Windows 11: Do I need to upgrade, how to upgrade and what are the new features?

THE latest version of Microsoft's computer operating system, Windows 11, has launched.

By Charlotte Hawes
Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 2:27 pm
Microsoft has officially launched the new version of Windows, hailing its new, simpler design as helping bring users "closer to the things they love".
Microsoft has officially launched the new version of Windows, hailing its new, simpler design as helping bring users "closer to the things they love".

Windows 11 has launched worldwide today with a free upgrade for Windows 10 users.

The new software is the biggest update to Microsoft' s software in more than half a decade, with many significant design changes and alterations.

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Here's everything you need to know about the latest upgrade:

What are the new features?

There are some significant design changes in the new software update.

By default, the start menu is now centred on screen, with all icons in the task bar.

When the user clicks on the start button, a menu opens with all frequently used apps and the new menu mimics the appearance of a smartphone app menu, which makes apps easily accessible.

Microsoft has also changed the 'tiles' which were on the Window 10 start menu.

Android apps will be available on Windows 11 and will be able to be installed from the new Microsoft Store via the Amazon App store.

Android users were able to access apps on Microsoft 10 but this will be an easier way of doing so.

Widgets will also be available with the latest upgrade.

These will be able to be accessed directly from the Taskbar and users will be able to personalise them.

Microsoft teams will be getting a face-lift with the new upgrade.

Teams will now be integrated into the Windows 11 Taskbar which will make it easier to access.

Users will be able to access Teams from Mac, Windows, Android or iOS.

There will be better virtual desktop support with Windows 11 so users can split their desktop between personal, school, work or gaming use.

Windows 11 will have certain features that are found in Xbox controls, like DirectStorage and Auto HDR to enable better gaming.

Lastly, there will be easier transition from monitor to desktop which will be great for multitasking.

The features will include Snap Layout and Snap Groups which will allow Windows 11 users to switch between apps and allow you to plug and unplug a monitor more easily without losing your open windows.

Where can I get the latest version of Windows?

Windows 11 is now available on all compatible PCs and new PCs from today and the roll out will continue until mid-2022.

Those with a newer device will be able to access the update sooner.

You can access the update by

-Checking that your PC is supported through Microsoft’s PC Health check app

-Back up all important documents, apps and data

-On your Windows 10 PC, head to settings> update and security > Windows update

-Check for updates

-If the Windows 11 upgrade is available, you will see the option to download and install the latest software

-Click download and install and then follow on-screen prompts.

If you are unable to see the free Windows 11 upgrade and your PC is supported, you may be able to avoid waiting for the software update by using Microsoft's new Installation Assistant.

Do I need to upgrade?

Users who are already using Windows 10 will not need to update their software just yet if they do not see the use of the new features just yet.

Windows 10 will continue to be supported and users will receive security updates until October 2025.

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