Windows 11

Well, it has happened again. According to the blog on windows.com, Microsoft has released a new version of its operating system that will eventually replace Windows 10. There are a few computer requirements to get this upgrade, including having a compatible 64-bit processor. Microsoft has created a tool at https://bit.ly/3iAbgCT where you can see if you can upgrade to Windows 11. Not every computer will be able to run Windows 11.

They say that this new version is an attempt to simplify everything. The most apparent changes have to do with the start menu. Not only has it been moved to the middle of the screen, but the live tiles introduced in Windows 8 have been completely removed and replaced with simple icons.  Also, documents that you work with often will show up here.

Features

This version of Windows is designed around having multiple monitors. Of course, it will still work like normal if you only have one monitor. With multiple monitors, Windows will keep track of where you prefer to put certain applications on the screen. For example, if you want your email application and web browser on your left monitor and your word processor on your right monitor, you can set that up and have Windows reopen them in the same place the next time you are at your computer.

Microsoft is also changing the way it does updates. Most updates will happen in the background without the user needing to do anything. They have also announced that they plan to push only one big update a year instead of two big updates as they did with Windows 10.

Another interesting feature is the ability to run Android Apps in Windows 11. The Android apps will be available from the Microsoft store and will run directly on your Windows desktop.

The gaming experience is getting an overhaul as well. Microsoft is introducing an Auto HDR feature designed to make older games look better by making colors more vivid and vibrant. Certain hardware configurations will also enable games to load needed files directly to the video card without going through the CPU first. The ultimate goal is to make games run and look better.

Older Versions

In case you’re curious, here are the end-of-life dates for some recent versions of Microsoft Windows.

  • Windows 10 end of life will be in October 2025.
  • Windows 8 end of life will be in January 2023.
  • Windows 7 end of life was in January 2020.
  • Windows Vista end of life was in April 2017.
  • Windows XP end of life was in April 2014.
  • Windows XP Embedded end of life was in April 2019.

When an operating system gets to its end of life, all updates, including security updates, typically stop being created. There are occasionally some exceptions if the security flaw is serious enough. If you are using one of the older versions of the operating system, you may want to consider upgrading to a supported version.

-Michael Martinell, The Broadband Guy