Windows 11 vs Windows 10: New features, comparison & update tips

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming from a solid background in PC... Read more
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  • As we now know what the new OS will have to offer, it's time to have a thorough discussion about how Windows 11 compares to Windows 10.
  • Windows 11 will offer users considerable improvements in the department of security, design, and brings large performance improvements as well.
  • The most interesting aspect of the Windows 11 OS is the completely revamped user interface, looking better than ever.
  • Windows 11 for Insiders has already been released this week, and users are more than excited to test it out.
windows 11 vs windows 10
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Windows 10 has been a massive success for Microsoft, and the company is constantly improving its operating system with new features and bug fixes.

Microsoft has been releasing feature updates for Windows 10 since its release, but now we finally got an official Windows 11 announcement.

What is Windows 11, and how will it compare to Windows 10? In this guide, we’re going to cover everything that we know about the Windows 11 update see how it compares to Windows 10.

Making sure you’re always updated with the latest news and information about Windows 11 is crucial, especially at this point in time when the official release is getting ready.

If you’re as curious as we are what other people think about the upcoming Windows OS, then you will be happy to know that we’ve carried out a thorough survey with 6052 readers that have completed it, and a total of 8344 users.

The users’ locations varied widely, but most of them are from the US, with very close numbers from UK, India, Canada, and Australia. Besides these countries, users with 152 different nationalities have given their feedback.

Don’t hesitate to explore the exclusive results of our study and see in which of the answer categories you fit in.

What is Windows 11, and how does it compare to Windows 10?

What does Microsoft plan for Windows 11?

Microsoft has big plans for Windows 11, and according to the Windows 11 announcement, Microsoft is focusing heavily on user interface redesign and improving the user experience.

Regarding the user experience, Windows 11 will remove unessential apps, such as Internet Explorer and Cortana, but you’ll be able to manually enable them at any time.

Microsoft is focused on improving collaboration on Windows 11, and it plans to achieve that by adding Microsoft Teams in Windows 11.

Lastly, Microsoft is aiming to improve the gaming experience on Windows, and we’re expecting to see more FPS and better gaming performance on Windows 11.

These are just some of the new features that will get to experience in Windows 11, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. While all these features look promising, what about the hardware requirements?

What system requirements does Windows 11 have?

Source: Microsoft

The Windows 11 hardware requirements have been revealed, and they are pretty much what we expected them to be.

There is no need to panic and start upgrading your devices to the highest tears available, as Windows 11 will run smoother and much faster than its predecessor, even on older PCs and laptops.

Here’s a quick recap of the hardware requirements:

  • CPU: 1GHz or more, 2 cores or more, compatible 64-bit processor
  • RAM: 4GB or more
  • Storage: 64GB or more
  • Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0
  • Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: 720p 9-inch display
Note icon
NOTE

The biggest change is the requirement for a TPM chip, and in case you’re not familiar with it, we wrote a guide explaining everything you need to know about Windows 11 and TPM.

Many users reported that they can’t upgrade to Windows 11 because the TPM device is not detected, and this has sparked a controversy among the users, especially among the ones that don’t have hardware that can support a TPM chip.

Fortunately, users managed to find a way to install Windows 11 without a TPM, thus bypassing this hardware requirement.

Can your PC run Windows 11? Download PC Health Check software from Microsoft and check if your computer is compatible with Windows 11.

When will Windows 11 come out?

Sadly, Microsoft has been keeping information about this under wraps, and we have no concrete information regarding the Windows 11 release date.

What we do know is that the Windows 11 Insider Review is already available for people in the Insider program. Even though not in a final form, the feedback received from users will help with the finalization of this long process.

If you are a Windows Insider and want to try out Windows 11, you can download it by following the information in this guide.

Experts speculate that we might see the new version of Windows in the second half of the year, while others claim that it might come for the holiday season.

Should I install Windows 11?

touchscreen windows 11

The short answer is yes, you should install Windows 11 when it comes out, however, it all depends on Microsoft’s future strategy for Windows 10.

As the press release has discussed this element, we now know that support for Windows 10 will last until 2025.

This means that if you’re comfortable with Windows 10, you won’t have to update to Windows 11 yet. Speaking of update, one major concern with new releases of Windows are the compatibility issues.

Users experienced compatibility issues with older software and hardware, so they expect a similar problem when Windows 11 is to be released.

Of course, these issues are mostly things of the past and developers have fixed the vast majority of issues and bugs that were present with the release of Windows 10.

If you want a smooth upgrade, without any headache, we suggest that you wait for a couple of weeks, at least, until the initial issues with Windows 11 are resolved.

But if you’re looking at this from a long-term perspective, then yes, you should upgrade to Windows 11 since it will certainly be the future of Windows.

We don’t know if there would be a totally free Windows 11 upgrade, but because it is a standalone operating system, we see no reason why the upgrade wouldn’t be free.

If you’re want to know how to upgrade to Windows 11, we’ll discuss some of the methods after we compare Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Windows 11 vs Windows 10: New options and features comparison

New design and user interface

The first thing you’ll notice when you start Windows 11 is its new user interface. Microsoft has revamped how all windows look, and now each window and user interface element has rounded corners.

This also applies to the context menu as well as the File Explorer. Speaking of the context menu, some users aren’t too thrilled about the redesign, but you can disable the new context menu in Windows 11 if you want.

File Explorer went through some changes, and now it looks much cleaner than before. The Ribbons are gone and instead, we get the most common commands available in the new and sleek toolbar.

This is a major step from Windows 10 File Explorer and the new interface feels less cluttered while providing you with only the most essential options. To to top it of, there’s a set of new icons available as well.

These aren’t the only changes, and Start Menu and Taskbar went through a major revamp, and now they sport a new and more streamlined look.

The Taskbar is now centered, and it looks similar to the one from macOS or Chrome OS. If you’re not a fan of this change, you can always move Start Menu to the left on Windows 11 from the Settings app.

Unfortunately, the Taskbar is now locked at the bottom, and you can’t move it to the top or the side like you could in Windows 10 and earlier versions.

The Start Menu got a revamp as well and now it comes with rounded corners just like all other windows. You’ll also notice that the Start Menu is now streamlined, and it features fewer applications.

Now you have pinned apps section that allows you to quickly and easily access your favorite apps. Below it, there’s a recommended section that you can use to access recently opened files or recently installed apps.

Of course, you can still see all your apps, but now they are hidden behind the All apps button. We love the new look of the Start Menu as it seems a lot more organized and minimalistic compared to its Windows 10 counterpart.

However, not all users like the new Start Menu, and if you’re one of those users, you’ll be pleased to know that you can change Windows 11 to classic view and get the old Start Menu back.

Notification center got a full revamp as well, and now instead of an Action Center, we have a Quick Settings panel and Notifications panel.

This means that quick settings aren’t grouped with notifications anymore, and you can view them separately. Of course, the two new panels come with rounded corners, so they match the new design of Windows 11.

Last but not least, Microsoft Edge got a new design in Windows 11 that sports a simple and minimalistic user interface.

We love the new look of Windows 11, but if you’re not a fan, you can always make Windows 11 look like Windows 10 if you want to.

Widgets

Windows 11 seems to be retiring Live Tiles, and instead it will focus on widgets that will work similarly to Live Tiles.

Windows 11 has a widgets panel, so unlike Live Tiles, widgets won’t clutter your Start Menu and will be available exclusively in the widgets panel.

From the widgets panel, you’ll be able to add, move around, or disable widgets in Windows 11 with ease.

Widgets seem like a great feature, and since they have their dedicated panel, they won’t take away any precious workspace like Live Tiles.

Improved multitasking

Although Windows 10 can snap windows onto different sides of your screen to better organize your workspace, Windows 11 will take that to a whole new level with Snap layouts.

With this feature, you can choose between 6 available layouts to organize your open applications better. However, Snap won’t work on old display monitors, so keep that in mind.

That’s not all, and with the new Snap groups feature, Windows 11 will memorize which applications you had open and in which layout, so you can easily revert to that layout.

Simply hover over the application in the Taskbar, and you’ll be able to choose the Snap layout that is associated with that application and restore it along with all the apps that were in it.

Virtual desktops are getting some improvements as well, and now you’ll be able to customize the background for each virtual desktop.

Switching between desktops is also improved, and now you can do it simply by hovering over the Task View icon in the Taskbar and selecting the desired virtual desktop.

Windows 11 also brings improvements when working with external monitors. With Windows 11 the windows on your external monitors will be memorized once you disconnect the external monitor.

After connecting your PC to the external monitor, the windows that were open on the external monitor will be restored automatically, allowing you to continue where you left off.

This is a welcome quality of life improvement, that should make multitasking on multiple monitors a lot easier than before.

Improved touchscreen input

Windows 11 focuses heavily on touchscreen functionality and it brings a new touchscreen experience. There’s no more full-screen Start Menu, and instead, icons will have more space and be easier to touch when you use your device in tablet mode.

For easier navigation, there are a couple of new touch gestures allowing you to easily switch to the last used app, go back to the desktop or restore your open app windows.

You can now also open Task View with gestures and switch to app windows and virtual desktops. Regarding virtual desktops, you can now switch between desktops simply with a four-finger swipe.

Touch Keyboard has better customization, and there are new themes to choose from, as well as a new theme engine that lets you create new themes more easily.

Pen input has been improved as well, and now it comes with a Pen menu on the Taskbar that allows you to quickly launch apps that support pen input.

Pens will also support haptic feedback, so you’ll be able to feel vibrations while you use your pen. Lastly, there’s a voice input support built-in allowing you to enter text simply by using your microphone.

If you want to know more about the new touchscreen experience, make sure that you check how Windows 11 runs on compatible Microsoft Surface devices.

Improved collaboration

Windows 11 is heavily focused on user collaboration, so it’s no wonder that we’ll see Microsoft Teams built into Windows 11.

Source: Microsoft

The software will be available right from your Desktop and ready to use as soon as you start Windows 11. This is similar to what Windows 10 did since it came with Skype preinstalled.

Since Skype is losing its userbase, and users are moving to more collaborative alternatives, it’s no wonder that Microsoft decided to remove Skype from Windows 11 and replace it with Microsoft Teams.

It seems that Microsoft Teams is expected to get some major improvements soon, and we expect that Microsoft Teams integration will be well received among the Windows 11 users.

If you’re a fan of Skype and you still use it, you won’t be left out, since there’s a way to enable Skype on Windows 11.

Overall, we believe that this is a step in the right direction and that adding Microsoft Teams will challenge other collaboration platforms such as Slack.

Android app integration

Windows 11 will bring native support for Android apps on Windows thanks to the Intel Bridge technology. Even if this is Intel technology, AMD users should be able to run Android apps natively on Windows 11 as well.

Microsoft has teamed up with Amazon App Store for application delivery, which means that if your PC is compatible, you should be able to download and run apps from Amazon App Store.

Source: Microsoft

This is a brand-new feature, and on Windows 10, users had to rely on Android emulators to run Android apps. This also brings another important question, what will happen with Android emulators on Windows 11?

We believe that Android emulators will remain relevant since not all Windows 11 computers will be able to natively handle Android apps.

However, Google is introducing Android App Bundles that should replace APK files that Windows 11 is using, so we might see some compatibility issues in the future.

Microsoft Store

Microsoft Store is another component of Windows that was revamped in Windows 11. The first thing that you’ll notice about the new Microsoft Store is its new look.

The store is now divided into two segments, a content pane and a sidebar that you use to access certain categories, such as apps, games, movies, and TV shows.

The new store looks sleek and more streamlined than its predecessor on Windows 10. However, the new redesign isn’t the only change.

As we mentioned previously, Windows 11 will be able to run Android apps natively, and now you’ll be able to download Android apps right from the Windows Store.

New Microsoft Store will also support Win32 apps, meaning that you can download and install regular desktop apps from it. There’s also support for .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java, and Progressive Web Apps.

The store will be able to handle browser links, so when you choose to download an application using your web browser, Microsoft Store will take over and install the application in the background.

Want to know more about the new Microsoft Store? If so, be sure not to miss our in-depth look at the new Microsoft Store in Windows 11.

Gaming improvements

Last but not least, we have to mention gaming improvements. Windows 11 incorporates many features from the latest Xbox Series X to bring gamers the best possible experience.

One of these features is the DirectStorage that will allow games to load faster from the NVMe SSDs. Moreover, this feature will also load graphics assets faster thus delivering more detailed gaming worlds.

Another feature that deserves a mention is AutoHDR and with this feature, you’ll be able to add HDR enhancements to the games that are built on DirectX 11 or higher.

With this feature, you should be able to make older games more vibrant than before but to do so, you need to turn on Auto HDR on Windows 11 and have compatible hardware.

Probably the biggest change in terms of gaming is the introduction of the Xbox Game Pass on Windows 11, so you’ll get to play new titles from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda, and gain access to more than 100 different games.

Lastly, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate you’ll be able to experience Xbox Cloud Gaming from a web browser and enjoy Xbox titles even on a low-end PC.

If you’re more of an old-school gamer, you’ll be pleased to hear you’ll be able to play old games on Windows 11 without too many compatibility issues.

These are some amazing improvements, and we can’t wait to see how DirectStorage and Xbox Game Pass for Windows 11 will work in action.

How to upgrade to Windows 11?

If you’re looking to upgrade to Windows 11, we expect the upgrade process to be similar to Windows 10 upgrade process.

Just like with Windows 10, you should get a notification saying that Windows 11 update is available for your PC.

Although no information is available at the moment, we expect the upgrade process to be streamlined, and that users can upgrade from the Settings app by following these steps:

  1. Head to the Settings app on your PC. You can open it quickly with Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. Next, navigate to the Update & Security section.
  3. From there you should see a large section asking you to upgrade to Windows 11.
  4. Just click the Get started button and follow the instructions on the screen.

Microsoft has proven with Windows 10 that upgrading to a brand new operating system doesn’t have to be complicated, and we expect that you should be able to update to Windows 11 seamlessly.

How to download Windows 11?

Besides the improvements in design and security, ease of use is one of the most important elements of Windows 11, and the update process is no different.

If you’ve ever installed Windows 10 on a device, then the process to install Windows 11 will not seem unfamiliar.

For further details on this topic, feel free to visit our extensive guide on how to download Windows 11.

What are some good laptops compatible with Windows 11?

As we already know the official system requirements for Windows 11, it is safe to assume that not all Windows 10 devices will be able to run the new OS.

The most considerable difference between the requirements for running Windows 10 and Windows 11, is the TPM 2.0.

TPM, also known as Trusted Module Platform is a chip that enables your system to manage encryption keys, thus making your machine a lot safer online.

If your PC doesn’t have a TPM chip, you’ll have to buy a TPM chip and install it, if you want to upgrade to Windows 11.

Most systems that don’t support TPM will not be able to install or run Windows 11, which can come as a shock to many users, but you can always invest in a PC that is capable of this technology.

As an alternative for desktop users, you can also invest in a motherboard that has TPM capabilities, and upgrade your system with ease.

That being said, Microsoft has also announced that in the case of some system types, a missing TPM feature will not stop users from getting Windows 11.

Conclusion

Windows 11 brings many improvements, and the most notable one is a full user interface redesign, and in the design aspect, it’s a major upgrade from Windows 10.

New Start Menu is streamlined and it feels less cluttered than before. The rounded corners on windows look great, and the same goes for other user interface elements.

Multitasking is improved, and now you can easily switch between Snap layouts and better organize open windows.

Probably the biggest change is the native support for Android apps and the overhaul of the Microsoft Store that will become a centralized hub for all application download on Windows 11.

Lastly, gaming improvements such as DirectStorage, AutoHDR, and Xbox Game Pass for PC will take gaming on your PC to a whole new level.

Windows 11 is a major step forward with great features and a more streamlined user interface, so there’s no reason not to switch to it.

Are you excited about Windows 11 and are you going to switch or you planning to stay on Windows 10? Let us know in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Windows 11 will be available for free for all Windows 10 users. We assume that the upgrade process will be the same as the free Windows 10 upgrade.

  • Currently, there’s no information about this feature, but you can always lock your files with folder locker software.

  • No, Windows 11 isn’t released yet, but we expect Microsoft to announce it soon.

  • Windows 11 should look similar to Windows 10, but with rounded corners for Windows applications.

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