What is Windows 11? Features, Pros, Cons & More

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 refers to the latest major inclusion in the family of the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. This is a significant upgrade to its predecessor Windows 10.

This free upgrade was released in October 2021 and can be installed in any Windows 10 system that meets its specific requirements.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Windows 11 operating system comes with improved features than Windows 10 and is free to upgrade but it needs only a genuine Windows 10 computer along with some specific system requirements.
  • This OS comes with a brand new design that looks very attractive and makes the interface quite user friendly. However, a user needs to devote some time and effort to adapt to the changes made in this OS with respect to its predecessor.
  • A lot of features available in the windows 10 are found missing in this OS but there are lots of benefits offered by it which allows easy management of the desktop and enhances the productivity of the users.
  • The system also comes with a wide and varied number of language packs and language interface packs in a self service model rather than LXP which will help the users greatly especially in the business environments.
  • Making it easier for everyone to use a PC and to increase their productivity and hone their creative skills, this OS also offers a more robust security with TPM 2.0 security chip and UEFI secure boot.

Understanding Windows 11 Operating System

What is Windows 11

Windows 11 operating system of Microsoft is attractive and useful but it cannot be said to be exceptionally innovative.

This is because it is simply an upgrade of its predecessor Windows 10 and experts think that by releasing it Microsoft has taken on a risk.

In spite of it, the response to this OS has been remarkably well since its launch due to its sleek new design, a more attractive user interface and loads of useful features.

This OS can seriously enhance computing and gaming performance both.

This particular operating system operates in pretty much the same way as the predecessor does but in a more polished manner and by offering more conveniences in the process.

The operating system can run almost all apps and there is something new offered by Microsoft in almost every area of it to make it a popular desktop OS to offer a higher and better experience.

Whether you are creating or playing, it will provide a more reliable connectivity.

The features and the functionality of this operating system combined makes using a computer much easier for everyone.

It also empowers the users to be more productive and creative and at the same time ensures additional security and flexibility in management of work and workplace with UEFI supported boot and TPM 2.0 security chip.

In spite of offering a lot to be excited about, one significant downside of it is the system requirements to use Windows 11.

It is quite stringent in comparison to Windows 10 and Microsoft cites their security considerations for it in particular.

Typically, you will need an 8th generation Intel core, AMD Ryzen with Zen+ microarchitecture or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 ARM SoC or newer to use this OS apart from other specified specs.

Windows 11 typically comes in two particular editions namely the Home edition and the Pro edition.

While the former version is designed specifically for the consumer users the latter comes with additional security and networking features along with the ability to join a domain which makes it perfect for business use.

There is also another version of it available – the Windows 11 SE. Launched on November 9, 2021, this version is specifically designed for use in the low-end devices that are used by students and are sold usually in the education market.

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This version is intended to be the successor of Windows 10 S and compete with Chrome OS.

However, there are a few demerits in this version with respect to the inclusion and exclusion of the features.

It received a lot of feedback from the educators wanting a more simplified user interface that will cause less ‘distraction.’

The supported languages before Windows 11 offered two alternatives for device imaging such as:

  • Component Based Servicing lp.cab files – This is for the languages that were to be preloaded during the first boot and
  • Local Experience Pack .appx files – This is for the downloadable languages on compatible computers.

The lp.cab typically contained the 38 Language Pack or LP that were fully localized and the .appx files contained the rest of the 72 Language Interface Pack or LIP that were partially localized.

The Windows 11 changed that process and has also included five new languages in the pack such as:

  • Basque
  • Catalan
  • Galician
  • Indonesian and
  • Vietnamese.

The total number of LP languages is now up to 43 that can be imaged only by lp.cab packages. This ensures increased update experience and wholly supported language imaging.

The left over 67 LIP languages are self-service models and can be added by the users only through the Microsoft Store and by using the Windows Settings app. This is quite a useful feature for the business environment.

Features of Windows 11

The Windows 11 operating system comes with renovated visual resign and appearance and with a new start and widgets menu. There are also new tools introduced that allow better management.

In addition to the above, there are also lots of minor changes made by Intel in the Windows 11 operating system with inclusion and exclusion of some features compared to its predecessor Windows 10. Here they are in detail:

  • The visual design and appearance is overhauled with more colorful icons, centered and bigger texts
  • The Start menu is new and more streamlined with the taskbar located at the center with clearer and more customizable sections
  • The new widgets menu allows auto-updating and comes with neat features
  • New tools are added in the Snap Assist Feature for better arranging and managing of windows on desktop
  • The updated default apps comes with new features and new look
  • The settings app is redesigned with a constant left menu to move and find things quickly
  • Multiple desktop that allows using different background image or color for different desktop use
  • The messaging and video conferencing tool Teams is integral which allows easier and faster access
  • Tablet mode and docking allows minimizing call up and recalling running apps
  • A much better app store due to the collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon
  • Newer, smoother, gentler sound of Windows startup
  • Wider support for gaming consoles and boosted gaming performance and visual quality with Direct Storage and Auto HDR support
  • Better surety offered via Secure Boot and Trusted Platform Module to TPM 2.0 security chip
  • New action center with all necessary controls and notifications provided
  • Universal media control to manage all media playback
  • A more functional and useful modern file explorer with all necessary features
  • New context menu with rounded corners and command bar top-up that replaces the ribbon menu bar
  • Newer, better, wider and more varied Microsoft store that looks truly great
  • Background installation system that offers faster and more efficient Windows updates
  • Redesigned Your Phone app matches the UI
  • The MS Paint, Office, Photos, and Media Player are new and look better
  • New Focus Sessions that allow better management of tasks and schedule
  • A wonderful voice recognition algorithm that allows voice typing
  • Advanced Gesture Controls that allow smoother and easier moving between the apps
  • The new and better looking minimal lock screen further betters management
  • New and some of the most beautiful wallpapers that make the system look even more stunning
  • Fluid and eye captivating animations across the user interface
  • Much improved Touch keyboard with background, theme and customization
  • Clipboard syncing that allows easy integration of smartphone and computer
  • Displays graphs to indicate battery health and usage and the time for which the screen is turned on and
  • The ARM64Ec layer that allows 64 bit emulation on Advanced RISC Machine or ARM computers.
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The operating system also supports different language versions to allow complete localization as it is customary for them, as said earlier.

There are a few specific features that have been either removed or downgraded from Windows 10 in Windows 11 operating system. Here are a few of the features that have been impacted:

  • Cortana is not included any more in the taskbar or first boot experience
  • Desktop wallpaper            cannot be meander when logged in with a Microsoft account
  • Internet Explorer 11 is replaced with Microsoft Edge
  • Limited management capabilities for organizations for customizing start and taskbar experiences
  • Start layout can be overridden but cannot be locked down to prevent a user from modifying it
  • Organization can control taskbar pins and ordering
  • Math Input Panel is removed but Math Recognizer installs on demand that comes with input control and recognizer
  • Multi-App Kiosk Mode is removed and it supports only a single app in this mode
  • Associated settings and Quick Status is removed from the lock screen
  • S Mode is available only in Windows 11 Home edition
  • Search Results keep on coming from the internet and cannot be disabled through the Registry Key
  • Snipping Tool and Snip and Sketch are merged
  • Start   menu no longer supports named groups and folders of apps
  • Live Tiles are removed
  • Tablet Mode is not available anymore
  • Taskbar is changed with people no longer present on it
  • A few icons and customization options are removed from the taskbar
  • Timeline is no longer available
  • Touch Keyboard does not dock or undock keyboard layouts on the screen any more if the size is 18 inches or larger
  • Wallet is not available
  • Windows Deployment Services is somewhat lowly and
  • The Private Store tab is not included in Windows Store for Business and Windows Store for Education.

System Requirements for Windows 11

One of the most basic system requirements to install or upgrade and run Windows 11 is to have a computer running on Windows 10 operating system of 2004 or later in the first place.

The other major system requirements are:

  • At least a dual core processor with 1 gigahertz of operational speed or faster and compatible with a 64-bit processor or System on a Chip
  • At least 4 gigabytes of RAM
  • 64 GB or larger storage
  • Secure Boot capable system firmware            UEFI or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
  • TPM or Trusted Platform Module version 2.0
  • A graphics card with Windows Display Driver Model or WDDM 2.0 driver and compatible with DirectX 12
  • A High definition display of 9 inches or more supporting 8 bits per color channel
  • Internet connection for all Windows 11 editions upgrades and
  • A Microsoft account especially for Windows 11 Pro for initial setup of device or to opt out of Windows 11 Home in S mode.

There may be some hardware requirements as well for using a few specific features and to run a few particular apps on Windows 11. Also, a few additional system requirements may be applicable in due course of time for further updates.

Here are some of the additional system requirements for additional features over and above the ones already mentioned above for regular Windows 11 operating system:

  • Windows Subsystem for Android will need 8 GB of RAM and an 8th generation Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3000, and Snapdragon 8c or higher processor
  • 5G will need 5G capable modem
  • Auto HDR will require an HDR monitor
  • BitLocker to Go will need a USB flash drive
  • Client Hyper-V needs SLAT or Second Level Address Translation capabilities by the processor
  • Cortana will need a proper speaker and microphone
  • Direct Storage will require an NVMe SSD with Standard NVM Express Controller driver as well as a DirectX12 graphics card with Shader Model 6.0 support
  • Presence will need a sensor to detect the distance of the user from the device or the intent to use it
  • Intelligent Video Conferencing   will need a video camera, speaker and microphone
  • MVA or Multiple Voice Assistant will need a microphone and speaker
  • Snap   three-column layouts will need a pixel width of 1920 or more in the screen
  • Mute/Un-mute from Taskbar will need a video camera, microphone and speaker
  • Spatial Sound will need proper hardware and software support
  • Microsoft Teams need video camera, microphone and speaker
  • Touch needs a screen that supports multi-touch
  • Two-Factor Authentication needs using biometric, PIN, or a smartphone with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi support
  • Voice Typing will need a microphone
  • Wake on Voice will need a microphone as well as a Modern Standby power model
  • Wi-Fi 6E will need WLAN IHV driver and hardware as well as a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP or router
  • Windows Hello will need an IR camera for imaging, fingerprint reader for biometric authentication, PIN or portable security key that is Microsoft compatible
  • Windows Projection will need a display adapter with Windows Display Driver Model 2.0 support and a Wi-Fi adapter with Wi-Fi Direct support and
  • Using the Xbox app will need an Xbox Live account.
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Advantages

Windows 11 comes with better functionality and productivity features along with a more refreshing feel and look that will enable you to do more with little stress. It will allow better multitasking and much boosted system performance and desktop management with its useful features like Snap Layouts and more.

A few other notable benefits offered by this operating system include and are certainly not limited to:

  • Virtual desktops
  • AI- powered widgets
  • Microsoft teams
  • Android apps
  • Snap groups and layouts
  • Docking and undocking
  • Beautiful appeal
  • Bar to dock
  • Next generation gaming better and useful graphical changes
  • Tablet mode
  • Improved task view
  • Instant search and
  • Attractive User interface.

Disadvantages

One of the significant downsides of Windows 11 OS is a lot of noise especially while using tech news or social media sites.

Other cons of it include:

  • Irksome, more simplified and restricted menu
  • No Skype
  • Less and centrally located taskbar
  • No timeline
  • No Cortana
  • More delays
  • Fewer layouts
  • Need to log in to Microsoft account
  • Strict system requirements
  • Longer user adaptability
  • Probable issues with upgrades
  • Hard to change default apps
  • Mandatory use of the Edge browser
  • No Action Center
  • Inconvenient for tablets due to unfamiliar swipe features
  • Need for a third-party antivirus.
  • Troubleshooting is not an easy affair and
  • Using it for business may need to train the employees adding to the cost.

Is Windows 11 Free?

Yes, Windows 11 operating system is free to upgrade from Windows 10. However, depending on the size of the download there may be some ISP fees applicable usually in metered connections.

Is Windows 11 Good?

Yes, Windows 11 is pretty good to use since it comes with features that are useful to enhance gaming experiences. The design changes make it more attractive and usable and the performance enhancements offered by it also makes it a worthy upgrade.

Conclusion

As you can see, the benefits offered by Windows 11 eclipse its downsides and you will love to use this operating system due to its useful and attractive features.

This OS will not only improve the performance of your system and your productivity but will also offer you a much higher gaming and visual experience.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She loves to play video games and watch movies when she has no writing assignments. Follow Her at Linkedin