Microsoft Windows 11 Update

Windows 11 is the newest version of Microsoft’s desktop OS, released on 5th October, 2021. Windows 11 brings a slick new interface, better security, updated apps and info widgets.

Should I upgrade to Windows 11?

There's something to be said for staying up to date. Windows 11 is the first major update of the leading desktop operating system in seven years, and hosts a wide range of new features, perhaps the most important of which, better security. 

Before making the choice to switch to Windows 11, you need to check if your device is compatible with the update. To do this, go to the Microsoft website and then select Windows 11 from the option list. Scroll down to the ‘check compatibility’ section and select ‘download app’. 

Now that you know your device is compatible, it's time to look at why you want to upgrade to Windows 11. You may be wondering, is the Windows 11 upgrade safe? Make no mistake, Windows 11 is an extremely safe design choice, and has a much better execution than Windows 8 was. 

What is the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11? 


A major difference between Windows 11 and Windows 10 is in its design. Windows 11 offers an interface that's more like a Mac, with pastel colors and a cleaner interface than its predecessor, Windows 10. The Windows 11 update also sees an emphasis on rounded corners, centered text and bigger, and more colourful icons. Microsoft has simplified the user interface as much as possible to create a clean space for work and play, meaning much of the interface is easier to navigate via touchscreen, and it does a much better job of intelligently adapting when you connect or discount displays. 

Start Menu/Taskbar

Microsoft has moved the start menu and the taskbar to the center of the screen; however, users can move them back to the left as they are in Windows 10 if they choose to do so. In addition to now being in the center of the taskbar by default, the start button opens a simpler, more streamlined menu, featuring a clear search bar and two simple, customizable sections: one for your pinned apps, and the other for recommended files/apps. 

Also, Windows 11 doesn't support live tiles, which previously would have shown users useful bits of information without the need to open the corresponding apps. Windows 10 is the best option for users who want to see information at a glance.

Snap Layouts

Another useful feature of Windows 11 is the improved snap layouts. The snap layout lets users organize their apps and windows more efficiently by grouping them together, similar to the Android and iOS grouping feature. Snap layouts are a productivity feature that enables users to logically arrange apps and other windows on their screen. While snap layouts featured in Windows 10, it required users to arrange their windows manually by hovering to the left or right of the screen, or by using keyboard combinations. 

Teams vs Skype

In the Windows 11 update, Microsoft has replaced the Windows 10 Meet Now feature powered by Skype with the integration of Microsoft Teams which is conveniently located in the taskbar, making it easier for users to access the communication platform. Prefer using Skype? Users can still download Skype for Windows and Skype for Mobile from the Microsoft Store for free.

Touch/Tablet Mode

Many Windows 10 users will remember the useful tablet mode, which makes users’ PCs more touch-friendly, allowing them to use their devices as tablets. Microsoft have since removed the tablet mode feature from Windows 11, however they have said that Windows 11 acts more like an iPad, meaning when users switch their PCs to tablets, they will receive an experience that's optimized for touch. Windows 11 will also have larger touch targets and visual cues so users can resize and move windows easily. 

Virtual Desktops

Although Windows 10 included the Task View feature and allowed users to create multiple virtual desktops, the options were limited. Windows 11 users will be able to set up virtual desktops much like they can on Apple’s MacBook. Users can toggle between multiple desktops simultaneously for work, school, gaming and personal use.

Gaming Upgrades

Windows 11 also sees many gaming feature improvements, however Microsoft has said that DirectStorage, one of the new PC gaming features, will also be supported in Windows 10. DirectStorage takes advantage of the modern storage hardware in gaming PCs to streamline how game data is processed. Auto HDR will also feature in Windows 11, which should enhance the colors in many games.

Performance Improvements

Microsoft have said the new OS will include many performance improvements, such as faster logins with Windows Hello, faster web browsing and faster wake from sleep mode. Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that lets Windows 10 users authenticate secure access to their devices, apps and networks with iris scans, facial recognition or fingerprints.

Microsoft has also said that Windows updates will be 40% smaller, meaning they'll take less time to download and install. The new operating system will also help users extend the battery life on their laptops. 

If you're still hesitant about the upgrade, there's really no reason why you should upgrade to Windows 11 right away. As long as you're on Windows 10, you'll have access to many of Windows 11's key features as well as critical updates and security patches. Since Microsoft have said support for Windows 10 won't end until 2025, it's not urgent for users to upgrade to Windows 11, unless they want to take advantage of some of its new features, of course. 

One key question remains - if you upgrade to Windows 11, is it possible to revert back to Windows 10? Absolutely! To revert back to Windows 11 simply open the settings app on Windows 11, go to System > Recovery. Under Recovery options, you should see an option to Go Back, once clicked the ‘Go back to Windows 10’ screen should appear.