Microsoft conducted the launch event of Windows 11 on June 24, 2021, and showcased all the new features and enhancements that Windows 11 is set to bring for Windows users. The new operating system launch from Microsoft is almost six years after Windows 10 release. But this time, Microsoft has focused on bringing simplicity with increased productivity, creativity, better PC gaming experience, a whole new Microsoft Store, and new ways of quick connectivity with people. In addition, it brings a whole set of new opportunities for developers with a more open ecosystem. This blog presents an overview of all the authentic details about Windows 11, including system requirements, new features, when to download, etc.
What is Windows 11?
Windows 11 is the newest operating system by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 10 OS. Windows 11 provides a modernized and simplified interface that is meant to increase users’ creativity and overall productivity.
New Features coming up with Windows 11
Many new features are on their way with Windows 11. Following are some of the prominent ones highlighted in the launch event of Windows 11:
Centered Start Button
In Windows 11, the Start button is in the center position now. It is driven by the cloud and Microsoft 365 to present recent files, no matter from which device they were accessed before, including iOS or Android devices. In addition, the Start menu also provides a few pinned apps based on your regular apps’ usage.
Snap Layouts and Snap Groups
Windows 11 is coming up with new Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops features. They are meant to bring smoother multitasking and better screen optimization. Users will be able to create multiple desktops from the taskbar to separate their work and personal environments. Similarly, they can organize windows on different sides of the screen or make a grid of 3 or 4 windows.
Integration of Chat from Microsoft Teams
Windows 11 taskbar will contain Chat from Microsoft Teams so that users can quickly connect with their contacts via chat, voice, or video. In addition, users can also promptly mute/unmute or start a presentation straight from the taskbar via Microsoft Teams.
Windows 11 is going to enhance the gaming experience, as Microsoft has dedicated its focus to utilize the full potential of the system’s hardware and the latest gaming technology. For example, Windows 11 is going to offer Auto HDR for a wider and intense colors range, DirectStorage for quicker loading times, and DirectX 12 Ultimate to amplify gaming graphics at high frame rates. In addition, Windows 11 is still continuing its support for favorite PC gaming peripherals and accessories
Windows 11 is offering a new Widgets, which is like a personalized feed driven by Microsoft Edge and artificial intelligence. Users will be able to access Widgets from the taskbar and quickly go through weather updates, news, calendar, and other similar content. It also opens a new set of opportunities for publishers and creators to deliver personalized content.
New Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store is getting a whole new look with Windows 11. The new look is meant to increase simplicity and user-friendliness. Besides that, it is becoming more resourceful with plenty of new apps along with a smoother experience to search apps, movies, games, and shows. The top-notch third-party apps, such as Zoom, Disney+, Canva, Adobe Creative, Visual Studio, Microsoft Teams, and many more are also coming to Microsoft Store.
Android Apps on Windows
Android apps are all set to be in your Windows PCs with Windows 11 release. Through the collaboration with Intel and Amazon, Windows 11 users will be able to search Android apps on Microsoft Store and download them via the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft is encouraging software firms and developers to bring more and more apps to Microsoft Store with no restriction to what app framework is used to build those apps.
A Developers Friendly Windows 11
Windows 11 presents a new PWABuilder3, which will help developers to use their web app to quickly develop PWA. In addition, WebView2 runtime is also integrated into Windows 11, which will let developers take benefits from its web platform easily and securely to develop hybrid web apps. Services such as Microsoft Edge DevTools and Windows Terminal can also be used in Windows 11.
The Windows App SDK (formally called Project Reunion) will make smoother integration of Windows 11 new features to the apps. It is expected to be released later this year. Besides easier integration of Windows 11 new features, it will still let developers reach out to millions of Windows 10 users.
With ARM64 Emulation Compatible ABI, developers will be empowered to develop apps that can execute natively on Windows on ARM. Developers can mix emulated x64 and ARM code in the same module or process with the ARM64EC. This implies that developers can improve apps capability to run on Windows on ARM despite loading x64 plugins or having x64 dependencies.
Windows 11 is also going to provide WinUI3 to developers for refreshing the app design. It provides built-in user-interface updates, like refreshed iconography, refreshed color palette, rounded geometry, fun micro-interactions, and new typography.
Microsoft is further easing the creation and management of app windows with Reunion Windowing. This feature brings simplicity to common operations, works perfectly for existing app codes, and enables new functionalities for desktop apps, such as Picture-In-Picture mode, Light-Dismiss Behavior, and smoother customization of the title bar.
Besides prominent changes in the Microsoft Store, Microsoft is also on a move to bring more revenue opportunities for developers and creators. Microsoft is working to allow software vendors and developers to bring their developed apps to Microsoft Store regardless of their app-built framework, such as Universal Windows App, Progressive Web App, Win32, etc.
As per Microsoft, the policies for revenue sharing are also going to change. The app developers can keep 100% of the revenue when they are bringing their own commerce to the Microsoft Store. Besides that, they can still benefit from Microsoft’s commerce with the attractive 85/15 revenue share.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High-definition (720p) display that is greater than 9″ diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
- Internet connection: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.
Features-Specific Requirements for Windows 11
Windows 11 has some additional requirements for some of its specific features, as follow:
- 5G support: Requires 5G-capable modem.
- Auto HDR: Requires an HDR monitor.
- BitLocker to Go: Requires a USB flash drive (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
- Client Hyper-V: Requires a processor with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
- Cortana: Requires a microphone and speaker and is currently available on Windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.K., and United States.
- DirectStorage: Requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the Standard NVM Express Controller driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support.
- DirectX 12 Ultimate: Available with supported games and graphics chips.
- Presence: Requires a sensor that can detect human distance from the device or intent to interact with the device.
- Intelligent Video Conferencing: Requires video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA): Requires a microphone and speaker.
- Snap: Three-column layouts require a screen that is 1920 effective pixels or greater in width.
- Mute/Unmute from Taskbar: Requires video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output). App must be compatible with feature to enable global mute/unmute.
- Spatial Sound: Requires supporting hardware and software.
- Teams: Requires video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Touch: Requires a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch.
- Two-factor Authentication: Requires use of a PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
- Voice Typing: Requires a PC with a microphone.
- Wake on Voice: Requires Modern Standby power model and microphone.
- Wi-Fi 6E: Requires new WLAN IHV hardware and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router.
- Windows Hello: Requires a camera configured for near infrared (IR) imaging or fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Devices without biometric sensors can use Windows Hello with a PIN or a portable Microsoft compatible security key.
- Windows Projection: Requires a display adapter that supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.
- Xbox (app): Requires an Xbox Live account, which is not available in all regions. Some features in the Xbox app will require an active Xbox Game Pass subscription.
When is Windows 11 releasing, and how to get it?
As per the announcement of Microsoft, Windows 11 will be released by this holiday season and come as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 users that are also fulfilling the minimum system requirements. If you want to know whether your Windows 10 PC fulfills the eligibility requirements for Windows 11, you can go to Microsoft website and download the PC Health Check app (coming soon). Microsoft also announced that it is ensuring with its retail PC partners that the Windows 10 PCs you purchase these days meet the system requirements for Windows 11 to have a smooth upgrade when the time comes.