Despite claims from Microsoft that Windows 10 would be the last ever version of Windows, they have just gone and released Windows 11.
Why have they done this? Well a cynic might say that historical new Windows releases tend to cause a lot of PC upgrades, a new version of Windows is a lot more marketable than a boring Windows 10 system update.
There is also a fair amount of anger towards the Windows 11 release as Microsoft have made some major changes to the system requirements meaning that a lot of people using perfectly capable computers will not be able to run Windows 11.
I’ll run through the new features and then the system requirements below.
New Windows 11 Features
The new version of Windows is more of a cosmetic release than anything else, they have redesigned the start menu and system task bar, changed a lot of the visual interface to make things look a bit more appealing, and then have added in some extra productivity tools to enable users to organise their work a bit more efficiently on bigger screens.
Improvements have also been made to the Windows App Store, and apparently in a future update you will be able to run Android phone apps directly in Windows 11. How useful this will be remains to be seen, it does open up a lot of apps to Windows users but how useful they will actually be is still not really known.
Somethings have not changed at all, the original Windows control panel that was introduced in Windows 95 is still there and is still required to access certain settings menus, how they have not yet managed to phase this out over the past 26 years (!) is beyond me, but I guess if it works then why change it?
Overall I can’t see any particular change which would make Windows 11 a must have, it’s really just a polished version of Windows 10.
Windows 11 Requirements
Here is where things get a bit controversial.
Microsoft have decided that to increase security for users any computer running Windows 11 needs a TPM module. TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module and is a hardware based security chip which can store encryption keys and generally can make a computer more secure from hackers or malicious software.
The problem is that a lot of slightly older motherboards and CPU’s do not have a TPM chip installed making them not compatible with Windows 11.
Microsoft have flip-flopped around on this requirement and it is still not 100% clear if they will let you run Windows 11 on a system without TPM. They have a tool that checks if you can run the new Windows which throws an error if you haven’t got TPM installed, but if you install the OS manually off a USB stick then it will still install.
Microsoft have stated that Windows 11 installs on unsupported hardware i.e. on a machine without TPM ‘may not’ get Windows security updates which is a bit worrying as you’d essentially be relying on an unsupported operating system which is never a good move.
This may or may not resolve itself in time, Microsoft do have a bit of a history of changing their minds on things after public outcries.
Aside from the TPM requirement, Microsoft are also saying only 8th generation or newer Intel processors, or Zen2 or newer AMD CPU’s are supported which is daft as Windows 11 would run perfectly well on a 6th or 7th gen Intel CPU, again this requirement may change in time.
Overall though it is a bit of a messy launch.
How To Get Windows 11
If you do want to move across then you have two routes.
Firstly you could buy a new PC and choose Windows 11 as the operating system, all of our computers have it as an option to select.
If you want to put it on your current system then it will be offered as a free update for all Windows 10 users who are running on hardware that meets the minimum requirements. It is not clear when this update will be offered, rumours are that it will be early 2022.
So that about sums it all up really.
Should you move to it? My advice would be to wait for the free update if you are already running Windows 10 and then do it then, there’s no showstopping feature that would make me want to jump across to it immediately.
If you are buying a new system then I’d say go for it, you’ll be avoiding the potential hassle of doing the update in the future, and whilst there isn’t any major reasons to jump to it, I also can’t see any major issues not to move across if buying a new machine.
Sure there might be the odd bug that still needs fixing but these will be resolved pretty quickly, most likely by the time you received your shiny new PC.
Written by Darren @ Multiple Monitors
Last Updated: October, 2021