On the 5th October 2021, Microsoft officially launched its new operating system, wait for it – Windows 11. It’s a phased launch of the company’s first major operating system update in six years, and it is available as a free download. However, before you download it, read on.
A new operating system is always great news, one always hopes that the new offering will build on the last and offer your computer the kind of tools and Apps you’ve always dreamed of, and 11 does just that, it’s going in the right direction. So, does it mean I need to buy a new laptop? This is the first question I hear you ask. It depends…
Reading its spec, Windows 11 looks to be up to the minute fresh, with a beautifully clean approach. It’s not unfair to say, it is more of a face-lift; a work in progress so to speak! It draws its design from smartphone use. 11 comes with a lot of changes under the bonnet: a new Start-Up, Microsoft Teams integration, multitasking features and it will possess lots of new security measures for home and business users. I wonder what you’ll think of the start-up menu loading in the centre of your screen along with the new taskbar? Don’t worry, you can move them back to the bottom left if you wish to.
As for ‘Teams’ integration, again don’t panic it’s all good. Working remotely has pretty much become the norm in the last 12 months, so to help those of you doing any kind of hybrid working to be more productive and system secure, you can now enjoy the fact that the ‘Teams’ icon will be included in the new taskbar. Nice touch.
For those of you that like to use tablets, Microsoft has added haptics to the system, to make them easier to use. If you’re using a digital pen, you’ll be able to hear and feel it when you’re taking notes or drawing etc. Gamers too will be pleased with the new Auto HDR and DirectStorage features added to help your PC’s with your gaming experience. And if you like being kept up to date with world news, a slew of new launch widgets attached to the new taskbar will provide glance information on news, weather, traffic news, sports, entertainment, must-do-tasks etc, stocks and shares and more.
Yes, but do I need to buy a new laptop?
Although it is a free upgrade, it will have very specific operating system requirements that have to be met and not all computers will be capable of running it. First off, the bat is that you will need to be running Windows 10. Also, there’s a fair chance if your computer was produced before 2018 it might not support Windows 11, check if it has a TPM security chip installed. Don’t worry if you head over to Microsoft’s official website you can check your PC on their health check tool, just click the Check Now button, it will tell you if your laptop will support Windows 11. It will be looking to check a bunch of things like if you have 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a compatible 64-bit processor, stuff like that.
So can I download it now?
Maybe. For users especially in a business environment, it will take time for third party software vendors to ensure their applications are compatible with the new OS.
Therefore, being an early adopter can have its disadvantages, you may find yourself in a position where key business software no longer works following the upgrade; so as with all new software, I would urge caution. From experience, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to Windows 11 quite yet. Because as we have seen over the years, when it comes to operating systems it doesn’t always pay to be the first.
For now, Windows 10 is a very stable and reliable platform and Microsoft will be supporting Windows 10 till October 2025, so there’s no need to panic.