Is Windows 11 Worth Upgrading To? The Pros and Cons You Should Know

Should you switch to Windows 11 now? Yes, most certainly. The long answer is to watch. The new version appears to address many of the long-standing design concerns.

What are the Windows 11 features?

New Background App Refresh While a traditional application—say a website or a game—run in the background, Windows 11 will begin checking the background for activity in order to save the application resources. If it detects something, like an email or a missed meeting notification, it will alert you. The notifications do not interfere with your work but they do interrupt your life. A less radical approach is to just close and disconnect applications that are running in the background. SwiftKey 2.0 Keyboard Microsoft’s universal keyboard app provides a lot of utility. You can use it to replace your on-screen keyboard. And now you can choose to use a full-screen version of it or go with a 3D view of the keyboard.

The CShell

First, let’s discuss the name. The new name “Windows Core OS,” which Microsoft claims as its official name, means Windows as a Service. For those unfamiliar with this term, the idea is that Windows will become progressively more compatible with the Windows ecosystem. The implication is that Microsoft will focus on continuous improvement of the platform. If you look at Windows 9x, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows 10, the change that Microsoft made with each release was almost always to improve system stability, performance, and add or change features. The name suggests that Windows will continue to innovate and this is key. This is in contrast to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The Draw View

Mentioned in this article Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise (Version 1803) TechRepublic Out with the new, in with the familiar. The Windows 10 desktop interface has gradually evolved over the past decade and now resembles an amalgamation of the Windows 7 interface with Windows 8 features. It’s a design that’s not only comfortable, but easy to learn and change. While not completely similar to the desktop on the Windows 8.1 operating system, the ribbon interface and the drop-down panes, along with the new Windows 10 Start Menu design, definitely provide a new look and feel. The Windows 10 interface itself is customizable.

The Fluent Design System

Microsoft started to codify the design language of Windows with Windows 8, but Windows 10 appears to be the first really solid implementation of this. The Fluent Design System, or DFSD, is a system designed to improve the visual clarity of windows and the way that they move. On the surface it appears to do a pretty good job of making the app icons and text appear to float a little above the screen in a sort of 3D effect. This effect is primarily achieved by making the background of the window opaque, so that it’s filled with the user’s current experience.

Is Windows 11 worth upgrading to?

Microsoft has said it will give Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 users the chance to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be able to access some of the new features that make up Windows 11. You can read more about these in my colleague’s review. Should you upgrade now? For many, I suspect that the answer is “yes, definitely.” Many of the major problems in Windows 10 have been addressed. Users have new fixes for Microsoft Edge, the browser that powers the Windows 10 operating system, as well as for some of the biggest headaches with the last version.

Performance

Microsoft announced the specs for Windows 10 when it announced the OS late in 2014. Some users interpreted the specs as a lower number than was really in the cards, including the admission that Windows 10 wouldn’t support 2GB or higher of RAM for the majority of users. That’s a shame, because there are also ways to get around the limitation and optimize your PC for 2GB of RAM. Some PC users took advantage of that fact, migrating to systems with higher RAM specifications, including 16GB, while others stuck with the restrictions of Windows 8, leading to lower frame rates and a general lack of smoothness in games. Windows 10 contains some work-arounds to that restriction.

Compatibility with old programs

I still miss having Silverlight installed. I’m using BootCamp as a migration strategy, but I may hold off until the automatic installation is patched for Internet Explorer compatibility. Many, but not all, programs will need to be recompiled to work with Windows 10. This is especially true of security software. It was a lot easier to build security software for Windows XP, but Windows 10 should be easier and more secure. Trying to upgrade a Windows 7 system to Windows 10 requires the installation of a very large number of .EXE files. This isn’t impossible, but it does require a great deal of work, and you will need to know where to look for them all. I run Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft’s Windows program is called CMD.

User Interface

Under the hood, Windows 11 appears to be almost ready for prime time. The biggest problem is with the PC’s user interface, or “clutter.” This was a problem on Windows 8, and the latter version did nothing to correct it. The shell is cluttered with more than 400 icons, some on the Start Screen and others in the corners of the screen, and most of them need to go. There is a “cleaner” but less cluttered interface that will be available to Windows Insiders as an alpha, an early test version. These users will be the first to try out Windows 11. Not all of Windows 11 is a new shell; in fact, it seems to be just a shell with some extra icons. But some other design concerns from Windows 8 have been corrected in Windows 11.

Conclusion

Microsoft may very well have put together a very good upgrade—as long as you stick to the new security features and avoid any bugs. Here is everything you need to know.

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