Windows 11 officially released today (October 5) and that means Windows 10 users around the world should start seeing the free update option appear in Windows Update.
It’s exciting because Microsoft has been pushing Windows 11 forward for months, touting it as a simpler, more streamlined Windows that will help you get the most out of your PC. And after using Windows 11 in various beta states for a month or two, I can tell you that some of its new features have helped me be more productive, once I have learned how to integrate them into my workflow. .
But as Windows 11 rolls out around the world, I’m answering questions from family and friends about what it means for their PCs, and if they should be concerned about upgrading. If you’ve been thinking about similar questions, let me help reassure you: yes, Windows 11 is here and it has some cool new features, but it doesn’t offer most of us any significant improvements over it. to Windows 10. Here’s why you shouldn’t insist on upgrading right away.
Windows 11 is not yet complete
The main reason you shouldn’t rush out and try to install Windows 11 yourself is that the operating system is not yet complete. While it’s common to see updated software with fixes and new features after release, Windows 11 is less cooked at launch than I would like.
Most notably, Microsoft promised that Windows 11 would support running Android apps natively using Intel’s Bridge technology, but then announced that this feature would be delayed until an indefinite period after launch.
The company partners with Amazon to make Android apps from its Amazon Appstore available to Windows 11 users, and claims the Amazon Appstore (as well as the Epic Games Store, with other third-party application showcases to follow) will be available for download in the Microsoft Store for Windows in the coming months, so it’s entirely possible that we will feel like native Android app support in Windows 11 before 2022 – but I’m not betting there -above.
And, at least during the week of release, there are plenty of Windows 11 apps and features that still need to be tweaked and improved. The Widgets menu lacks some advertised features and needs more efficient options to control each widget, for example. Microsoft Teams is now so deeply integrated with Windows 11 that it’s housed in the taskbar by default (although you can remove it in the taskbar settings), but it doesn’t seem more useful here than it does on Windows. 10. And while most Windows menus have been updated with new designs, it doesn’t take a lot of clicks looking for a specific setting to stumble upon a legacy menu from the days of Windows 10 or later. from an earlier version.
Make no mistake, Windows 11 is completely usable, and (at least as far as I’ve seen) no more buggy than any other operating system in its infancy. But there’s plenty of room for it to be improved and refined, so there’s no need to jump on the bandwagon now – Windows 11 should only get better over time.
Windows 11 is not a huge upgrade from Windows 10
The other big reason why you shouldn’t insist on upgrading to Windows 11 is the fact that for most people the update probably doesn’t offer significant improvements over Windows 10. This That’s not to say it’s not an improvement: Windows 11 looks better than its predecessor, with simpler, more streamlined menus, cool new features to manage your attention, and an improved integrated app store.
But these features are relatively superfluous. For example, the fact that the Microsoft Store for Windows (the app store built into Windows 11) opens to allow developers to distribute a wider variety of apps (including 32-bit apps, web apps, and possibly Android apps) doesn’t mean a lot to most Windows users, because one of the best things about owning a Windows PC is being able to download and install just about any program directly from the Internet.
And while I think the new Task View button lets you set up and manage different “desktops” in a cool way, as soon as I finished writing my Windows 11 review, I quickly found myself forgetting about the functionality. The task view allows you to manage multiple iterations of your desktop. So you can set up a desktop named “Work” with your work apps open and another named “Play” with Steam and the Xbox app out of the box. They all run at the same time, but you only see what’s open on your current desktop, and you can press the Task View button (or Windows + Tab key) to quickly switch between the two desktops.
If you work from home and then use the same PC for games or creative work during your off-peak hours, this is definitely a useful feature to have. But it’s not a must-use use, and it doesn’t save a lot of time by opening and closing apps as needed when changing tasks.
I feel pretty much the same about Windows 11’s Snap Assist feature, which makes it easy to organize apps open on your desktop into layouts. Hover your mouse pointer over the expand / collapse button of any application window and you will see a context menu with pictograms to insert the application into one of four layouts: a 50/50 split in the middle of the screen, a side-by-side 66/33 divisions with one application thinner than the other, a 50/25/25 division with a large application on the left side and two smaller ones on the right, plus one four-way division where each application occupies a quarter of the screen.
It’s a cool feature, but it’s not really new: Windows 10 has offered Snap Assist for years, albeit in a more limited and less intuitive way. To use it, you should know that you can drag app windows to either side of the Windows 10 desktop to “snap” them in a 50/50 layout (or know the keyboard shortcut of pressing the Windows key + left or right direction La Flèche).
I love that Windows 11 gives you more options for organizing your desktop, and it’s nice that the functionality is more obvious and easier to use than Windows 10, but for most of us I think it’s more of a benefit than something you should upgrade for. After the initial peak of crashing four apps on a Windows 11 desktop, I found myself regressing to the simple 50/50 window split that I’ve been using on Windows 10 for years.
Windows 11 Outlook
My experience with Windows 11 as a whole has been a similar story: after a lot of ooh and aah on the new features, I slowly find myself using it the same way I use Windows 10. And it doesn’t. It’s not a bad thing: Windows 10 is a solid operating system, perhaps the best Microsoft has shipped since Windows 7, and now Windows 11 is shaping up to be as solid as its predecessor.
But it’s not quite finished yet, and it doesn’t offer any essential upgrades for most people. So if you’ve seen all the hype around Windows 11 this year and are worried about the upgrade, don’t be: it’s more of a refinement for Windows than a revolution, and you shouldn’t worry about rushing to buy a copy or invest in a new Windows 11 compatible PC. In addition, Microsoft has committed to supporting Windows 10 until 2025, so there is little risk involved. take a wait-and-see approach.
- The 8 best Windows 11 features you’ll want to try first
- Upgrade old PCs to Windows 11 at your own risk, according to Microsoft
- Microsoft Office 2021 confirmed to release same day as Windows 11
- Windows 11 TPM 2.0 Requirement Suddenly Leaves Virtual Machine Users Stuck
- System Requirements For Windows 11 – Microsoft’s Health Check App Just Returned