Why You Should Update to Windows 11

edited August 2023 in PC Tech

It's definitely time to upgrade to Windows 11. Since its October 2021 debut, Microsoft has been fine-tuning its operating system (OS) with new features and improvements. If you're still clinging to Windows 10, here's a reality check: Microsoft has halted adding any new OS features.

Windows 10 support will end on October 14, 2025—a rapidly approaching deadline. The release of version 22H2 marks the final act for Windows 10, leaving only bug fixes and security updates in its wake.

Should you upgrade to the newest Windows OS? Before diving in, remember Microsoft no longer sells new Windows 10 licenses. If you're considering a new computer or upgrade, Windows 11 is the new go-to choice.

Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: what's new and noteworthy

Windows 11 might not seem like a radical departure from Windows 10. Some are minor tweaks, like a new-look Start menu and Taskbar. Others are defining you

can run Android apps on Windows 11. Let's dive into the ten most notable Windows 11 changes:

1) Revamped visual design

Windows 11 ushers in a sleek, modern interface reminiscent of Android or Mac experiences. The OS uses Microsoft's Fluent Design language to boast a clean design with rounded corners and larger, vibrant icons. The intuitive interface is designed with touchscreens in mind and seamlessly adapts when you connect or disconnect displays. Plus, Windows apps now feature a gorgeous Dark Mode.

2) Refined Start Menu and Taskbar

The most striking visual change is the new Windows 11 Start button and task icons, now centered on the screen by default (though you can revert to the Windows 10 layout if preferred). The Start Menu is simplified with a search bar at the top, followed by two customizable sections:

  • Pinned: Displays your pinned apps.
  • Recommended: Highlights recently opened files and installed apps.

In the Taskbar, the search box is reduced to an icon. Cortana functions are removed, making way for Microsoft Teams, which has full Windows 11 integration. You can remove the icon if you don't use Teams though.

3) Enhanced virtual desktops

Windows 11 builds upon the virtual desktops introduced in Windows 10 so you can stay organized and maximize your productivity. You can easily toggle between multiple customizable desktops for:

  • Personal
  • Work
  • Gaming
  • Content creation

4) New window management tools

Snap Layouts helps you work better and improve productivity by sharing many app windows on a single screen. When working on specific tasks, you can get the most from your favorite apps. With many layout sizes to choose from, multitasking is a snap. You can also use the Taskbar's new Task View button to organize and switch between different Desktops.

5) Widgets: Your content, curated by you

Windows 11 introduces an innovative widgets feature, allowing you to quickly access auto-updating widgets and news stories from the left-hand side of your screen. This offers a convenient way to stay updated on what matters most without opening dedicated apps.

Top widgets include:

  • Outlook Calendar
  • Weather
  • Traffic
  • Sports
  • To-Do app
  • OneDrive Photos
  • Stocks

You can customize your news feed by topics and sources. Easily find the apps you want and the shows you watch in the new Microsoft Store.

6) Seamless Android and Linux app integration

With Windows 11, you can run Linux, Android, and Windows apps side by side, making it the most open platform for creators.

Windows Subsystem for Android™️ (WSA) enables you to run Android applications from the Amazon Appstore with multitasking and full Taskbar integration. However, you're limited to the Amazon Appstore's selection of around 800,000 apps versus Google Play Store's 3.5 million offerings.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to run Linux applications natively without needing a separate virtual machine. So you can run the free Photoshop-like software Gimp on Windows 11.

7) Improved security

Windows 11 takes security up a notch compared to Windows 10, making it a top choice for hybrid work. Here's a breakdown of its cutting-edge security features:

  • Device encryption: Keep your data safe by encrypting it. Unauthorized users can't access your data without the proper decryption key.
  • Secure Boot via UEFI (United Extensible Firmware Interface): Only authorized, digitally-signed firmware and operating systems can load during start-up. Say goodbye to unauthorized or malicious software taking over your PC.
  • Virtualization-based security (VBS): VBS adds an extra layer of protection by isolating essential system components from the rest of the OS, shielding you from vulnerabilities and attacks.
  • Phishing Protection: Microsoft Defender keeps you safe by warning you if you enter your work or school password on a malicious site in any Chromium browser, as detected by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. It then advises you to change your password.

According to Microsoft, these security enhancements can slash malware infection by up to 60%, making Windows 11 a safer bet.

8) Enhanced performance

Windows 11 optimizes memory management and prioritizes CPU power for foreground apps, resulting in a snappier experience than Windows 10. Better memory management means Windows 11 PCs can wake up from sleep mode quicker. Additionally, Windows 11 is still in the early years of its product lifestyle. In the future, Microsoft may release new features and updates that significantly boost the performance of Windows 11.

9) Enhanced collaboration and remote work

Windows 11 offers advanced Microsoft Teams collaboration tools to boost your remote work experience:

  • Adaptive Background Noise Suppression: Bid farewell to distracting noises during video calls, as this feature intelligently minimizes background disturbances.
  • AI-Powered Eye Contact: AI-driven technology automatically adjusts where your eyes are looking to ensure you always are making eye contact with the camera.
  • Dynamic Framing: No matter if you stand up or move around, automatic framing ensures you remain centered and in focus during video calls.
  • Refined Background Blur: A subtler background blur offers a more natural and less intrusive effect than traditional video conferencing blurs.

Microsoft Teams also allows free voice, chats and video calls regardless of the device your colleagues are using.

10) Gaming experience, leveled up

For gamers, Windows 11 emerges as the definitive choice bringing Xbox Series X's technology to the PC with:

  • Auto HDR: This feature upgrades SDR games to HDR visuals, enhancing the color depth and contrast for a more immersive experience.
  • DirectStorage: A technology that reduces game load times to under a second by directly loading games into video memory, bypassing the CPU. It also boosts graphics performance by speeding up data transfer between storage devices and the GPU.
  • Windowed game optimizations: Windows 11 uses a new presentation model for lower frame latency and variable refresh rate (VRR).

With performance bugs resolved, gamers are flocking to upgrade to Windows 11.

Why you should switch to Windows 11

Windows 11 is Microsoft's vision for the future of PC operating systems. In general, it's simpler, more streamlined, and more secure than Windows 10.

While Windows 10 still has a 70% market share, all new PCs now ship with Windows 11, and any options to buy a Windows 10 PC instead have largely vanished. If your PC has the right hardware, upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10 is free.

So, perhaps this is the most compelling reason to make the switch. The main potential roadblock is often fear of change. With Stardock, you can customize Windows 11 to use a Windows 10 start menu and taskbar.

How to install Windows 11

If you're eager to jump into Windows 11, you can upgrade for free if your computer meets the tech requirements. Here's how:

1) Check if your computer meets Windows 11 system requirements

Not all Windows 10 machines can run Windows 11, as Microsoft has stringent hardware requirements, including:

  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 support
  • Secure Boot enabled in the BIOS

To check if your device meets the criteria, run Microsoft's PC Microsoft Health Check app. The hardware requirements page offers workarounds for updating or changing your PC settings to meet the requirements.

2) Check for a Windows 11 update

In Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Click the Check for updates button.
  3. If Windows 11 appears, you can install it as an update.

3) Download Windows 11 with the Installation Assistant

If Windows 11 isn't showing up as an update, try the Windows 11 Installation Assistant:

  1. Visit Microsoft's Download Windows 11 page.
  2. Under the Windows 11 Installation Assistant heading, click the Download Now button.
  3. Run the downloaded.Windows11InstallationAssistant.exe file by double-clicking it.
  4. Click the Accept and Install button to agree to the licensing terms, and your Windows 10 PC will be upgraded to Windows 11.
  5. Restart your PC when prompted; remember that your computer may restart several times during installation.

In a nutshell, making the jump to Windows 11 has its perks. With a sleeker design, beefed-up multitasking, robust security, and performance boosts, it's a no-brainer for gamers and remote workers.

By embracing Windows 11, you stay ahead of the ever-evolving digital landscape. Compatibility varies, but the upgrade is free if your Windows 10 device checks all the boxes. So, why not take advantage of these advantages and upgrade to Windows 11? Upgrade your tech experience, and join the future of operating systems.

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.


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