By now, most of your computers are running the Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 was released in 2015 and Microsoft has made semi-annual update feature releases every year in the Spring and the Fall. Windows 10 has been a very stable operating system with few “bugs.

Windows 11 Release Scheduled
Microsoft has been creating the next version of Windows. Windows 11 is scheduled to be released this Winter on new laptops. Starting in 2022, existing computers with qualifying hardware will be eligible for a free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, through Windows update. Windows 11 feature releases are planned annually.

What Hardware Qualifies for Windows 11?
It is estimated that 60% of existing computer hardware devices will qualify.

  • CPU: 2 cores > 1 GHz, 64-bit capable (32-bit hardware does not qualify)
  • Memory: > 4 GB RAM
  • Disk: > 64 GB
  • Graphics: DirectX12 or WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: > 9” diagonal > 720 pixel - 8-bit color
  • Internet
  • Microsoft Account
  • Hardware security built in
  • BIDS - UEFI firmware with Secure Boot
  • TPM 2.0 co-processor - Trusted Platform Module

What is New in Windows 11?
Microsoft has built Windows 11 features on a “fluid design”:

  • the taskbar becomes a dock with touch
  • snap layouts and groups for multi-tasking
  • health check settings for brightness and power saving
  • multi-monitor improvements
  • time estimates shown for updates
  • Teams app accessible from the dock
  • Android subsystem to run Android apps
  • Snipping tool
  • Start menu in the middle of the screen
  • Widgets are back
  • Game Pass app with HDR
  • Tablet mode improved
  • Gestures on Touch Screens
  • Internet Explorer is gone
  • Taskbar is permanently on bottom of screen

What Should You DO?
There is no rush for you to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. It’s user interface will look different. The new features may not appeal to you (to be honest, some of the new feature terms seem foreign to me). Microsoft will support Windows 10 v20H2 for another four (4) years, fixing bugs and with one possible annual feature release until October 2025.

Should you decide to upgrade your computer to Windows 11, the first step is to run the Windows 11 PC Health Check Tool (coming soon) to see if your computer hardware qualifies.

I am committed to protect your computers at an affordable price. Thank you for trusting me to keep your computers healthy. Contact us at 239-567-0104 when it is time to renew your protection software, or if you need computer and internet help, including upgrading to Windows 11. Be well.

By Linda Lindquist, October 11, 2021