Windows 11 opens a new era for Microsoft. If this iteration was presented as the continuity of Windows 10, it still brings its share of major new features. The most visible is obviously its design, which starts from scratch. In this file, we will take stock of everything there is to know about the OS.
Windows 11 is available. This is the new version that, as its name suggests, succeeds Windows 10 (released in 2015).
The operating system gives pride of place to a new design, with its centered taskbar icons, its windows with rounded edges, its new system of Widgets, etc. But these are not the only changes Microsoft is making to Windows 11. One of the biggest new features is also its native support for Android games and applications, which opens the doors to an even richer ecosystem, even more powerful. That’s not all, because technological innovations within Windows 11, there are in every corner, as we will see here.
We have listed and analyzed all the new features of this edition of the OS. And we have tried to answer the various questions that such a change implies: what are the major contributions of Windows? Will Windows 10 disappear? Is the new OS free like its predecessor for those who already have a license for the old version? On the way for the most complete overview possible of Windows 11.
What’s new in Windows 11?
Windows 11 is not a revolution. The OS was designed from the start as a continuation of Windows 10. However, this does not prevent it from offering interesting new features.
In this file, we have listed the new features that appear in this new version of Windows.
1. Windows 11 can run Android games and apps
This is one of the most important new features of Windows 11: the operating system is now able to launch applications and games from the Android world. For this, Windows 11 needs a little help from Linux, but the opening of Google’s OS dedicated to smartphones and tablets should considerably increase the Windows software library while establishing a bridge between the two ecosystems.
Android apps for Windows 11 can be accessed from the Microsoft Store while going through the Amazon Appstore. At least for the moment, Google has announced that its Play Store will be entitled to a PC version from 2022. In the meantime, it is also possible to install APK files, and therefore to get rid of Amazon’s Android store.
Second good news: the compatibility of Android applications with Windows 11 will not depend on the CPU. Whether you have an Intel, AMD, or ARM processor, you will be able to launch Android games and apps on Microsoft OS. Currently, this feature is only available through the Insider Program Dev channel, for US users. We have all the same concocted a little tutorial if your PC meets the necessary conditions.
Support for Android apps has been available since the February 2022 Update. In total, more than 1000 games and applications can be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore. Note that you must have at least an SSD and a relatively recent processor to obtain correct performance.
Via the July 2022 Update, Microsoft further improved support for Android, including adding advanced network support that allows apps to access local devices for ARM hardware. In addition, IPv6 and VPN connectivity are also included. Then, in August, Android games received extra attention by integrating better support for the keyboard.
Note also that several clues suggest that Windows 10 would also be able to launch Android applications in a future update. Similarly, Xbox (One and Series X/S) could also do this. For the moment, none of this is confirmed, so be careful.
If Microsoft has not completely revamped Windows 11 compared to Windows 10, as was the case with Windows 8 in 2012, important changes have nevertheless been made to the OS. This can be seen upon arrival on the desktop, which has been revamped. Here, Microsoft has kept the same principle as always. No tiles or alternative Home, we have pure Windows, but more beautiful.
The first major change to the OS concerns the Start menu. As shown in the screenshot below, all Taskbar icons are now located in the center, not the left of the screen. This is also the case for the Windows icon, which calls up the Start menu. And when you click on it, you immediately notice that the menu “floats” above the Windows icon, whereas in Windows 10, the menu was attached to it. Note that in the options, it is possible to glue all the icons on the left, as before.
The Windows 10 Start menu is on the left and the Windows 11 Start menu is on the right… It changes completely, doesn’t it?
The Start menu has also changed its layout. Its shortcuts come in two distinct categories:
- The first category, located at the top of the Start menu, is made up of shortcuts that list “pinned” applications. It’s up to you to pin or unpin them, as you usually do with taskbar icons. This action was already in Windows 10, but these icons were located in the right frame of the Start menu, as shown in the screenshot above.
- The second section, located at the bottom of the Start menu, is for newly installed apps, updates, and recently viewed files. These icons are located in a frame entitled “Our recommendations”.
Pinned icons (in the top frame, therefore) can be removed or moved with a simple right click. As for the shortcuts in the “Our recommendations” list (in the bottom frame, therefore), it is possible to delete them, open their directory in File Explorer, launch them using the browser, etc In reality, this operation does not drastically change from Windows 10, but it is more fluid, more natural.
It should be noted that for the moment, it is not possible to customize the layout of this pinned software. However, it will be possible to do so in a future update. Thus, you will be able to put your pinned software on four lines instead of three, or only two. Of course, recommended software will have more or less space accordingly.
Additionally, the Start menu now incorporates a search bar, as seen in the screenshot above. Enough to launch a request locally or online as quickly as possible. This function allows you to find the search field as we knew it in Windows 10 and which was accessible from the Taskbar. And lately, Microsoft has added a new “Sign-in Options” tab in the Windows 11 Start menu, which provides more choices to the user regarding Windows 11 sign-in.
3. The taskbar also gets a makeover
Just as it was possible to customize the Windows 10 taskbar in every way, it is possible to completely customize that of Windows 11. But rather than resorting to menus and sub-menus as shown in the screenshot below, Microsoft has decided to do away with cascading menus and consolidate everything into a single option. When you click on the Settings function in the taskbar, you then open the Settings application. Therefore, it is possible to fully customize the taskbar via the settings.
On the left, is the rather “cluttered” Windows 10 personalization menu. On the right, is that of Windows 10, which is much easier to understand.
That said, let’s go back to the other new features of the taskbar. The search field has also disappeared, to make way for an icon (a magnifying glass). There, we access Windows 10 to a window allowing us to carry out a search locally or on the Web, to consult the top of the applications, to launch a specific request in the files, the music, the photos, the videos, etc.
Another interesting novelty: the News and Fields of interest function, integrated into the 21H1 build of Windows 10, is now presented in the form of a Widget. As a result, Windows 10 no longer permanently displays the temperature on the icon in question. On the other hand, rather than being displayed in a small box located on the right of the screen, the centers of interest, the sports scores, the stock market price, and the weather are now presented in a window on the left of the screen. screen.
This occupies half the screen and is much more visible (and readable) than the slightly ridiculous frame, located at the bottom right of Windows 10. Finally, the fact that Microsoft calls this section “Widgets” leaves augur other small modules that could be added to it. As always, the information displayed will adapt to your habits and areas of interest. It is even possible to add parental controls if you are an administrator. For example, a Widget can tell you who used the PC, where and for how long.
The hidden menu to the right of the taskbar has also been revised, with a more rounded design. Its use remains the same as on Windows 10. However, it should soon lose the ability to be modified directly via the window. A choice of Microsoft to optimize this taskbar, especially in tablet mode. It will still be possible to modify this hidden menu via the settings.
In an upcoming update, Microsoft will slightly modify the taskbar. Thus, it will no longer have a limit on icons. When it reaches saturation, it will display a floating menu (in the form of three small dots) which will accommodate the new pinned applications. A welcome novelty for those who like to pile up icons. Animated Widgets will also appear in the lower left corner.
Finally, this taskbar adapts to the touch format. After having abandoned them with Windows 10, Microsoft is once again trying to seduce tablet users with adapted navigation. On a touch slate, the taskbar juggles between two appearances. When you use it, you’ll see large, touch-friendly icons with a simpler design. Otherwise, it will be limited to the bare minimum, displaying only important information such as the battery or the connection. This will allow more space on the screen. An interesting innovation but synonymous with headaches for Microsoft. Indeed, each modification must adapt as well to the touch as to the mouse and the slightest change creates conflicts. This is why drag and drop is still not present on this bar.
At the moment, this adapted taskbar is not yet available for everyone. Microsoft has indeed had difficulties with it, to the point of withdrawing it from the beta to rework it. It is once again deployed for Insiders and should arrive for ordinary mortals with the big Fall 2022 Update.
4. The Microsoft Store is getting a big facelift
Formerly called Windows Store, the Microsoft Store is getting a little facelift. The platform, which allows applications to be downloaded and updated, also offers a “gaming” part and another dedicated to “entertainment” (movies, series, etc.). The graphic overhaul of the store makes it easier to navigate between each category and to consult and download an application more quickly than before. The Microsoft Store also hosts Win32 applications, downloadable in .exe or .msi format. There is therefore very popular software, such as VLC, WinZip, Zoom, Acrobat Reader, etc.
However, it should be noted that everything is not yet perfect in this new version. Indeed, many users have spotted bugs and missing things. For example, it is impossible to see the version number of an application. An oversight on the part of Microsoft will soon be corrected via an update. Other omissions and interface issues will also be fixed in the future.
Note also that Microsoft made several changes to the Microsoft Store in August 2022 via a new preview build of the OS. First, it is possible to see screenshots in search results in the Store, while it is no longer necessary to go through the Xbox application to install a game on Windows 11.
5. Windows and icons change their look
When you launch Windows 11 for the first time, you can’t help but notice some major interface changes. All windows now have rounded edges. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Explorer windows, the Settings windows, the News & Interests Widget, or the many apps you may need to install: rounded edges are in order.
Windows icons benefit from a youthful look. We had already been able to get a glimpse of it through a preview of Windows 10, it is now available for Windows 11. File Explorer thus benefits from new icons.
The File Explorer in turn benefits from a makeover in the finalized version of Windows 11. The Explorer ribbon, although still present, has been simplified and knows how to be more discreet. However, it still offers the same interactions as before. These are just clearer.
This File Explorer will continue to improve over time. Indeed, a new version will be included with the big update in October 2022. It will have an improved left banner to better navigate, but also tabs, like on an internet browser. Even more, this version has the advantage of being much less resource-intensive. Indeed, the first returns evoke only 1 MB of RAM for each open tab. This is much less than before when the CPU had to independently calculate each open window. This iteration is also much more practical to use than the previous one.
6. Windows can now position itself more easily
Until now, when you wanted to rearrange all windows on the Windows desktop, you had to right-click on the taskbar, and select one of the following options: Cascade, Show stacked windows, Show Windows Side by Side or Show Desktop. This era is now over since, as mentioned above, the taskbar only has one option dedicated to its own settings.
But then, where did the window manager and its display possibilities go under Windows 11? Microsoft decided to place them directly in the windows applications and Explorer, and it is rather clever. By leaving the small cursor on the icon which allows opening a window on the whole screen, a new menu of icons appears. Thanks to it, you can now place a window on the left, on the right, rather downwards, rather downwards, in a “frame” of 4 windows… In short, more possibilities are offered to you as regards the arrangement of the windows. A small detail that changes your life, even if the good old method of sticking a window in a corner still works.
Note that this functionality will soon evolve. Indeed, new animations and improvements are planned in an upcoming update that Insiders can already try. On the menu of novelties, a thumbnail of the application that you are pinning or even greater fluidity in the way of placing the windows.
The Settings menu is still present on Windows 11 but has a few changes from its previous version. Overall, we have access to the same things and the organization is identical, except for two or three details. However, the navigation has been revised. We now have a menu in the form of lists, so exit the icons on a white background:
Settings also allow you to customize your Windows experience. This was already the case in the 10, but the options are more numerous here. Thus, different predefined themes can be chosen. Each of them offers its colors, its effects, its small particularities. Of course, everything can be customized at will. A huge amount of work has also been done on transparency effects in order to make the OS as readable as possible.
The dark mode has also been completely overhauled. The contrasts and the different levels of gray have been redesigned from 0 compared to Windows 10 which was the bare minimum in this segment. It is no longer simply a visual gadget added to the classic interface, since the OS has been developed around it, which gives a much more harmonious result. The detail has been pushed extremely far since even the sound design is softer if you switch to dark mode. It is also a way for Microsoft to benefit visually impaired people.
Still, in personalization, the Windows spotlight mode will soon be deployed by default on the OS. This feature, which already exists on the lock screen, will make it possible to change the wallpaper regularly and automatically. These will be images selected by Microsoft that will be highlighted and those who wish can have details of the location of the photo. Windows Spotlight should arrive later this year for everyone, around October, according to estimates.
When Windows 11 was released, it was long and tedious to change the default browser, since it had to be done for all formats. A strategy that was intended to discourage my less knowledgeable users, and therefore force them to use Edge. Since then, things have changed, since it is now possible to change the default browser with one click.
In addition, Microsoft continues to supplement the Windows 11 Settings by testing a tab called “ Sustainability ”, which aims to advise the user on ways to increase the life of his PC. It will thus be possible to configure the energy-saving parameters, as well as to learn more about the ways to recycle your computer. Always in an eco-responsible approach, Windows will also detect periods when the PC is powered by renewable energies to install its next updates.
It is also now possible to manage your different accounts in the settings. For now, only managing your Office subscription is available, but Game Pass will arrive in the October update. It will therefore no longer be necessary to go through the site to pay, unsubscribe or change offers.
Finally, and this is important to underline, the good old Control Panel is still there. However, Microsoft intends to get rid of it. Indeed, several options have already found their way to Settings, and the list is growing with each update. Build 22509, in particular, drove the point home by migrating network settings to the new application.
When you click the right button on an element of the Desktop or Explorer (a file, a folder, a disk drive…), a contextual menu appears. It’s not new, it’s been around for over 25 years on Windows. On the other hand, this famous menu had until now the unfortunate tendency to become heavier depending on the applications installed and the possibilities of the operating system.
Windows 11 makes the right-click menu much clearer and more reliable. Only a small amount of options are now displayed by default. To view the list of all possible functions on an item in File Explorer or Desktop, click Show more options. Admittedly, this novelty implies additional manipulation to achieve the desired function.
On the other hand, it offers a less cluttered contextual menu when a large number of applications are installed on the PC, applications which can add as many options to the right click as they wish. The menu gains in efficiency, and clarity, but also instability. Finally, note that the contextual menu also gains shortcut buttons (they are located at the very top). These buttons allow, depending on the case, to cut and paste an element, rename it, delete it, etc. It is still not in its final version, since the last update has, for example, reduced its dimensions.
All is not perfect, however. This menu is more resource-intensive and some users complain that it drags. Microsoft is working on the subject and promises a more stable version in a new build for the moment intended for developers. It will also be possible to display the “old” contextual menu by doing Shift + right click. This will allow the user to directly have more options without necessarily clicking on the appropriate icon.
9. Skype disappears in favor of a new “Chat” application based on Microsoft Teams
It’s a little surprise: Skype is not installed by default. Windows 11 replaced Skype with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft has established the following observation: following the Covid-19 pandemic and the multiple confinements that followed, the use of Microsoft Teams made a prodigious leap around the world.
The app has over 145 million daily active users. Enough to make Skype green with envy, which struggled last year to gather 40 million daily users. In this regard, Microsoft assures that the integration of Teams in Windows 11 will not pose any legal problems, especially with the competition. Note that Microsoft is betting a lot on Teams in the future, which it intends to impose in the long term in the business world. The firm also pampers its users in this sense and even uses this platform to test things. For example, it’s on this one that the Clippy mascot made its big comeback via a pack of stickers.
A new application called “ Chat ” launched in May 2021 is entering Windows 11. Placed in the Taskbar, it allows you to very quickly access your contact list, reply or send messages or launch a search in the discussions. But it is behind a light version of Microsoft Teams that hides behind this new application. In short, the “Chat from Microsoft Teams” application that comes with Windows 11 is intended to be lighter and above all more general public.
For the moment, Skype should not disappear completely, since it is still possible to install it via the Microsoft Store or as an x86 application. It will also remain the prerogative of Windows 10, the time that remains to live for this OS. It is, however, a major change for the software that Microsoft acquired ten years ago and that the company has always pushed to the forefront, not hesitating to abandon MSN, and it’s old messaging.
Also, note that Internet Explorer has been removed from Windows 11. This is a historic step in the history of the browser since it is the first time that it will not equip a Microsoft operating system since its launch in 1997. Microsoft Edge, therefore, becomes the default browser. Windows official.
10. Windows 11 also bets on gaming
For Microsoft, the Xbox Series X does not represent the new generation of console, since it is only an access terminal to an ecosystem. With Windows 11, the convergence between PC and console gaming is reinforced. The Xbox app is installed on all Windows 11 devices, and users can access xCloud subject to a GamePass Ultimate subscription. Cross-play and cross-save are included, which means you can play with your friends regardless of their platform. Even more, Windows 11 brings two major new features.
The first, already present on the console, is Auto HDR. If you have a game and a compatible screen, Windows 11 automatically puts it in HDR, which was not the case on Windows 10. In addition, Microsoft is testing an application inspired by the Xbox allowing you to configure HDR settings directly to the operating system.
Finally, Windows 11 brings Direct Storage, which allows the SSD to communicate directly with the GPU. The result is very short loading times, even non-existent on some games. Added to this is increased performance in windowed mode for players who prefer to skip full screen.
However, all does not look so rosy. Indeed, our PC Gamer colleagues have noticed that the games were less efficient up to 25% on Windows 11 PCs. Here, it is the VBS, or virtualization-based security, which is the problem. You must therefore disable this feature in the settings. Note that only PCs with Windows 11 installed by default seem to have this problem since those coming from Windows 10 have no problem. There is no doubt that Microsoft will correct this mistake very quickly.
Note also that Qualcomm has rolled out its new WiFi Dual Station technology on Windows 11. The principle is simple: combine the two 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to drastically reduce latency rates and the various connection problems involved in particular. A feature that will be very useful to players accustomed to playing on Wi-Fi and not on an Ethernet connection.
11. Windows 11 is faster than Windows 10
Windows 11 is more efficient than Windows 10. For example, Microsoft claimed that it will wake up 25% faster than Windows 10. The OS knows better how to prioritize the elements to wake up and communicates better with the hardware. More so, it takes up less space on the SSD and native applications are not activated if you are not using them. They are therefore not updated in the background and therefore contribute to better system performance. What’s more, Microsoft has promised that 2022 will be all about improving performance as a whole.
On this subject, note that Microsoft plans to modify File Explorer, always with the aim of improving the overall performance of the OS. Indeed, the manufacturer plans to add an option to disable the synchronization of File Explorer with your documents saved on the OneDrive cloud and other online services from Microsoft. Something to gain fluidity.
Business users should also really appreciate Windows 11 since Microsoft has fixed a bug that affected the startup of some PCs. Occasionally, the operating system could be stuck on the boot screen for at least 40 minutes, but thanks to the new optional build 22000.651, Windows 11 PCs boot faster than ever.
Same observation for the sihost.exe process which has the unfortunate tendency to monopolize the use of the CPU, therefore lowering the performance of Windows 11. It took until the summer of 2022 for Microsoft to deploy an update containing the fix.
Finally, the last novelty concerning the speed of Windows 11: thanks to a new compression algorithm, Microsoft has improved the speed of data transfer on a local network via the SMB protocol. Clearly, when you transfer large files between two PCs at home, or between a PC and a NAS, the operation is significantly faster under Windows 11 than under Windows 10.
12. It is now necessary to have a Microsoft account
Microsoft pushed the use of an account on Windows 10, but it was still possible to have a local account. Now, for owners of Windows 11 Home, such an account is required to install it.
A way for Microsoft to control who uses its OS and to offer different services like OneDrive. Please note that the need to have an account can sometimes lead to somewhat strange bugs, such as the one preventing connection with a newly created account.
13. Microsoft applications have the right to a facelift
Microsoft software has also seen its design evolve with Windows 11, even if the way to use it will not change. The best known of them is Paint. We have the same icons, except that these have been modernized in order to respect the design codes of Windows 11, namely the emphasis on roundness and transparency. The software is also compatible with the dark theme. OneNote is also undergoing a big change since the Windows 10 (via the Microsoft Store) and Office versions have simply been merged for clarity.
Microsoft Office also has the right to a new version. Office 365 subscribers benefit from the new features, including a new design more in line with Windows 11. For those wanting to buy the software suite all at once, Office 2021 is available from October 5 at a price of 149 euros for individuals and 249 euros for professionals. Note that it is possible to install it on Windows 10, but also on macOS.
A few native applications have already had the right to a facelift in a recent update: the screen capture tool, Calculator, Mail, and Calendar. Their use does not change compared to their predecessors, however, these new versions bring a revised and corrected design, clearer and above all adapted to the dark mode of the operating system.
The Photos application is also experiencing a major facelift. Its operation remains identical to what we currently know, but the menus are reorganized. It is easier to modify an image and it is possible to display several at the same time. Moreover, the information concerning the snapshot viewed, such as its creation date or its size, is more visible.
A mythical piece of software is also undergoing a major facelift: the notepad. Present since the very first Windows, this word processing tool keeps its philosophy: it is simple, fast, and uncluttered. However, the headband has been slightly adjusted to be easier to use. Similarly, a settings menu appears.
Another timeless application to be entitled to a facelift: is the task manager. You start to know the song. The utility adopts the rounded contours of Fluent Design while the whole is much more refined. Another novelty, via a new build of Windows 11 which will be released in 2022, the Task Manager will take on colors. Indeed, it will adapt directly to the attenuation color chosen by the user.
But the big novelty of this version is the inclusion of a dark mode. Thus, it is possible to display a grayed-out page with white text. Much more restful for the eyes and above all in line with Windows 11.
Microsoft also unveiled a new version of its voice recording app. The new app has a new tagging feature, which allows you to tag specific timestamps. It is also possible to import audio files and change the audio input to use another microphone than the default one. Now you can even change the output file type. The application also has a new display in milliseconds and new playback speed options. Finally, M4A, MP3, WMA, FLAC, and WAV formats are all supported, with three audio quality settings to choose from.
Note also that it will be possible to use 3D emojis on Skype and Microsoft Teams. As part of Microsoft’s flagship promises when presenting the OS, these new generation emojis are still waiting. As confirmed by a veteran designer of the American giant in an official blog post, the Redmond firm is still working on the development of 3D emojis.
Note that all these default applications weigh 1.6 GB on your hard drive or SSD. If you have no use for them, we explain how to uninstall them in an article.
14. Windows Media Player is making a comeback
It’s a surprise comeback: that of Windows Media Player. The music and video player had been somewhat ousted in favor of Groove Music, but it will return in a few weeks in a new form. Revised and corrected design and use, a new way of managing its libraries, and visual adapted to Windows 11, this player is resolutely modern.
If you use Groove Music, don’t panic, since all your data and preferences will be automatically transferred to this player. For now, only Insiders can enjoy it.
15. Linux joins the Microsoft Store
Very popular with developers, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) can now be installed from the Microsoft Store. A clear improvement compared to the previous method, which required going to the command prompt. Several distributions of the OS are offered, and updates will also be made from the store, like a real application. Discover now our tutorial to download it.
16. Terminal Replaces Command Prompt
Now is the time for Terminal to become the default application for command lines. For years, this role has been held by the command prompt, which has since become somewhat obsolete. The next update, in 2022, will definitively impose the Terminal as its real replacement. Until then, it is possible to do the configuration by yourself.
17. File Explorer gets tabs and a new home
First spotted by members of the Insiders program, Microsoft has finally confirmed that File Explorer will finally feature tabbed browsing. No need to get lost among the dozens of open windows: only one will suffice once the functionality is deployed. In addition, the home page will change somewhat, leaving the possibility for the user to configure his own favorites. Microsoft started rolling out the feature with build 25136 which has been available to Insiders since June 2022.
The future of Windows 11
Of course, Microsoft intends to offer a long-term follow-up to Windows 11. The Redmond firm has already planned to release a major build per year. We also already have some information on version 23H2 of Windows 11, or code name Sun Valley 3. Although its launch is scheduled for 2023, Insider users have already been able to get a glimpse of this future frame of the OS.
Please note, however, that there are no major new features since this early version is content to correct many bugs, notably concerning File Explorer or the impossibility of shutting down the PC via the Start menu. Anyway, everything indicates that Microsoft is trying to eliminate all the bugs of this 23H2 version before releasing its innovations related to Sun Valley 3.
What is the minimum configuration to install Windows 11 on your PC?
A few small changes should be noted regarding the compatibility of Windows 11 compared to the previous version of the OS. It is imperative to have 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of disk space and above all a processor with 64-bit architecture. Fortunately, 32-bit applications are still supported. Here are the requirements to qualify for Windows 11:
- Processeur 1 GHz 64 bits dual-core
- 4 Go to RAM
- 64 GB of storage space
- 9-inch screen
- Image definition 1366 x 768 pixels
- UEFI, Secure Boot, and TPM 2.0 compatibility
- DirectX 12 support
A small utility is also available to test the compatibility of Windows 11 with any PC. This is PC Health Check. Be careful, however: it is possible that, despite a recent purchase, your machine appears to be incompatible. Remember to activate the TPM option in the BIOS or UEFI settings of your configuration. Everything should be back to normal once this option is enabled.
The need for a TPM chip makes many users cringe. In theory, for example, many old PCs are already excluded from the Windows 11 program. Microsoft explained this choice in a blog post. The aim here is to reinforce the security of user data with a hardware barrier.
There is, however, a trick that allows you to circumvent Microsoft’s requirements: thanks to a small utility, you can not only download the most recent version of Windows 11 but also ensure that the new operating system can be installed on a PC without TPM 2.0 and equipped with an old processor. This tip, therefore, allows you to set up Windows 11 on a PC that is not compatible. According to our first tests, it is always possible to take advantage of Windows 11 updates afterward, even if there is no guarantee that this will always be the case in the months that follow.
However, it should be noted that by circumventing the rules, you may not benefit from certain security updates. In addition, a watermark will constantly appear on your desktop, reminding you that your machine is not compatible. It is impossible to remove it.
Thanks to this configuration, you might think that Windows 11 is much faster than Windows 10. For the moment, this is not the case. Indeed, we have carried out our own comparative benchmark, from which Windows, unfortunately, comes out as the loser. Note however that we used an AMD processor, currently subject to a performance problem on the latest version of the OS. The scores obtained are therefore likely to change in the near future.
Note in this regard that these performance issues with AMD processors got worse with the first Windows 11 update. Indeed, the latency of the L3 cache has unfortunately increased with the Tuesday patch. Already at 17 ns, it went to 31 ns on an eight-core Ryzen 7 2700X. After confirming the arrival of two patches, AMD has kept its word and deployed an update on October 22 to fix all the problems with AMD processors. No more L3 cache management bugs to report in theory.
List of hardware compatible with Windows 11
Following Microsoft’s announcement regarding the minimum configuration required to take advantage of Windows 11, some component manufacturers have decided to take the lead by revealing the list of their products compatible with Microsoft’s latest OS. This is particularly the case with BIOSTAR, a specialized brand particularly recognized for its motherboards.
And precisely, the company revealed this Thursday, July 1, 2021, the complete list of its compatible motherboards. Unsurprisingly, all of the models listed are equipped with a TDM 2.0 chip and Secure Boot. The good surprise, however, since we find all the AMD Ryzen motherboards of the 300 and 500 series there. On the Intel side, however, the panel is much more limited.
- A520 series
- B550 series
- X570 series
- B450 series
- X470 series
- X370 series
- B350 series
- A320 series
- Z590 series
- B560 series
- B460 series
- H510 series
- B250 series
Regarding Intel products, be aware, however, that the latest Rocket Lake and Alder Lake processors do not allow you to play 4K Blu-Rays on Windows 11. Blame it on Intel’s abandonment of support for these SGX SoCs, an essential technology in the use of DRM. No SGX, no ability to play 4K Blu-Rays on Windows 11…
Microsoft has also officially confirmed that Windows 11 will not be compatible with Apple’s M1 Macs, even when using a virtual machine. Indeed, one of the most popular virtualization tools, Parallels Desktop, recently upgraded to version 17. Until now, users who installed Insider builds of Windows 11 had no problems, but the software has started showing hardware compatibility errors on this new version. Windows 10 is therefore the last version of Windows compatible with Apple M1 computers.
Note, and it’s a bit funny, that users had fun trying to install Windows 11 on old processors. A Youtuber noticed that a Pentium 4 from 2006 was completely compatible and could therefore officially support the OS. This might just be an oversight by Microsoft, but it’s fun.
What is the release date of Windows 11?
Windows 11 was released in its definitive edition on October 5, 2021. The deployment of the new operating system is gradual. First served were brand new computers, followed by newer machines. Older computers will benefit from the update a little later. Microsoft plans that all PCs eligible for Windows 11 will be able to benefit from the new version of the OS by mid-2022.
Note that the very first PC to ship Windows 11 will not be a Surface, which is surprising. Indeed, this premiere will return to the new Honor Magicbook V14. Honor and Microsoft have indeed signed a strategic partnership that includes the release of the very first PC to be equipped with Windows 11. Anyway, the deployment is progressing, but the latter does not seem very fast. In February 2022, 19% of eligible PCs installed the operating system. Then, in June, they are 23% to have installed the operating system.
In April 2022, we learned that Windows 11 only works on 1.44% of all PCs on the market, and is therefore still less popular than Windows XP or even Windows 7, at 1.71% and 4.70 respectively. %.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly working on Windows 11 SE, a lite version of the OS developed for the education market. This version would also be accompanied by a new Surface laptop, equipped with an Intel Celeron N4120 SoC with 8 GB of RAM. It would be offered below the 400-dollar mark, to hope to compete with Google and its Chromebooks.
Since its release, Windows 11 has already had many updates. Moreover, Microsoft welcomed the enthusiasm caused by its new OS. According to an official blog post published this January 27, 2022, users are spending 40% more time on their PCs on Windows 11 compared to Windows 10. Among other things, the free upgrade motivated users twice than Win10.
However, many of the features mentioned in this article are not yet available to the general public. While users hoped to be able to take advantage of it at the start of 2022, it will ultimately not be the case. Indeed, the next big Windows 11 update, dubbed Sun Valley 2 or 22H2, finally arrived in May 2022. The opportunity to discover that it contains no less than 35 preinstalled applications. Insiders in the Release Preview channel were able to get the final release in early June 2022, build 22621, through the Windows Insider option in the Windows Update section of Windows 11. Its rollout for all users will begin as early as June 20 September 2022.
Interestingly, Microsoft seems undecided about its update strategy. Unlike Windows 10 which offered a major and a minor year, Windows 11 was initially only entitled to one update per year. But in February 2022, the OS received a substantial update, bringing many new features. The Redmond firm has also stated that this type of update will be done more frequently.
Lately, Microsoft rolled out a new version in March 2022 of Windows 11. In particular, it includes a system for blocking potentially dangerous applications, as well as a new subscription and payment means manager. Convenient to avoid a possible suspension of your online services in the event of a change of bank card, for example.
Will Windows 10 disappear?
Windows 10 isn’t going away anytime soon, as Microsoft plans to update it on a regular basis until at least 2025. If your PC isn’t compatible with Windows 11 or you just don’t want to switch OS, you still have four years ahead of you, at the very least.
Launched in 2015, Windows 10 will bow out after 10 years of existence.
In addition, the OS will continue to receive its big annual updates. Next October, a big patch will bring various major new features, such as an improvement to Windows Hello. If you plan to switch from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you will necessarily benefit from it, since Microsoft’s new operating system will be deployed in early 2022.
Also, note that it will be possible to switch from Windows 11 to Windows 10 if you are not convinced. However, it will have to be done within 10 days after installation if you want to keep your data. After this period, all your personal items will be deleted.
What is the price of Windows 11?
When Windows 10 was released in 2015, Microsoft “offered” all Windows 7 and Windows 8 users a license for its new operating system. This offer was only supposed to last a year, but six years later it is still active. The Redmond publisher is repeating the operation with Windows 11: anyone with a Windows 7, 8.1, or Windows 10 license will be entitled to a free migration to Windows 11.
We tested the manipulation which consists in using a serial number coming sometimes from Windows 7, and sometimes from Windows 10. The registration of the license worked perfectly. As for the newcomers, Microsoft made a drastic and unusual decision. Indeed, it will be impossible to buy a Windows 11 license, whether you are an individual or a company. The information was confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson. To get Windows 11, you will actually need to acquire a license for Windows 10 before migrating to the latest version of the operating system for free.
Be careful, however, there are a few things to know. The transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is seamless and you keep your files and personal data. The passage from Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 will be a little more complicated since it will be necessary to do a complete reinstallation. Thus, the tool will delete and clean your storage from top to bottom, sacrificing your data in the process. Care must therefore be taken to keep everything important on external storage. This a reflex that we advise you to adopt in all circumstances.
Finally, the last track to consider: is the acquisition of a Windows in the form of a subscription. A formula that would take on its full meaning with a Windows in the Cloud, the release of which also seems imminent. Remember that Microsoft has already been offering Office 365 in this format since 2011. If Windows 11 were to be available in a remote version on the Cloud, Microsoft may well launch such an offer.