Windows 11: new features, release date, TMP 2.0 compatibility, update, price … all about the new Microsoft OS

Windows 11, the successor to Windows 10, will arrive in the fall of 2021 with many new features. After Microsoft’s official presentation on June 24, here’s what you need to know about the next PC operating system.

At a conference on June 24, 2021, Microsoft lifted the veil on its all-new Windows 11, which will be released in final standalone 2021. “Windows is 35 years old. This represents decades of innovation. In recent months, interest in communication has grown. The OS has become a tool for personal relationships, remote collaboration and training. It is in this spirit that we created Windows 11 “, said Panos Costa Panay, chief product officer of Microsoft, in the introduction to the conference.

The design and experience of Windows 11 has been simplified to promote productivity and inspire creativity. The graphic theme of the OS is much lighter than that of Windows 10, with blue continuing to predominate. As in Windows 10, a dark theme is also available.

Minimum configuration to install Windows 11 on  PC

Some small changes are to be reported regarding the compatibility of Windows 11 compared to Windows 10

  • 1 GHz 64-bit dual-core processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB of storage space
  • 9 inch screen
  • Image definition 1366 x 768 pixels
  • UEFI, Secure Boot and TPM compatibility
  • Support for DirectX 12

There is a small utility (PC Health Check) to test the compatibility of Windows 11 with any PC. Please note that, despite a recent purchase, your PC may appear to be incompatible. In this case, consider activating the TPM option in the BIOS or UEFI settings of your configuration. Everything should be in order once this option is activated.

The need for a TPM chip makes many users cringe. Many old PCs, for example, are already excluded from the Windows 11 program. Microsoft explained this choice in a blog post. This is to strengthen the security of user data with a hardware barrier. A decision assumed by society which will force many people to change their PC. Note that there are already ways around this obstacle (Please leave a comment or subscribe to the news letter if you are interested in these ways).

What date is Windows 11 coming out?

Windows 11 will be released in its final edition in 2021. Microsoft explains on its blog that Windows 11 will be available after Thanksgiving ie between the end of November and all of December, and that the deployment cycle can extend until 2022.

But don’t worry, the company has been releasing a preview version of Windows 11 since June 28, 2021. All betas are available through the Windows Insider program, which is free and easily accessible when available. a valid Windows 10 license.

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What is the price?

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 for a year, but six years later it is still active. The publisher of Redmond reiterates the operation with Windows 11: anyone with a license of Windows 7, 8.1 or Windows 10 will be entitled to a free migration to Windows 11.

We tested the operation which consists in using a serial number sometimes coming from Windows 7, sometimes from Windows 10. The registration of the license worked perfectly. As for newcomers, they will probably have to get their hands dirty, knowing that right now, a full license of Windows 10 costs between 145 and 259 euros depending on the version. It is likely that a Windows 11 license will show up at similar prices.

Windows 11 features

Windows 11 can launch Android games and apps

One of the most important new features of Windows 11 is that 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 opening up the Google OS dedicated to smartphones and tablets should considerably increase the Windows repository, while establishing a bridge between two ecosystems.

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Android applications for Windows 11 can be accessed from the Microsoft Store through the Amazon Appstore, but it is also possible to install APK files, and therefore do away with the Amazon Android store. 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 run Android games and apps on Microsoft’s OS. Note that the Windows Store is also undergoing a facelift. It is much clearer now.

The new Windows 11 taskbar

It is possible to completely customize the Windows 11 taskbar. But rather than going through menus and sub-menus as for Windows 10, Microsoft has decided to do away with the cascading menus and to group everything together within one and the same option, the Taskbar Settings function.

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Une autre nouveauté de la barre des tâches est que le champ de recherche a disparu pour laisser place à une icône (une loupe) qui affiche une fenêtre permettant d’effectuer une recherche en local ou sur le Web, de consulter le top des applications, de lancer une requête spécifique dans les dossiers, la musique, les photos, les vidéos et autres.

A NEW START MENU

A major modification of the OS is the Start menu. With Windows 11, 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, while 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 is the case for Windows 10.

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WINDOWS AND ICONS CHANGE THE 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 Explorer windows, Settings windows, the News & Interests Widget, or the many apps you may need to install: rounded edges are a must.

Windows icons are getting a new lease of life. We had already been able to get a glimpse of it through a preview of Windows 10, it is now in effect for Windows 11. File Explorer thus benefits from new icons, as shown in the screenshot above.

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.

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New Window Positioning Feature

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Microsoft has decided to place the display possibilities directly in the application and Explorer windows. By leaving the small cursor on the icon which opens a window on the whole screen, a new menu of icons appears. Thanks to it, we 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 little detail that changes life, even if the good old method of sticking a window in a corner still works.

THE PARAMETERS MENU becomes more beautiful

The Settings menu, still present on Windows 11, has seen some changes compared to Windows 10. Overall, we have access to the same things and the organization is the same. However, navigation has been reviewed. We now have a menu in the form of lists, so exit the icons on a white background. The Settings allowing you to personalize your Windows experience still exist, but the options are more numerous with Windows 11. Thus, different predefined themes can be chosen. Each of them offers its colors, its effects, its small peculiarities. Of course, everything can be customized at will. A lot 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 revised. The contrasts and the different gray levels have been redesigned from 0 compared to Windows 10.
Finally, and it’s important to point out, the good old Control Panel is still there.

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THE SKYPE APPLICATION DISAPPEARS IN THE BENEFIT OF A NEW “CHAT” APPLICATION BASED ON MICROSOFT TEAMS

The first available build does not preinstall Skype and does away with all its integrations normally present in Windows 10. Windows 11 is preparing to replace Skype with Microsoft Teams. A new application called “Chat” and launched in May 2021 makes its entry into Windows 11. Placed in the taskbar, it allows you to very quickly access your list of contacts, to reply or to send messages or search the messages. But it is well behind a light version of Microsoft Teams that is behind this new application. In short, the “Chat from Microsoft Teams” application which comes with Windows 11 is intended to be lighter and above all more general public.

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Skype users don’t have to worry because with Windows 11 you can still install it through the store. Microsoft doesn’t plan to make it go away any time soon, at least as long as Windows 10 lives.

GAMING ON WINDOWS 11

Microsoft is also betting on gaming. With Windows 11, the convergence between PC and console gaming will be strengthened. The Xbox app will be installed on all Windows 11 devices and users will be able to access xCloud subject to a GamePass Ultimate subscription. Cross-play and cross-save will be part of the game, which means you can play with your friends regardless of their platform. Even more, Windows 11 will bring two major novelties. The first, already present on console, is Auto HDR. If you have a game and a compatible screen, Windows 11 will automatically put it in HDR, which was not the case on Windows 10. Finally, Windows 11 will bring Direct Storage, which allows the SSD to communicate directly with the GPU. This will result in very short loading times, or even non-existent on some games.

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BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH TURNS IN BLACK

The Blue Screen of Death, a true institution of Windows, is now black. Microsoft went so far as to change the color of this agonizing screen in the design modification. Its function, however, remains the same. If you see it appearing, that’s still a bad sign.

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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. From now on, for owners of Windows 11 Home, such an account will be required to install it.

However, it will still be possible to switch back to a local account once the operating system is installed on your PC. You have to go to the options and deactivate the Microsoft account. If you will no longer send data to the Redmond firm, you will no longer be able to enjoy synchronization and OneDrive.

Whatever happens, you will therefore be required to have an account with Microsoft to install the OS.