Three months after the announcement Windows 11 announcement along with several beta versions, Microsoft has finally released the new Windows 11 operating system for everyone.
The upgrade to Windows 11 will be completely free for those who already own a Windows 10 license, so the update will normally arrive via OTA and can be reached by going to Windows Update. To update your PC, however, you must first verify that it meets the minimum requirements.
Windows 11 minimum requirements
- 1 GHz processor with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- 4 GB of RAM
- 64GB of storage
- Compatibility with UEFI, Secure Boot
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- High definition screen (720p) with a diagonal greater than 9 inches, 8 bits per color channel.
Microsoft has made a nice design change for Windows 11, undeniably inspired by macOS. The Windows 11 home screen features rounded corners on various interface elements, including application windows, and in combination with a new theme system that combines specific backgrounds with colors, the overall design looks more modern and less confusing.
There is no lack of new icons for the whole system and the movement of the taskbar towards the center, quite similar to what happens with the Dock in macOS. However, if you are not happy with it, you can restore the position of the Start button in the lower-left corner. The taskbar includes shortcuts to the Edge browser, new widgets, integration with Microsoft Teams, and File Explorer. Live Tiles disappear from the Start menu, which has now been reduced and houses link to recently used apps and files.
In the lower right corner of the screen, however, we find the new completely renovated Action Center, which houses the volume controls, display, Bluetooth, network, and pop-out notifications.
The approach to “widgets” also changes, which are now reachable by swiping from the left side of the screen, with a series of panels that include weather and news “widgets” by default. Finally, another important addition in this version of Windows is in the area of multitasking. Users can create multiple virtual desktops for different sets of apps. Additionally, a new Snap Assist feature appears when the mouse pointer hovers over the maximize button and offers different window layouts that app windows can snap to. These layouts are remembered by Windows and appear as snap groups in the taskbar.
Microsoft has also thought about the lovers of the gaming sector, in fact, Windows 11 now also includes the Xbox Game Pass, without forgetting the arrival of DirectX 12 Ultimate, Direct Storage, and Auto HDR (high dynamic range).
New Microsoft Store
Great news also for the Microsoft Store. The new app store introduces not only a new design, but also policy changes that allow developers to submit unpackaged Win32 apps, such as raw .exe and MSI applications. Microsoft also allows app developers to use their content delivery networks for hosting and app updates, which means app updates no longer have to come directly from the Microsoft Store. In addition, Microsoft also plans to host third-party stores in its Microsoft Store, including an Epic Games Store, and support for Android apps, which is still absent for the moment, should also arrive.
Windows 11 and Mac
Microsoft recently quashed hopes that Windows will be able to run on Macs equipped with an M1 chip, saying running an ARM version of Windows 11 on Mac M1, via virtualization or otherwise, is not a “supported scenario.”
Windows 11 is now available for all PCs that enjoy the minimum upgrade requirements. If you can’t see the update in the first few hours, the servers are likely to be clogged due to high demand, but surely within the next few weeks, almost everyone will be able to proceed with the update. For those who do not want to wait, Microsoft has already released the official ISOs to be able to proceed manually.