Windows 11 has been announced

At a time when computing in general is playing an even more central role in our lives, Microsoft has announced the upcoming release of Windows 11, an operating system they say, “is designed to bring you closer to what you love”.

Windows has been the backbone of global businesses for decades and is a platform that over a billion people today rely on. The past 18-months has seen an incredible shift in how we used our computers, it seems as though we went from fitting our computers into our lives, to trying to fit our whole lives into our computers.

Our devices were no longer simply where we go for meetings, classes and work, but where we go to play games with friends, binge watch our favourite shows and, perhaps most meaningfully, connect with the loved ones we have been forced to be apart from.

In the words of Microsoft “The computer transitioned from something practical and functional to something personal and emotional”.

And so, to Windows 11…

At first glance, we see a clean, modern centralised task bar and start menu. Menus have rounded edges and the icons have had a complete revamp too. I know what you are thinking… ‘Haven’t Apple been doing some of this for ages?” and the answer is, well, yes! But this should not be considered a bad thing, the new Windows looks good, and if inspiration has been drawn from their nearest competitor this should be celebrated, particularly if it works as well and looks as good as this. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all.

The new centralised start menu will make it easier to quickly find what you need. Now utilising the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device.

The new Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organize your monitor layouts. You can even create separate Desktops for each part of your life meaning an optimised and personal environment tuned to your needs whether at work or play!

One of the biggest announcements was the news that Teams will now be integrated directly into the operating system. Offering a more optimised app, lower memory and CPU consumption.

Unfortunately, along with the ability to run android apps directly in Windows this feature is not available in the current preview build. However later this year, for the first time, users will be able to search for and install android apps directly from the Windows store (via the Amazon Appstore, but who cares as long as you can get them, right?).

OK... So how do you get it?

Currently the preview build is only available to members of the Windows Inside Program, subscribing to the Dev channel. What this essentially means is, Windows 11 is not the finished article, it is not ready for mass release, and it is not advisable to update your trusty, reliable Windows 10 PC or laptop to Windows 11 just yet. There are lots of bugs to iron out and lots of new features to be added to the build before then.

When it is ready (or as ready as necessary to release to the masses) upgrading to Windows 11 will be easy, just like taking a Windows 10 update, which of course no one has ever had any issues with... What is more, Windows 11 is built on the foundation of Windows 10, so you should not see any application compatibility issues.

Windows 11 is also secure by design; new built-in security technologies add protection from hardware to the cloud. Windows 11 provides a Zero Trust-ready operating system to protect data and access across devices.

Great… So where is the catch?

It has been well publicised by now that not all PCs currently running Windows 10 will be eligible for the upgrade to Windows 11. Reports state that only modern processors will be able to run the new operating system so, as things stand, the new Windows 11 may not be able to run on many computers.

What this will likely mean is that unless your business is kitted out with the latest generations of machines you may need to purchase new hardware to make use of Windows 11. That said, Windows 10 will still be a supported operating system until October 2025, so it is more than likely that by that time all devices will have been replaced naturally, with pre-installed Windows 11 machines.

There are other minimum specifications as well, these can be reviewed here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications. To make the process of checking for compatibility of existing devices easy, Microsoft released the Windows PC Health Check app, this should be able to tell you if your PC can support Windows 11. Unfortunately, there were issues with this when it was first released, and Microsoft have since removed access to it. You will be able to download the app soon (once they fix it) from here: https://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp.

As we speak, Paradise Computing’s advice is not to download and install the Windows 11 preview build onto your machine. We are regularly running tests on the operating system and will update via our blog when we believe it to be ready for the wider world.

Windows 11 stands to be another successful upgrade on the already strong Windows 10, but there is still a way to go yet.

For Northamptonshire IT support or advice, please call your local MSP, Paradise Computing, on 01604 655900 or send us a message using our online contact form.

Open Plan Offices Create Noise Stress

20 July 2021

Recent research by TheNextWeb.com has confirmed long suspected views that open-plan office designs can reduce psychological well-being, affect moods, and create stress.