Microsoft confirmed rumours that it would be releasing Windows 11 in a live streaming event on the 24th of June.
This blog contains technical information pertaining to the Windows 11 launch and its impact on devices currently in use.
A leaked early beta version of the upcoming Operating System had been doing the rounds on the internet before the official announcement.
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 only supports 8th Generation Intel CPUs and above and AMD Ryzen 2 and above. It remains to be seen if Microsoft’s Windows 11 installer will block installation for unsupported systems, the way Apple does.
One theory is that this is a move to clear out older x86 based Windows systems to make way for ARM based systems. However, this hasn’t been founded yet.
Soft and hard floor installations – TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and PTT (Platform Trust Technology).
Microsoft published and then removed from their site soft floor and hard floor requirements for installation. A soft floor requirement, such as not meeting the recommended CPU spec, would have you see a notification at installation. However, it would still allow you to install the software.
But a hard floor requirement, such as not having a TPM version 2.0 (PTT), in your device would block you. If you have a PTT on your system and it’s activated, Windows will certify it.
Some devices that already have the TPM 1.2 version will be able to upgrade to TPM 2.0. However other devices would require an additional hardware component and other devices would just need to be replaced altogether. The compatibility would depend on your device’s motherboard.
TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and Intels PTT (Platform Trust Technology) serve the same purpose and do pretty much the same thing. The only difference is that a PTT is built into a CPU itself. A TPM is a separate chip usually built into a motherboard or added to it using an expansion module. PPTs are newer and proprietary to Intel.
When and what happens when Microsoft launches Windows 11?
- Windows 11 should be available to the general public from Q4 2021.
- Systems will need to be 64bit. Unlike previous versions of Windows, there will be no 32bit version.
- Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until June 28th, 2025. Support ends for Windows 8.1 on January 10th, 2023. So, people can still stick with what they have for a while.
What will Windows 11 bring to the table?
A lot of people are disappointed with the Windows 11 announcement. On the face of it, it looks to be more of a cosmetic evolution than revolution. Notable new features include:
- A new interface with centre justified taskbar and start menu.
- New multi-window, and multi-monitor functionality.
- Windows 11 can link its Windows store to the Amazon Apps store.
- Windows 11 is now also compatible with android apps and can run them within windows.
- A new widgets bar similar to the one that debuted in the most recent iteration of Windows 10.
- There is a feature called Auto HDR that produces improved visual quality in video games.
- Additionally, there is a new technology called DirectStorage. This allows data to be loaded directly from compatible NVMe SSD drives directly to a graphics card. The result is faster load times and reduced CPU utilisation, provided your hardware allows for this feature.
(It is worth noting that Microsoft seems to be abandoning Skype in favour of Teams. Teams was originally more business focused, but by embedding it into windows and dropping Skype, Skype’s days may be numbered. Which is odd considering that Microsoft paid $8.5 billion for it in 2011.)
Are there any setbacks?
One of the frustrations that have emerged is that you need a relatively new machine from the last 2-3 years.
So, you could have a top of the range 28 core 56 thread Xeon W-3175X (that was released in Q4 2018, and still retails for over £3000 just for the chip), be deemed unsupported.
However, a Core Atom 6200FE with a MSRP of £30 and orders of magnitude less processing power would work just fine. So perfectly capable machines that can’t run the latest Operating Systems become unusable.
To check if your system will handle the new launch, here is a Windows 10 compatibility test tool, available from Microsoft. Microsoft are making previews available for those on the WindowsInsiders program from the 28th of June.
Are there alternatives to Win 11?
Alternative options are Linux or Mac – but these don’t provide a like for like experience. Having said that, Microsoft has taken feedback onboard and the specifications are being continuously revised… so watch this space!
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