On Tuesday, Windows 11, the newest version of Microsoft’s computer operating system, will be available as a free update for Windows 10 customers throughout the world.
Panos Panay, Windows’ chief product officer, told news outlets that the new version was designed to be “clean, fresh, and easier” for users.
He assured users that the new operating system will not be an “extreme divergence” from what they are used to.
Even the least tech-savvy people, he noted, can readily update.
“I utilize my father’s frame – he’s 89,” Mr. Panay explained. “You have no clue how thrilled I am for him to press that button and upgrade.”
“Not because he’s my father; I just want things to be simple for him.”
He said that experienced users had previously extensively tested it through Windows’ Insider trial program and that there will be no teething difficulties, adding that the upgrade is “ready today.”
Welcome To The New Start Menu
Windows 11 has substantial aesthetic modifications as well as improvements to the system’s internal workings.
The Start menu, as well as icons on the taskbar, are centered on the screen by default. When the Start button is pressed, a selection of commonly used apps appears.
It resembles the look of a smartphone app menu or launcher in certain respects. The “tiles” that were featured in Windows 10’s start menu have likewise been removed by Microsoft.
Mr. Panay stated that the team had learnt from Windows 8, which completely removed the start menu, causing many customers to be dissatisfied.
“Of course, you learn from that and then adjust,” he added.
Watching how people use their computers – “what they want to click on, where their eyes are on the system when they walk into our laboratories,” he added – was a big part of developing Windows 11’s interface.
“Learning from history gives you this confidence,” he continued.
For Windows 11, go here “The Start button is directly in front of you. It’s at the very center of the screen. It hasn’t vanished.”
The Beginning Of A New Windows Age
Microsoft announced Windows 10 to be the “last version” of the operating system when it was released. That clearly, has changed.
“We’re in the midst of a new age for the PC right now,” Mr. Panay added.
“I believe Windows 11 “stamps” that moment and serves as a signal for it.”
The design favors rounded edges throughout the operating system, and most menus and folder displays have been streamlined. There are also new and enhanced capabilities for organizing and “snapping” windows into grids.
Widgets, which were a big selling feature for Windows Vista in 2007, are returning, but this time they live in a sidebar on the left and are tied to Microsoft services instead of “floating” on the screen where the user puts them.
Some of the improvements go beyond the interface and design.
Microsoft’s advertising emphasizes system interconnections for Microsoft Teams (which will replace Skype) and the Xbox app.
The Microsoft Store, which is the Windows equivalent of an app store, has been entirely rebuilt, and third-party programs will be able to sell within it without paying a significant fee.
One new feature that drew attention in the IT industry was Windows 11’s ability to run Android smartphone apps via the Amazon app store.
Early users claim that the new version’s built-in search function is considerably quicker on most devices, but that it also favors Microsoft’s services, Bing and the Edge browser when providing online results.
It’s Time For An Upgrade
For gamers, Microsoft claims that their new drive technology, Direct Storage, would allow graphics cards to access storage drives without passing via the central CPU, resulting in significantly faster loading times in games.
However, that functionality, like others, requires modern hardware to function.
As a result, not every computer will receive all of the benefits of updating, and some computers may be unable to update at all.
A form of security chip known as a TPM, which is only found on current computers, is one of the minimal criteria.
“If your computer does not match these criteria, you may be unable to install Windows 11 on it and should consider acquiring a new PC,” Microsoft advises.
To coincide with the new Windows version, the business has just released a line of new hardware products.
However, if the machine is still functional, customers who currently have Windows 10 do not need to spend the money. Until October 2025, Windows 10 will be maintained and get security updates.