Despite initial claims that Windows 10 would be the last OS needed, it seems the slew of technical issues it has presented along the way has made the need for an upgrade inevitable. To that end, they have officially announced Windows 11 is on the way. Here’s what we know as of now.
Windows Insiders Get The Early Version At The End Of June
For those signed up as a Windows Insider (you can opt in if you go to Settings->Update and Security->Windows Insider Program), chances are you’ll be having a hands on from the end of June. It’s likely that this will be a staggered rollout, but time will tell on that front.
Everyone Else Gets It In The Holiday Season
For anyone not in the Insiders program, it isn’t a long wait for the new OS upgrade. In fact, it seems we’ll be getting hands on with it around Christmas.
Windows 11 Is A Free Upgrade
Much like how Windows 10 was free for a while, we imagine this will be a similar limited option for 11. Still, as long as you have the requirements listed below, you should be golden to go with the upgrade:
- CPU: 1-GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a 64-bit processor.
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of storage
- UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot
- TPM 2.0
- 9-inch or larger screen with 720p resolution
- Internet connectivity and an MS account. No offline installs.
- GPU compatible with DirectX 12
The Start Menu Has Changed
It’s still there, before we panic. It’s just moved to the center of the taskbar by default, something you can change with a few quick clicks apparently. Weird choice, though.
Windows 11 Will Remember When You Have Extra Monitors On
This is a handy one. If you dock your laptop into more monitors when working, Windows 11 will minimize those opened windows when you unplug. This means no more rearranging all the time.
Microsoft Teams Is Now Integrated
It’s directly on the task bar now, and you’ll be able to use it to make calls and send texts. The calls are to anyone on any device that uses Teams, which is handy, while the texts will be SMS based – which means you can receive them as well.
Touch Controls Have Changed
Tablet Mode is no more. In name. The interface will remain largely the same, and function largely the same too, but when the OS detects that it’s on a 2-in-1 system it will space out icons and the like a little more for ease of use. The same gestures and the like are active, but one new trick is Haptic feedback through the Windows Pen experience.
Auto HDR For Gaming – And Xbox Game Pass Built In
This one is niche, but interesting. If your monitor supports HDR, but the game you’re playing doesn’t have the functionality, then Windows 11 will natively convert the color and lighting to accommodate. They showed this off on Skyrim (of course), but other games should work too.
On the topic of games, Windows 11 will also have the Xbox Game Pass as standard – though you’ll still have to pay if you want the full range of features. Still, with the streaming services this means people can play what they want, even on sub-par systems.
Android Apps Supported
Last for now, but not least: Native Android support. For many, this is a godsend, as those Android apps previously needed an emulated phone to use on a PC format. Now with Windows 11, they can be launched natively through Amazon’s App store.
That’s the wrap on what we know right now. No doubt more will come out when Insiders get their hands on in the next few weeks!