin the app, since there is no right-click, unpin option for pre-installed programs. However, this isn’t an issue for most people. The video conferencing software may be used to make video conferences, hold conversations, or bring up the full Teams program for those who want to use it anyhow. While some may appreciate this, the majority of Windows 11 users will be baffled as to why a function they’ll never use is prominently displayed on the desktop.
The good news is that the File Explorer has been completely redesigned and now looks much better. The “new folder” option was added to the left side of the top bar to make it easier to use. To make things even better, the top bar icon stacking is gone, giving the app a much cleaner look. This is a great chance for Microsoft to enhance the app’s functionality; moving items around and viewing your files still functions as previously.
There are a few literate holes in Windows 11 fluency in Fluent. When using the Device Manager, for example, the only way to view system components is by clicking on small, low-res icons. Microsoft, on the other hand, neglected to make an update to the Control Panel. It still uses out-of-date icons and has a crowded layout. Look too deeply and you’ll discover an outmoded interface. These graphical upgrades are superficial at most.
To make things worse, Windows 11 seems to provide fewer customization options than its predecessor. The inability to drag and drop files or programs to the Taskbar is particularly egregious. Instead, you’ll have to use the “Show additional choices” and “Pin to Taskbar” options available by right-clicking. The taskbar’s height and position are likewise inaccessible.
Notifications and Action Center
Despite being located in the same place, the Action Center and Notifications in Windows 11 operate differently. Because it isn’t part of the Taskbar, the Action Center may be accessed by clicking on the WiFi, Battery, or Volume icons, respectively, to bring up the Action Center. When you do this, you’ll see a simplified UI with just the most critical settings: Volume/Brightness sliders, Battery Saver, Accessibility, Airplane mode, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It is possible to add new features, however, Microsoft made a good choice in terms of which features were included by default.
You’ll see a Notification Panel to the right of the Action Center. This is where you’ll see things like new emails, scheduled meetings, and other events. In contrast to Windows 10, you cannot add an event or a reminder to the calendar by double-clicking or right-clicking on a date.
Window 11 New Microsoft Store
On average, how many times each month do you shop at the Microsoft Store? The app stores for iOS and Android are likely to be updated much less often. You should know why that’s the way it is. For starters, Microsoft’s version is devoid of well-known programs, and those that are included are just not up to par. When it comes to Microsoft’s digital store, the company is doing the right thing for customers. In our experience, no other software shop is as well-organized as the new Microsoft Store in Windows 11.
Category-based app selection makes it easy to find what you want. A nice list of “Essential” programs (not only Microsoft ones) can be accessed on the home screen, so you don’t have to travel that far. There’s also a list of highlighted games, and one of our personal favorites is one of the best places to get free programs.
However, iTunes, a two-star app, is now the top selection. Developers haven’t been bringing their programs over to Windows, and that’s a major issue for the company. It’s terrible enough to bring up memories of Windows Phone for Microsoft devotees.
Microsoft intends to make its store more appealing to developers in order to address this problem. Most crucially, any kind of software may be hosted through the Windows Store. A Microsoft framework was formerly required for all Windows Store submissions by developers. To pick from, customers may go with either the old-school desktop Win32 format, Microsoft’s UWP mode, or even the progressive web app option.
As long as developers utilize Microsoft’s commerce platform, Microsoft will let them retain all of the earnings from their applications. In contrast to Apple’s 30% tax, Windows 11 allows developers to retain 85 percent (88 percent for games) of their revenue, even if they use Microsoft’s payment system.
Windows 11Performance and Gaming
It seems that Microsoft axed Windows 10X and incorporated it into Windows 11. It was preparing its new operating system to take on the concept of its defunct companion as a flexible, lightweight OS that remained stable even on older hardware. In other words, it’s a genuine rival to Chrome OS. Microsoft, on the other hand, has remained mum about Windows 11’s expected performance improvements. A 13-minute technical film outlining why Win11 computers should be quicker and last longer has been released on YouTube, but there is no marketing indicating how much faster or how much longer the system will be.
Microsoft’s foreground prioritization, where memory now prefers the app windows running in the forefront and gives the CPU and system resource precedence, is one of the modifications done under the hood. Ultimately, you want to keep the applications and programs you use most from ever experiencing any slowdowns. We’ll have to undertake additional research before we can say for certain how well this works.
In our experience, Windows 11 has been really reliable. No bugs, glitches, or performance issues were found throughout our testing on the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio with Windows 10. When we clicked or tapped on an icon, it replied immediately. Animations were smooth and quick. Opening a dozen windows at once didn’t create any difficulties. Those who want to wait for Microsoft to fix speed issues have nothing to worry about with Windows 11. It is a final product, not a beta.
Be aware, however, that we are doing this on the most powerful machine in the whole fleet of Microsoft Surface devices we have access to. Using Windows 11 computers, we’ll compare the Windows 10 results to those of the other laptops. As for Windows 11, we’ll see whether it’s more responsive than its predecessor, or if people looking for a low-cost laptop should stick with Chromebooks.
Xbox integration in Windows 11 means you can play Xbox Game Pass on your PC right now. DirectStorage API’s speed boosts for NVMe SSDs come courtesy of the new DirectStorage API. DirectStorage is preinstalled in Windows 11, however, it will only operate if developers continue to support it.
The inclusion of a dynamic refresh rate is also a great one. When fast-action comes on the screen, it increases the refresh rate to 90Hz or 120Hz, then dials it down to save power and improve battery life. It is found on most recent smartphones. Speaking of screens, AutoHDR allows games that don’t already have it to take advantage of a high dynamic range. You’ll need an HDR-capable GPU and monitor to take advantage of it.
Windows 11 The (Few) New Features
Windows 11 comes with a few tweaks here and there, but new features are few and far between. Having said that, the ones We’ve tried have all performed well. Snap Layouts, a new feature, allows you to rearrange your windows on the screen in various layouts. Split-screen on Windows has always worked well, but Snap Layouts takes things to the next level by offering even more customization choices.
It’s also quite user-friendly. When you hover your mouse pointer over the square icon in the tab’s upper-right corner, a preview of the tab’s layout will show. To move your open windows, choose one and then touch a shape inside it. The Snap Layout grouping is stored to the Taskbar so that you may easily re-open it after arranging the tabs in a layout.
A web browser tab sat in the bottom-left corner, and our Google Doc took up much of the remaining screen real estate on our Surface Laptop Studio while we wrote our review. In this method, we could write our evaluation while doing research and referring to our previous standards for guidance and inspiration. The Surface Laptop Studio review layout was much quicker to switch between in Windows 10 than it was with Snap Layouts, which allowed me to quickly switch between it and other programs we have open (Slack, Trello, etc.).
Widgets are a separate category. When you click on the symbol, a translucent left panel appears on your screen, containing relevant data. As a result, our Widgets window displayed some of the most recent NFL scores, which we had been watching to see how our Fantasy players were doing. Even in October, living in Austin involves wearing sunscreen, as the weather section reminded me. If anything strikes our eyes, we can look into it further if time permits. Even if we say it now, we don’t think we’ll be utilizing Widgets all that frequently. The websites we visit most often are saved as favorites in our web browser, and now our phone can provide me the same information, but in a more useful context.
Android applications on Windows 11 would have been awesome, but they’re not available. While Intel’s Bridge Technology will allow Android applications to be incorporated into the OS in the future, this isn’t ready for launch. Once the new features are available, we’ll update this review.
Do you need to upgrade from Windows 10?
Will Windows 11 be available for download on my PC? We can’t use it since it does not meet Microsoft’s stiflingly stringent OS specifications. If we could, we would, if only to escape Windows 10’s monotony. Maybe it’s not boredom so much as it is dissatisfaction with utilizing an obsolete operating system. No matter how we feel about Windows 11’s new Start Menu and Taskbar, the cosmetic upgrades are more than enough to entice me to upgrade.
It’s okay to continue with Windows 10 if you’re a more cautious tech user who only uses what works. While this new version has several very valuable additions, the alterations made to the Taskbar, in particular, undermine their usefulness. However, as previously said, Windows 11 is largely based on its predecessor, with the most significant change being a fresh coat of paint. Finally, you have the option of using Windows 11 or not. It is unlikely that either choice will impact how you use your computer.
Do I need a Windows 11 Key?
No, not if you’re upgrading from Windows 10—that’s a no-cost upgrade.
If you’re starting from scratch, you may also opt to install Windows 11 without a key and subsequently register it with your Microsoft account, which will automatically bring in your Windows 10 credentials from your previous installation. Easy.
For a limited time, you may even use Windows 11 without activating it provided you don’t mind the watermark and the fact that you won’t be able to customize its appearance and functionality. If you do decide to install Windows 11, take pleasure in knowing that you are on the bleeding edge of technology. We will have a lot more to say about Windows 11 as we delve further into the operating system.
Windows 11 gives Microsoft’s desktop operating system a contemporary makeover with a fresh new design. Although some of the improvements may be appreciated, other users will find them to be frustrating, and apart from a few new features, the update is essentially superficial.