Windows 11: What We Know So Far and What to Expect
Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Windows 11 is the latest major rollout to the Windows operating system since Windows 10, focusing primarily on enhancing the end-user productivity in the now vastly hybrid work environment.
Although little comprehensive information around Windows' latest OS has been made known to the public, the few details they have released give us a good idea of what we can expect from the latest update; User experience, user experience and user experience.
How it looks
Windows has focused on an easy to use interface that is simplified and less invasive while taking a more Mac-like approach to the aesthetic, with a centralised Start Button, Taskbar and rounded corners on applications such as File Explorer, Teams and Edge.
The new OS will incorporate Snap Layouts, Groups and Desktops, these new features will allow the user to multi task and organise windows in a simple way optimising their screen real estate and personalisation of their device, maintaining a clean layout at all times.
Windows 11 is designed to have optimised touch and pen functionality, rumored to have bigger touch targets, better calibration and the ability to move windows around without losing track of the applications you are using, something that Windows devices have been struggling with ever since Windows 8.
The touch keyboard has also been redesigned, with a smaller keyboard just for your thumb, and emojis ready to be used. Microsoft says dictation will also be improved, alongside voice commands, with 'delete that' options and more.
Windows 11 will feature haptics which will allow for better feedback and accuracy when you use a stylus for drawing or sketching.
Android App availability will also finally be coming to Windows 11, something that many users have wanted for years without it coming to fruition, further marking a step towards the merging of mobile and laptop devices.
Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system will require a little-known PC security feature, the Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which may be a cause for concern among early adopters of the OS.
If your device is less than 4 years old then it is likely to have TPM compatibility. However, It is important to check if your device has the possibility to enable it. Furthermore, TPM 2.0 is a requirement for Windows 11, so it is essential to know if your device has this. By using TPM 2.0 Microsoft aims to make the life of hackers just that little bit harder hence why it is necessary if you hope to use Windows 11 in its current available build or as soon as it's released.
Microsoft has produced a full list of supported CPUs, along with the Intel list and the AMD CPU list.
The preview build for Windows 11 has recently been released by Microsoft with Windows Insiders having access to the new OS as of the start of this week. This includes access to the new Start menu, multitasking features and new Microsoft Store as well as the new Snap Layouts and Snap Desktop. However, two of the major features of Windows 11 are missing from the preview build with Teams integration and Apps for Android currently still being tested by Microsoft.
It is important if you are considering trying the trial build that you do not install it on a device that you use daily or for work purposes due to potential bugs and unfinished features. In fact, Microsoft has a number of known issues it lists, and these are the important ones you should be aware of:
the taskbar will not be shown across multiple monitors (will be fixed in an upcoming build)
when upgrading a device with multiple user accounts to Windows 11, Settings will fail to launch
the Microsoft Store install button might not be functional yet in “some limited scenarios”
Although the prospect of a shiny new OS is something to get excited about, especially when Microsoft has finally fixed some of the bigger issues with touch integration and Apps for Android, it is important to remember it is only in the ‘preview’ stage.
We recommend it is best to upgrade to the new OS after one month of the full release when considering Windows 11 for work or other important tasks to avoid bugs and allow for major patches to protect your data from unwanted attention.
Microsoft has also said that any device with Windows 10 will work with Windows 11 as it is built on the same foundations as the current OS, however, they have said this in the past and it was not the case. It is better to wait and assess why you want to move to Windows 11 and do ample research into what is required from your device while being aware of the risks before making any major shifts.
At this stage, you can experiment with the new build but under no circumstances should you totally rely on it for anything other than just a trial and to learn. It is also important to be aware of how quickly things may change and how updates could affect future builds.