The world is still buzzing with Windows 11. One of the reasons for this is the sheer number of people and businesses using Windows. So if there is a change in Windows, it means a change in the daily lives of millions. That leaves us with a lot of questions about Windows 11. We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions and provided you with the answers.
1. When will Windows 11 be released?
Easily the most popular question, and yet there was no solid answer until recently. Microsoft has announced Windows 11 will roll out on October 5, 2021, to eligible Windows 10 PCs. It will be done in a “…phased and measured approach,” said Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman.
2. Where can I download Windows 11 now?
Everyone wants to get their hands on Windows 11 to see what it’s all about. Follow the link for instructions on how to get Windows 11 through the Microsoft Insider Program. It’s the only way to get Windows 11 legally right now.
The previous article walks you through joining the Insider Program, which until recently was the only way to get Windows 11. Now you can also visit the Insider download page and login to get a clean ISO file of Windows 11 directly from Microsoft. However, to activate your copy, you still need a valid Windows 10 product key.
3. Will Windows 11 run on my PC?
It is true that there are some new requirements for Windows 11 that can be unexpected. Most are hardware related, but there is now also a requirement to have a Microsoft account. Read our article, “Can my PC run Windows 11?” for a list of requirements and links to tools to test your PC for Windows 11 readiness.
Microsoft has a pre-release, re-release of the PC Health Check Application† Yes, it is a beta version of a fixed version of the app. It will assess your device’s readiness for Windows 11.
4. Can Windows 11 be installed without TPM 2.0?
Microsoft says Windows 11 requires PCs with Trusted Platform Module version 2.0 (TPM 2.0) to install Windows 11. This is intended to improve security and better support BitLocker disk encryption.
In the beginning, Microsoft only needed TPM 1.2 for Windows 11, but then it was increased. It’s possible that Microsoft will lower the requirement again, but don’t count on it. However, the Windows 11 Insider preview can be installed without TPM 2.0 by choosing the Dev stream. However, that will only work for so long.
5. Which CPUs support Windows 11?
Currently, the list of supported CPUs is limited. Microsoft’s official CPU requirement is “1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)”. Intel CPUs must be 8th generation or newer.
AMD CPUs must be 3rd Gen or newer, although a few 2nd Gen Ryzen 7 CPUs are supported. AMD and Intel are well represented, but only 7 Qualcomm processors are supported. The lists of supported CPUs are still growing.
In a briefing with The VergeMicrosoft said it would allow Windows 11 to be installed on devices with older CPUs, but you may not get updates, including security updates. Microsoft also wrote in their Insider blog, “Devices that did not meet the minimum system requirements had 52% more crashes in kernel mode. Devices that met the minimum system requirements had a crash-free experience of 99.8%.”
6. Does Windows 11 outperform Windows 10?
Performance is always a concern with new Windows versions. Some testers have reported that Windows 11 works about the same as Windows 10, while others claim massive improvements. Microsoft claims that updates to Windows 11 will be 40% smaller than comparable Windows 10 updates.
There is also talk of Windows 11 being more energy efficient, giving device batteries a longer life between charges. If you’re going to be running Windows 11 on the same hardware you have now, have realistic expectations. It’s still Windows.
7. Will Windows 11 be free?
With new versions of software and hardware coming out so fast, it can feel like these versions are more money making. It’s reasonable to ask if Windows 11 will be free.
It depends. At the moment, Microsoft says that if you have the most recent version of Windows 10 and your hardware supports Windows 11, the upgrade will be free. The end date for the free upgrade has not been announced, but Microsoft has committed to a one-year period from the release of Windows 11 to the public.
8. Is Windows 11 Forced?
When Windows 10 came out, some people were surprised by it. They just woke up one day and had Windows 10. Microsoft has not said if they will do that again. They had a lot of resistance last time, so maybe they won’t. Microsoft has said they will support Windows 10 until October 2025.
9. What does Windows 11 mean for gamers?
Speaking of performance, gamers always want more. There are a number of new features in Windows 11 that should dramatically improve PC gaming. Support for Automatic HDR and Instant Storage will be a boost. Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) will provide a better visual experience with its wider range of brightness and colors.
DirectStorage provides faster loading times, as long as your device has a NVMe SSD with the right drivers. If you’ve played on Xbox X or Xbox S, you already have experience with HDR and DirectStorage.
10. What can Windows 11 do?
When a new version of Windows comes out, we expect more functionality. In addition to the improvements already discussed, there are some cool new things.
The capacity to Run Android apps in Windows is highly expected. Microsoft is partnering with Amazon to offer Android apps through Amazon. It’s a bit strange, seeing Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS are competitors in cloud computing.
The new Snap Layouts will be welcomed by many. The Snap Layouts make it easier to place multiple windows on the desktop for best visibility. It’s a bit like the Windows key † arrows method of moving windows, but Snap is graphical in nature. Hover over the maximize box to see the options, then select what you want. By using Snap Layouts with virtual desktops, you become a multitasking machine.
Windows widgets are likely to be a big hit. They are a bit like Live Tiles, but also a bit like Windows Gadgets from Windows Vista and Windows 7. You could think of it as a dashboard that presents personalized information about things like your Microsoft To Do list, traffic, sports, weather and financial news. Expect more information and widgets to become available.
The touch keyboard is now customizable. This means you can change the theme and emojis and gifs are also fully integrated. It’s nice to see Windows adapting to the way we communicate and not the other way around.
Dynamic Refresh Rate is unique. When set, the dynamic refresh rate increases for motion-intensive actions such as scrolling or using a stylus for a more visually seamless experience. When static, the refresh rate will drop again.
On the hardware side there will be: support for Wi-Fi 6E on Windows 11† Of course, the PC must have the WiFi 6E hardware and you need a Wi-Fi 6E compatible router for it to work.
11. Can the Windows 11 Start Menu be moved to the left?
The biggest reaction to the first screenshots of Windows 11 was about the Start menu in the middle of the taskbar. Functionally, it doesn’t really change things. But people are not fans of change. So yes, the Windows 11 start menu can be easily moved to the left, just like previous versions of Windows.
12. Can Windows 11 run on ARM?
We use so many devices like computers, and many of them fit in a pocket. Devices of that size often use an ARM processor.
Officially, only Qualcomm ARM processors are currently supported. But someone managed to install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4, suggesting that many more ARM processors will work.
13. Is there a Windows 11 for Mac?
Sometimes you just have to have Windows on a Mac† Maybe for developing Windows apps as well as Mac apps. Or maybe an outdated app that only runs on Windows.
Anyway, Parallels is a product that many use to run Windows on Macs. Running Windows 11 on Parallels is being worked on by their engineering team.
14. What does Windows 11 mean for businesses?
Companies want more cooperation and more certainty. Those things were hard to balance. Microsoft promises both with Windows 11. Microsoft Teams 2.0 is coming and will take advantage of the new capabilities of Windows 11. Some Teams controls will be moved to the taskbar, so you can control Teams without the app being placed on top of other apps .
On the security side, the requirement for TPM 2.0 will increase security through encryption, if used. Windows 11 promises to be the most secure Windows yet.
IT professionals are probably a little nervous too. Rolling out Windows 10 presented many challenges compared to previous versions of Windows. Relax folks, Microsoft assures us that the same tools used to provision Windows 10 will now work for Windows 11.
15. Is Windows 11 Linux based?
When the first screenshots of Windows 11 came out, it looked suspiciously like macOS. This led some to speculate that the Windows code base had been replaced by Linux.
That is not the case. Microsoft is open about it being built on the same code base as Windows 10 Windows Subsystem for Linux lives on in Windows 11, so that’s something.
16. How can I try Windows 11 without upgrading my PC?
Not everyone has bought a new PC in recent years, but they do want to get familiar with Windows 11. Using the Host for Hyper-V virtual machinesWindows 11 can be installed via the Insider preview in the Dev channel.
17. Is Windows 11 Worth Getting?
The ultimate question is, “Should we bother getting to Windows 11 faster than we need to?” That’s such a personal question. Everyone’s needs and acceptance of change are different.
With the option to upgrade for free, it makes sense to move sooner or later. Soon you’ll get Windows 11 on every new Windows device you buy anyway.
Any questions about Windows 11?
Windows 11 is a work in progress, so we’ll all have more questions as it progresses. Have we answered your burning questions? If not, post it in the comments and we’ll try.