Windows 11, The Basics

Article (PSA-0016)
Submitted by: Billy Joe Long, Owner
Company: PSA Computer Services
Titled: Windows 11, The Basics
Original release date: September 10, 2021

Yes, we were told by Microsoft in 2015 that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows. However, recent news has verified there will in-fact be a new version – Windows 11. So let’s take a few moments to have a look at this “new” version of Windows.

As of now, Microsoft expects to begin shipping Windows 11 on October 5th of this year. The new version will be distributed as a “free” Windows upgrade to existing Windows 10 users, if their computers meet the Windows 11 system requirements. Here are the current minimum system requirements (subject to change):

  • A modern 1GHz 64-bit dual-core processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB drive
  • 9-inch display
  • 1366×768 resolution
  • UEFI, Secure Boot & TPM 2.0 compatible
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics/WWDM 2.x

The first thing to note is Microsoft will not be releasing a 32bit version of the Operating System (OS). This is generally not a serious issue – 32bit programs should continue to run as expected on the 64bit OS.

The next thing to note is Microsoft will be limiting “officially supported” Windows 11 computers to certain Central Processing Units (CPU). Currently, you will need to have an Intel 8th-generation or better CPU to officially run Windows 11.

Microsoft has also increased the required drive storage to 64GB, up from 16GB with Windows 10. The same goes for RAM, being bumped up from 2GB to 4GB.

The greater storage and RAM requirements are probably required to support the myriad of new features and changes needed to differentiate Windows 11 from Windows 10. For example, Windows 11 will feature a brand-new user interface (UI). This new UI will feature a new Start menu and Taskbar experience. I am not particularly thrilled about needing to retrain muscle memory for productivity, but for those of you who love constant change – this should be appealing.

Microsoft has said that Windows 11 is “built for gamers” with features such as: Auto HDR, Direct Storage and DirectX12 Ultimate. These features may matter to you gaming enthusiasts, but for business users, it will make little difference.

A more useful change has to do with Microsoft “Creators” updates which came with Windows 10. Microsoft has been struggling with rolling out two major updates a year with Windows 10. There have been constant, serious, problems for end users as Microsoft engineers have struggled to meet the update release dead-lines. Windows 11 will be returning to one major update per year. This should result in less: data loss, time loss and frustration for end users. This is a welcome change and long over due in my opinion.

As mentioned previously in the article, Windows 11 will be offered as a free upgrade. Microsoft says there’s no time limit on upgrading to Windows 11 and we will not have to upgrade to Windows 11 right away. That is good news indeed, but note – you will need to upgrade at some point in the future and it may require new hardware. We’ll know more about this as it is released from Microsoft.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will still have to pay for a Windows 11 license. OEMs are people/companies who build computers for end users and want to ship Windows 11 on the new computer.

There is not a lot of practical information I can give you about Windows 11 at this point. Once the new OS is released I’ll be able to provide a more in-depth review of Windows 11.

If you have questions or concerns about Windows 11 give us a call.