Microsoft took the wraps off of Windows 11 in a 45-minute online event, titled “What’s next for Windows,”. This was held on the 24th of June, 2021. A few days later, the company released the first preview of the new operating system for members of the Windows Insider Preview Program.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, this version is the successor to Windows 10. It’s built on the same core architecture as Windows 10. Indeed, Microsoft could have chosen to deliver the new features in this update through a series of semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 without a name change.
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For starters, there’s a new user experience, with refreshed colors and icons, major changes to the Start menu and taskbar, and an extensive reworking of the Settings app. Also, a Widgets pane designed to deliver bite-size chunks of news and reminders. And a greatly improved way to snap windows into position.
Speaking of apps, it will include a new Windows Subsystem for Android, allowing Android apps to run on the familiar Windows desktop.
What’s the Most Recent Windows 11 Version?
It is currently available only to members of the Windows Insider Program. The most recent update, version number 22000.71, was released on the 15th of July, 2021. For a list of features and updates, see this official Microsoft announcement.
Windows 11 System Requirements
The published system requirements are as follows:
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC)
- RAM: at least 4 GB
- Storage: at least 64 GB of available storage
- Security: TPM version 2.0, UEFI firmware, Secure Boot capable
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display, 9″ or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel
Naturally, you’ll need an internet connection to keep your windows up-to-date and to download and use some features.
Windows 11 User interface
When a preliminary build of update of version 11 leaked ahead of Microsoft’s June announcement, the leak kicked off a flurry of superficial coverage that obsessed over tiny visual changes. To a casual observer, it looked like a glorified theme pack for Windows 10.
The taskbar contains one new button, which opens a Widgets pane on the left side of the display. For now, at least, the selection of widgets is limited mostly to Microsoft services. Other taskbar tweaks are relatively minor, although the ability to fine-tune the visibility of tray icons and a crisper, cleaner Quick Settings app are welcome.
Windows 11 Release Date
Microsoft says the official release of the version 11 will arrive on new hardware in late 2021. Most knowledgeable observers expect the version 11 GA release to arrive in October 2021.
Windows 11 Download
As of July 2021, Microsoft is making preview versions of Windows 11 available for anyone who opts into the Windows Preview Program and signs up for the Dev Channel. More polished versions of update 11 preview releases should arrive in the Beta channel in August and September.
How much will Windows 11 cost?
On any PC with a properly licensed copy of Windows 10, the upgrade to Windows 11 will be free. Microsoft hasn’t announced prices for version 11 retail editions yet. But it’s reasonable to expect they will be identical to the prices of corresponding Windows 10 editions.
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