Simplicity and peace of mind.

That’s what tech giant Microsoft is promising PC users with its new Windows 11 platform.

Microsoft says the operating system, launched on October 5, is user-centred and seeks to provide an experience that matches the current reality of remote work, making it the ideal operating system for a hybrid work environment.

Microsoft Director of Product, Windows and Devices Panos Panay said the platform is designed to empower growing number of users worldwide “to produce and inspires (them) to create”.

As of April this year, Microsoft increased its numbers to 145 million users globally, all but doubling its 2020 figures of 75 million for the same period.

“Windows 11 provides a sense of calm and openness. It gives you a place that feels like home. It’s safe and everything is designed to focus on you, from the new start menu and taskbar to every sound, font and icon you see.

“The team thought of every pixel and detail to bring you a more contemporary, fresh and beautiful experience,” Panay said in the product’s official media release.

So, what’s in the goodie bag?

What’s immediately apparent about the new Windows is its similarity to the Apple IOS. The iconic start menu moves to the centre of the screen along with the taskbar, giving it a more Mac-like interface. The windows themselves also adopt a cleaner design with rounded corners and pastel shades.

Android apps will also be coming to Windows 11, though not right away, in Microsoft store via the Amazon Appstore. While these can be currently accessed in Windows 10 through your smartphone device the update will make it native to Windows.

Windows 11 also offers better virtual desktop support. Users can now toggle between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming. It is also easier to transition from monitor to laptop using the new Snap Layouts and Snap Groups applications.

Microsoft Teams also gets a facelift in the update and is also now included in the taskbar, making it easier to access, much like Apple’s FaceTime application.

The new Microsoft OS also has enhanced touchscreen, voice and pen support, making for a better tablet experience.

There is also great news for PC gamers. Windows 11 is compatible with Auto HDR and DirectStorage, features found in Microsoft Xbox consoles, providing an enhanced gaming experience.

You most likely

will have to upgrade

Before you go rushing to get the new Windows update you will need to ensure your computer is compatible.

If there is one criticism of the new Windows 11 operating system, unlike its predecessors, it isn’t supported by many low-end and older PCs. With all its shiny bells and whistles, the OS requires a whole lot of hardware. The processor requirement is the most restrictive; supported processors include eighth generation and newer Intel Core pore processors as well as AMD Ryzen 2000-series processors—all chips launched in the late 2017 and early 2018 (see box).

Windows 11 is currently available for free update in T&T on compatible HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, Asus, Samsung, MSI and Huawei devices.

Users of the above can check the PC Health Check app on their devices to verify if their Windows 10 PC is compatible.

Not seeing your device on the list, fear not. David Merzel, Microsoft PC Category Lead in Latin America, promised his office is currently working with all partners in the region to ensure the update is available on all compatible devices in the coming months.

“No other ecosystem has the breadth and scale that the Windows ecosystem has to meet the needs of users, whether they are creators, developers, students and educators, businesses or gamers, at any price and shape.

“Our partners have Windows 10 PCs that are eligible for the free update and will offer Windows 11 on a wide variety of devices, of different sizes, shapes, and materials starting in October and with new releases in the coming months,” Merzel concluded.

Windows 11 minimum requirements

• A compatible 1 GHz or faster ducal core 64-bit processor

• 4GB of RAM

• 64GB of storage

• UEFI Secure Boot supported and enabled

• A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0

• A DirectX 12-compatible GPU with a WDDM 2.0 driver

• A 720p display large than 9 inches in size

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