In 2015, a Microsoft employee, according to Forbes, said at a conference that “Windows 10 is the final version of Windows”, implying that the Windows version would be updated regularly but the version
number will not change. He was partly wrong. Indeed, Windows 10 has had a number of updates, some of which are quite important.
But now with Windows 11, there are some cool new design changes, but – fundamentally – not much different from Windows 10. And, if you stick with Windows 10, don’t worry about it becoming Outdated- dating early. Microsoft will continue to support it with updates until at least 2025.
Unless you have a very new PC, chances are you have Windows 10 or an earlier version. Unlike Mac users, Windows users tend not to update just because Microsoft has a new version. Free to update from Windows 10 to 11 but, as I wrote in July, even some relatively new Windows machines may not have the necessary hardware for Windows 11, as I discovered with the HP All -in-One his 3 years old. desktop. To try out the new OS and because I needed a faster machine for video editing (one of the few compelling reasons to upgrade my PC), I recently replaced it with an HP All- new 27-inch in-One included. Windows 11. But just because I upgraded doesn’t mean you should. As a product reviewer, it’s my duty to try new things. Most people don’t need the latest version.
To find out if your Windows 10 machine is compatible with Windows 11, update the operating system (type “check for updates” in the Start menu) and it will tell you if your machine has enough. conditions to update or not. If the answer is no, don’t fret. As you’ll see updates aren’t all that appealing.
If you visit this column online (search Mercury News’ Larry Magid) you’ll find a link to a Microsoft chart comparing Windows 11 to Windows 10, and if you’re like many PC users, you’ll Not all. blown away by what’s new.
What I first noticed is that the start menu and taskbar are now in the bottom center of the screen instead of the left. It was not only trivial but I found it annoying so I clicked on the taskbar, selected the Taskbar settings and changed it back. You will also notice a slightly new interface. Colors and images are softer and more Mac-like, with rounded corners. Other than that, it looks pretty much like Windows 10.
Rearrange the desktop
There are some notable new features, including the ability to create virtual desktops, almost like having multiple monitors. You can have one virtual desktop that shows all your work apps and another for your personal apps. Or you can have separate desktops for different projects. It’s a way to organize your work and declutter your desktop so that you only see the important windows at the moment.
Another new Windows 11 feature is Snap Layouts, which automatically rearranges your open windows. Click the maximize window button on any window and choose a layout. For example, you can have that window show up on the left side of the screen and all the other windows on the right, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Windows 11 also has support for HDR displays, which can improve video transmission on some newer displays.
Widgets, Teams and Android Apps
Widgets are small programs that provide information such as the weather, stock prices, sports scores, or can display your photos. They are on smartphones and Macs, and they used to be on Windows as “gadgets”. And now they’re back to Windows 11 with a pop-up taskbar icon.
Microsoft has also added Windows Teams to the operating system for those who want to use collaboration features like chat and video conferencing.
Another feature of Windows 11 is the ability to run Android apps. I haven’t tested it because it’s not available yet, but when it does, you’ll be able to run some but not all Android apps on your Windows 11 PC. This may seem trivial to some, but I have a device that comes with a smartphone app and no web interface, so this should, in theory, allow me to turn the oven on and off. Heating and other smart home devices can only be controlled with a smartphone app.
Under the hood
Microsoft says there are additional improvements that may not show up, such as performance, optimization, and security updates. Some of these improvements may also come to Windows 10 as Microsoft continues to improve that version of the operating system as well.
If you have Windows 10 and are happy with it, there’s no compelling reason to upgrade unless one of the new features is relatively hard to ignore. That is assuming your machine has the hardware requirements to do the conversion. If not, you can upgrade your hardware, but that’s usually not worth the cost and effort and may be impossible or at least impractical on laptops and all-in-ones. easily detached. If you are looking for a new Windows machine, chances are it comes with Windows 11 or comes with Windows 10 and can be upgraded for free. However, you should double check because there may still be some machines on the market that are not compatible with Windows 11.
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and internet safety activist.