Microsoft Unveils Windows 11

Posted on June 24, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 185 Comments

Well, it’s finally official. After years of inaction, many missteps, rumors, and leaks, Microsoft today finally unveiled the next major version of Windows. Which, yes, is called Windows 11.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the unveiling, many of which were not part of the public launch.

There’s no beta today, sorry. Anyone hoping to sign in to the Windows Insider Program today and enroll a PC to begin testing Windows 11 will be disappointed: That’s not happening yet, for reasons that are unclear.

Free upgrade. Windows 11 will be free for those with a Windows 10 PC that meet the new system requirements…

The system requirements are changing. Windows 10, like Windows 7 and 8, had lower system requirements than its predecessors, in part because of years-long ongoing componentization and optimization. But time marches on, and with Windows 11, Microsoft is making small upwardly mobile changes to the system requirements: It requires at least a dual-core 1 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. It’s also making one major change to the system requirements…

Windows 11 will be 64-bit only. Here’s one major blocker for some upgraders, though it will be cheered by many: Windows 11 will only be available in 64-bit form on both Intel-style x64 and ARM systems. Windows 10, by contrast, came in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. A moment of silence, please, as technology races forward and leaves the past behind.

Windows 11 Home will require a Microsoft account. Confirming what I saw last week when I installed both Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro in clean install and upgrade configurations, Windows 11 will controversially require both an Internet connection and a Microsoft account (MSA) during the initial Setup. This is a curiously tone-deaf decision, given that Home is the mainstream Windows 11 version and Microsoft’s history with this kind of thing. (Anyone else remember the “submarine” episode ahead of the Xbox One launch?)

Windows Updates improvements. Windows Update will be faster and more efficient with updates that are 40 percent smaller and install in the background.

Snap layouts. We saw this is in the leak but didn’t know the name.

Snap groups. This is new. When you create Snap layouts, they’ll be saved in the taskbar as Snap groups you can reapply at any time later. Nice.

Multi-monitor improvements. Now, when you disconnect a secondary display, any open apps will minimize to the taskbar on the laptop so they don’t get in the way. When you reconnect, everything goes back to where it was. Very nice.

Teams integration. A new Teams panel will replace the Meet Now feature from Windows 10.

Windows widgets. We learned about this new feature from the leak, but it is a personalized feed powered by AI curated content, and it will support third-party content from developers.

Windows without a keyboard. In the latest attempt to make Windows feel good on a tablet, Microsoft is making UI changes in tablet mode, with more space between icons, bigger touch targets, and subtle visual cues. Snap supports rotate so snapped windows feel more natural, plus the exact same gestures as with a touchpad for familiarity. Smart.

Gaming. Auto HDR is coming, which we already knew, but now new games load faster with Direct Storage technologies from the Xbox Series X|S. And Game Pass will be built in via the Xbox app, which will now be included, as will be Xbox Cloud Gaming.

New Store with Android apps. The new Store will be much simpler, but the big news is the addition of new commerce capabilities for third parties both big (Adobe, with Creative and Document Clouds) and small and, yep, Android apps. Curiously, however, WSL has nothing to do with that: Microsoft is using “Intel bridge technology” to bring Android apps to Windows through the Amazon App Store, which will be part of the Windows Store. Welp!

Yes, I’m writing a book. And thanks to Microsoft for creating the perfect version break that I needed: The Windows 10 Field Guide will conclude this summer with version 21H1 and I’ve already started working on the Windows 11 Field Guide, which will be a new book (from a purchasing perspective) with completely updated content.

 

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Comments (185)

185 responses to “Microsoft Unveils Windows 11”

  1. taswinfan

    Just a few thoughts. All in all I think this was a good step forward. Haters will hate but I think there were just some good decisions that were overdue that previous MS Management would never have let come to reality (android, developer own commerce inside microsoft hosted store). The release may be for home users, but there does seem to be a lot here for developers which will benefit all users. And it does look nice. The teams integration might just give teams for life the kick it needed to compete with something like imessage + facetime. The widgets panel did seem to allow installed apps to integrate and it clearly separated apps like to do and calendar from the news and interests section... though it was never mentioned.

  2. igor engelen

    "Multi-monitor improvements" I think this will be welcomed by laptop users that undock and dock a lot

    • curtisspendlove

      I love the multimonitor enhancements. And bringing some power toys into Windows code. (I think it’s called Fancy Zones or something similarly silly…glad they renamed it for 11).

    • wright_is

      Yes, as long as the multiple monitors remain consistent, there is not a problem.


      But I currently move between work (internal display and 2 x 24" displays) to home (internal display + either 43" 4K or 34" UW display). Windows never remembers where the windows were the last time the configuration was used and they are either "off the screen" and have to be brought back using the Alt+Space trick or they all land on the internal display.

  3. simard57

    Windows 11 is Windows 10 Base 9


  4. Patrick3D

    I hope HDR can be forced on. I hate Windows 10 dropping in and out of HDR, it's like the PS3 switching resolutions because the UI was at a different resolution then the game, it's very annoying having to wait a few seconds for the monitor to switch.

  5. rmlounsbury

    I know we all had sky high expectations for what Windows 11 would be. But, I think what was announced is really an excellent update to an already solid overall operating system. It brings plenty of good modern experiences and interface refresh to the platform that where really needed. Small touches like improved touch interface when in tablet mode are big. The smart external monitor support is rather huge and being able to move between different screen experiences without completely nuking your desktop has been a sore spot for me for sure. Other touches like smarter snap and being able to have functionally defined workspaces is great as well.


    Windows 11 really feels like what Windows 8 was trying to be and Windows 10 couldn't be because it had to course correct to get back to a stable and familiar experience. I think Windows 11 really is a great take on Windows for a modern world.

  6. ghostrider

    90% of what was talked about is fluff, and the bottom line is, other than a front end polish and a few new (mostly pointless) apps, not much has changed, but by slapping a new name on it, everything has changed - for Microsoft. They can draw a line under the mess that Win10 was becoming and pretend to be starting afresh. Ultimately, it won't be that much different, with a lot of the same problems, and if dropping x86 support is true, will actually cause a whole load more problems. Remember when MS said Win10 updates would be smaller and require less reboots? Well, yes, we all know what happened there. Rince, rebrand, repeat. Here we go again.

    • dftf

      It sounds like 32-bit apps will still run on 64-bit Windows 11, it's just the 32-bit kernel versions that have been dropped; the official "Windows 11 Specifications" page says the minimum requirement is "a 64-bit CPU which must be at-least dual-core". So no 32-bit x86 or ARM32 CPUs, and all 64-bit CPUs must be at-least two-core

    • hrlngrv

      | pretend to be starting afresh


      Only if they abandon the idiocy of twice yearly upgrades and go back either to minor versions like Windows 8.1 or Service Packs less frequent than once a year. Otherwise, it'd be the same upgrade cycle that bears the fresh smear of lipstick.

  7. madthinus

    The TPM 2.0 chip requirement is going to exclude a substantial amount of PC's from upgrading. My Surface Pro 4 is also not passing the test and I have not seen many motherboards being sold with one in the custom PC build space. This might be a big deal breaker for a lot of upgraders.

    • dftf

      Oddly, according to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 it says only a 1.2 TPM is actually required; 2.0 is just preferred

    • dftf

      I wonder how many motherboards in cheaper desktops and laptops sold targeting home-users and small-businesses actually have a TPM chip on them? Seems mad you could buy a new device right-now and find Windows 11 won't work on it... it'll be like the "Vista Capable" thing all-over-again!

    • dondon

      I have a laptop with a TPM 2.0 chip, but it is turned off. If I turn it on, will that have any impact on the existing Windows 10 installation? I know it's not best practice, but I want to do an in-place upgrade to Windows 11, not a clean install.

  8. james_makumbi

    The amazon app store is the absolute worst android store. All the apps are outdated. Microsoft was already working with Google; would it have killed them to go the extra mile and gotten the google store instead?

    • MikeCerm

      Microsoft was already working with Google? Certainly not on building Android into Windows. My guess is that Google straight-up said no. Android app compatibility is a big selling point for Chromebooks, and Google wouldn't just give that away. They want you to buy Chromebooks. Amazon doesn't care about that. They just want people to buy stuff in their store, which will now have a billion new potentional customers.

      • jhambi

        Surface Duo used the Google Play store...so yes they already had a standing relationship with Google

        • geoff

          Surface Duo uses Android, so the Google play store is compulsory.

        • MikeCerm

          These are very different circumstances though. Google offers Bing as an option in Chrome, but that doesn't mean Google is going to start making Chromebooks that run Windows because they have a relationship with Microsoft. Google and Microsoft are direct competitors in the laptop/desktop OS market, and giving away a huge competitive advantage to their biggest competitor was never going to happen. Microsoft was going to have to build their own app store and Android framework to get around Google's restrictions. Instead, they partnered with someone else who already had figured out how to run Android without Google.

    • wright_is

      And many apps are not available at all. I keep going to websites and they see I'm on Android (Fire Tablet) and state "please download our app to continue using this site" and then lock content. The only problem is, they might have an Android app, but it isn't in the Amazon store...


      I just gave up and replaced out aging Fires with iPads.

      • dftf

        Seems a bit extreme to move to an iPad... did no Samsung tablet take your fancy?

        • wright_is

          The problem is, Android is fairly poor, when it. Comes to tablets.

          • dftf

            Google may now be trying to address that:


            arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/06/google-to-android-devs-support-more-form-factors-get-a-higher-sales-cut/

    • dftf

      Using the official Google Play Store though would likely mean having to (1) force users to setup a Google Account and (2) would mean users complaining about a futher erosion of privacy in Windows 11 as a result: people already dislike the telemetry in Windows 10 sending device data just to Microsoft. I can't imagine users will suddenly want such info shared with Google also!


      Maybe in the Amazon hook-up, they've done some sort-of connector-service that will just allow a Mirosoft Account to be used, and not require an Amazon login?

  9. dcdevito

    I think the biggest addition is Teams being integrated. The power of the default cannot be understated.

    • dftf

      Just because something is there by-default doesn't necessarily mean people will use it.


      I rarely see anyone ever doing remote-support via "Quick Assist", compared to something like "TeamViewer". Many use something like "VLC Media Player" instead of "Windows Media Player" or "Groove". And according to StatCounter, looking only at desktop and laptop devices, "Edge" sits at around 8% market-share globally, behind "Safari" on 9.8% and "Google Chrome" on 68.3%. (It is ahead of "Firefox" though, on 7.4%)

    • bluvg

      Zoom antitrust claim?

    • bettyblue

      That assumes you actually like and use Teams. Teams changes almost weekly how is that going to be done? I cringe when I hear the ringing tone from Teams.

  10. SvenJ

    I wonder if the multi-monitor support will be smart enough to understand differing (but consistent) external monitor configurations. At home I have one external monitor to the right of my laptop. At work I have two positioned to the left of the laptop. It does get the left and right correct, as far as moussing from laptop to monitor. Would be nice if it got the application Windows right as well. That's always a few minute chore to get set up. Over multiple users, as marketers are wont to do, that could be thousands of man-hours of productivity re-claimed.

    • wright_is

      I'm the same. At work 2 x 24", with the laptop below the right hand display and at home, a 34" UW, with the laptop to the left, or a 43" 4K, with the laptop to the right.

  11. davelang

    "Windows 11 will be 64-bit only."


    I wonder if this means Adobe will have to FINALLY update Acrobat Pro DC (which is still 32-bit only)?

    • DavidSlade

      32bit apps will still run on 64bit Windows, just like they do now.

    • lvthunder

      No. It just means there won't be a 32 bit version of Windows.

      • dftf

        Yeah, I an't imagine in Windows 11 you'll suddenly find "Program Files (x86)" and "SysWOW64" missing, and no 32-bit apps running. That would kill loads of current apps and older games... even the main shell of the current version of VMWare Player is still 32-bit only!


        Not to mention many large companies and enterprises run 32-bit editions of Microsoft Office (of which the latest Office 2019 and Office365 versions are still offered in!) as they have some sort-of add-on or macro that doesn't work in the 64-bit version

        • hrlngrv

          Picky: would 64-bit only Windows 11 replace System32 with System64 (plus a junction point System32 for backwards compatibility)?


          Since Windows all along has been able to manage subdirectories within subdirectories within C:\Program Files, was there ever a need for C:\Program Files (x86)? Back a few decades several versions of Lotus SmartSuite couldn't easily be installed on the same system because Lotus never budged from Windows 3.x design, used a LOTUS.INI file in C:\Windows, so one version would overwrite the previously installed version's copy of that file. However, that was the only software I used with any frequency which came with that kind of restriction.

          • dftf

            "Picky: would 64-bit only Windows 11 replace System32 with System64"


            There is no 64-bit only version of Windows 11 planned. The "32-bit kernel editions" have gone (the ones that run 32 and 16-bit apps, and use 32-bit drivers). But the AMD64 kernel version will still run Intel32 apps, and the ARM64 will run ARM64, ARM32, AMD64 and Intel32 apps, just like today. So no folders will change name.


            "...plus a junction point System32 for backwards compatibility)?"


            You mean a Symbolic Link: those are what do redirects (such as "Documents and Settings" going to the User's folder). Junction Points are where you can link a volume (such as a partition on your drive) to an empty folder, thus avoiding it appearing like a drive (no icon for it inside This PC) and it gets no drive-letter assigned.

            • hrlngrv

              I was going for facetious. Apparently failed to make that clear.


              Understood that PCs running 64-bit Windows can run 32-bit software.


              As for junction point vs symlink, I used my terminology intentionally. What appears as C:\Documents and Settings (2 decades of accumulated Unix experience, and MSFT was stupid enough to put spaces in system pathnames in the late 1990s! talk about incapable of learning from others' experiences) on my system running the console command dir c:\ /a is


              Wed Jun 16 12:20 PM   <JUNCTION>    Documents and Settings [C:\Users]


              Junction points aren't just for use with MOUNTVOL. Create a new directory somewhere on an NTFS-formatted drive, create the subdirectory foo in it, and create a file in it perhaps with echo %RANDOM% > foo\%RANDOM%, run the command mklink /j bar foo, then run the command dir /s /a.

        • hrlngrv

          Sorry for a 2nd reply. @#$% that there's still not comment editing.


          Re 64-bit Office, why? While I suppose one could have Word documents over 4GB if there were enough embedded images/illustrations, I can't imagine more than a handful of writers worldwide would try editing such huge files. PowerPoint presentations of that scale would cause a suicide pandemic. The only Office program which regularly makes use of 64-bit functionality is Excel, and IMO anyone needing 64-bit Excel really shouldn't be using a spreadsheet.


          OTOH, until Excel provides built-in functions for regular expression text processing (which StarOffice had nearly 2 decades ago, and Google Sheets has had for over a decade), more sophisticated data mining with Excel (something not well-suited to Excel, but the reality is that many use Excel to do it) will continue to rely on Windows Script Host's regular expression objects, and that means using a 32-bit DLL which MSFT hasn't upgraded since early XP days.

          • bluvg

            "64-bit Office, why?"


            The 32-bit version start running out of steam long before the 32-bit RAM limits (2, 3, or 4 GB). Display glitches are a known issue with 32-bit Outlook, for example. COM add-ins also complicate matters. For some industries, Outlook is treated like an OS.

    • dftf

      Can you get Adobe Acrobat on macOS -- and if so, how, as recent versions only support 64-bit apps

    • innitrichie

      There's already 64 bit versions of Adobe DC/DC Pro in some markets. I have no idea if Adobe has released them to the US/Canada yet, but they certainly will before Windows 11 arrives.

  12. sevenacids

    Windows 11 will be 64-bit only. - I don't think this is technically correct. It would be if they removed the WOW64 compatibility layer from the operating system that allows x86 executables to run natively in 32-bit mode on the x86-64 processor. But this will not be the case because it would render a huge amount of legacy software to be deprecated from one day to the next.


    All it means is that they don't offer a pure 32-bit NT kernel anymore. But x86 support is not going away any time soon. And for compatibility reasons, they are required to test and ship x86 versions of the operating system libraries just like before.

    • dftf

      "Windows 11 will be 64-bit only"


      In-terms-of the kernel, yes: it will only be available in AMD64 (x86-64) and ARM64 kernel versions, not Intel32 (x86) and ARM (32-bit ARM). Both 64-bit editions though should still be able to run 32-bit apps, yes.


      "But x86 support is not going away any time soon. And for compatibility reasons, they are required to test and ship x86 versions of the operating system libraries just like before."


      Getting-rid of the 32-bit kernel versions though does mean not having to support or test 32-bit drivers, or do any maintenance around 16-bit app support. So there is at-least that.

  13. divodd

    I'm sure other people in this comments section have complained about this but the arbitrary 8th gen Intel cutoff is absolutely ridiculous, and there's no justifiable reason why my 2017 XPS shouldn't be able to run it

    • jtemplin

      I'm in exactly the same XPS 8920, i7-7700 boat. My system is barely 3 years old and the 8th gen cutoff is ridiculous.

      • divodd

        There's nothing in 11 that is more graphically intense than Vista, which has been the baseline standard for 15 years, and I can't imagine what possible technical reason there is for this change. Especially considering that all Intel chips had been sitting on the 14nm process anyway

      • dftf

        According to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 the 8th Gen CPU is considered "recommended", not "required". (As is a TPM 2.0 chip; 1.2 is the minimum actually required)

    • dftf

      According to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 the 8th Gen CPU is considered "recommended", not "required". (As is a TPM 2.0 chip; 1.2 is the minimum actually required)

      • divodd

        Yeah I saw that on the Verge this morning, but as everyone has been saying the compatibility checker yesterday was terrible and didn't point that out. Also, I still don't get the whole "why" of it.

        • compuser

          It's purely because of TPM support, which basically provides tighter security for computers being used to access business networks remotely. Why this is relavent or required for personal computers that will never be allowed to touch a business network is way beyond my ability to comprehend. (If a business allows employees to access their computer network with their personal computers, they deserve whatever security issues they encounter.)


          Plus, it isn't even the CPU that determines TPM support. TPM is enabled or disabled in the motherboard's BIOS settings, and apparently isn't enabled by default. My son's desktop computer is about a year old and has a 3d Gen Ryzen 5 processor. He ran the Microsoft check on the computer and it failed. He researched TPM, found it can be enabled in the BIOS Advanced, Trusted Computing settings, did so, and his computer passed the requirements test. Unfortunately for me, neither my laptop or desktop support TPM, even though neither is over five years old. (Maybe manufacturers will release new BIOS updates for some of these not-very-old motherboards, but I doubt it.)

          • dftf

            "Maybe manufacturers will release new BIOS updates for some of these not-very-old motherboards ..."


            With some newer CPUs, it might be possible to add a "virtual TPM" type option, yes. But for older ones, you may just be out-of-luck. Unless some-other solution was possible, such as a USB-based security drive, or if your laptop has a SC (Secure Card) slot, Microsoft could issue some credit-card type card you can use in that instead?

  14. wright_is

    Paul  said that it was released in 2017, so most modern PCs should have it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

    It was released a few years ago, yes. But, as it is an additional cost item, it was reserved for high-end business PCs that actually needed it.

    My Ryzen motherboard doesn’t have a TPM module, because it wasn’t sold as a business PC.

    This will change from now on, but I’d guess a majority of home PCs at the moment don’t have a TMP module - the main use, until now, was for BitLocker, which was reserved for business class PCs, so it was a “useless” addition to the BoM of home machines.

    It will be interesting to see how many current motherboards for self-builds already have a TPM module - looking at the current Asus motherboard, over a third do not include a TPM module.

    I’m guessing, most low-end PCs and laptops won’t have the module, so will need to be replaced. By Dell, I’d expect Optiplex, Latitude, Precision and possibly XPS laptops to include a TPM module, but the cheaper and consumer models probably not.

    Likewise, I’d expect HP Elites to have it, but possibly Sprectre and below not. The same with Lenovo the Think… ranges have them, but, probably not many of the Idea… ranges. The other question is, how long have Microsoft and manufacturers been planning this? Do 2020 and 2021 models of lower end and consumer devices already have TPM modules, in readiness for this change?

    • dftf

      Yeah, I'd be surprised if many low-price laptops and desktops aimed at home-users actually have a TPM chip; maybe even not a connector to fit one in some cases.


      Seems mad people could buy a brand-new laptop or desktop right-now and find out won't run Windows 11.


      Not to mention two other issues: (1) on some devices, you have to switch from UEFI to BIOS mode to boot off a SATA type drive, and (2) if you use full-disk encryption other-than BitLocker (e.g. Becrypt, McAfee, Sophos or VeraCrypt) don't you have to disable Secure Boot for the pre-boot loader to work?

  15. RobertJasiek

    I have checked that my desktop meets the W11 specifications only to find that its 7th generation Core is not in the list of supported CPUs. I consider building a "gaming" PC with Ryzen 5700G (appears on August 5 for DIY but already exists in prebuilt PCs) but it is not in the list of supported CPUs. Apparently these lists are incomplete and inconsistent. Getting TPM / secure boot in DIY will be difficult.


    Finding out W11 compatibility becomes a nightmare.

    • dftf

      Take a look at docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11


      Apparently the 8th Gen CPU is "preferred", but not "required" (as is a TPM 2.0; only 1.2 is required at minimum)

  16. compuser

    I think there's going to be a hell of a lot of very unhappy people when they decide to upgrade to Windows 11 only to find out they can't because their 5-year-old computer doesn't support TPM, doesn't have a Gen-8 or later Intel processor, or doesn't have whatever the minimum Gen AMD processor is (I have found it specified anywhere).


    What's interesting is that my desktop computer is running Windows 10 Insider preview versions. Checking for updates today, I see the following message: "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Your device may continue to receive Insider Preview builds until Windows 11 is generally available, at which time it is recommended to clean install to Windows 10." But my computer far exceeds every hardware requirement, except TPM. But I'm wondering, if the computer is fine for preview builds, why isn't it fine for the general release? What's going to be different?


    Can I buy a new computer that complies? Of course I can. But I'm not going to because my current computer already exceeds Microsoft's hardware requirements (except TPM) and is far more capable than what I need. And Microsoft suddenly deciding that my personal computer must support TPM, something that is really primarily relevant to business computers on business networks, is arbitrary at best.

    • dftf

      "... only to find out they can't because their 5-year-old computer doesn't support TPM, doesn't have a Gen-8 or later Intel processor ..."


      If you refer to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 (as has already been mentioned at-least twenty-or-so times in the previous comments already!) you can see that having an 8th-gen Intel CPU or later is not required; likewise a v1.2 TPM chip is also allowed, not only a v2.0 one.


      If you have an older CPU, or a v1.2 TPM chip, your existing Windows 10 install will not be auto-offered Windows 11 in future; you'll have to manually choose to upgrade it via something like the "Upgrade Assistant" tool, or the "Media Creation Tool" via the "Upgrade this PC now" option. But if you do a clean install, via either DVD or USB media, it'll work as-long-as none of the "hard floor" requirements aren't met

  17. RobertJasiek

    Windows 11 needs TPM 1.2 (better 2.0) and Secure Boot. When building a PC, how to find main board and CPU with these features?


    When I read specifications of main boards, Ryzen CPUs and Intel CPUs, all I find is "internal TPM connector" of main boards, which suggests that they do not have TPM but require buying an extra TPM module. Are main boards with TPM chip rare? I find nothing about TPM or Secure Boot in current specifications of AMD CPUs or Intel CPUs. For some Intel CPUs, I find some other phrase, which might or might not mean Secure Boot.


    How to build a Windows 11-compatible PC?

  18. saint4eva

    Windows 11 is exceptionally amazing.

  19. mattbg

    On TPM 2.0, DIY builds often have motherboards that have TPM headers but no actual TPM module. This is true even of the latest motherboards. It'll be interesting if Windows 11 really won't work on most DIY PCs (which probably describes what most gamers use).


    On the other hand, the TPM modules to plug in to those headers are only $20 or so... I guess that's what we'll have a chip shortage of next :)

    • dftf

      Yeah, it does make me wonder... do all cheap home-user targeted desktops and laptops come with a TPM chip on the board? I can't imagine they all do, which means right now people could buy a brand-new device that won't be capable of upgrading to Windows 11...

    • bettyblue

      Gamers will be irked if they have to buy those modules. I just checked the ASUS sight for TPM on my motherboard in my gaming PC..


      "ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING" Zero mention of TPS in the "Tech Specs". That mobo came out in 2020.


      I will check the BIOS at some point. No way I am going to buy a new motherboard for this. Also I game 99% on the XSX and compute on a Mac so my Windows days could be coming to an end in 2025.

      • navarac

        Just bought a TPM 2.0 module this week in the UK - £15. Easy - cheap - sorted. However, unless this mess is fixed I feel that Vendors will not get the up-sales they have conspired with Microsoft to achieve. It could be seen as a bit of a money grab, I suppose.

      • mattbg

        You may find that your CPU has TPM integrated, but the question will be whether or not (and how) the BIOS exposes this and what version it is.


        On Intel CPUs, it's called Platform Trusted Technology (PTT). AMD has fTPM.


        So, it could be that fTPM is configurable in your BIOS. In my case, PTT is TPM 1.2 and the BIOS has options to either use PTT or a hardware module connected via motherboard header.

        • mattbg

          Correction: my PTT is already TPM 2.0. My BIOS was set to use the absent hardware TPM module. Changing it to use PTT gave me TPM 2.0


          You can check the status in MMC using tpm.msc


          This is an Intel Z270 chipset with i7-4770K CPU, so it's circa 2017.

          • mattbg

            I guess the risk of using PTT vs a separate module is that, should you move to a new PC, your OS may not boot from the same hard drive if you're using Secure Boot. In a DIY PC where you're likely to swap out motherboard, I can see why that would be an issue.

          • dftf

            Another way to check if your device has a TPM, and if so, what version, is via the "Windows Security" app: inside it, click "Device security" then click "Security processor details"

          • jtemplin

            Intel CPUs must be 8th gen or higher (per the list MS published today). I'm apparently SOL with my i7-7700.

      • dftf

        To check if your device does have a TPM, go into the "Windows Security" app, click "Device security" then click "Security processor details"

    • navarac

      Got a TPM 2.0 module 2 days ago for my Gigabyte Z370 MB. Instant plug-in happiness!

  20. dftf

    Interesting "feature depreciations and removals" for Windows 11:


    Cortana will no-longer be part of the Windows 11 Setup process, nor will be pinned to the Taskbar for a new install or new user account


    Internet Explorer will be removed from the Home version; the rendering-engine will remain, for backwards app compatibility, but the "iexplore.exe" executable (and some other files) will go and there will be no option to add it back in


    Math Input Panel has been removed


    Microsoft News app will be depreciated, in-favour of a "full-screen" UI option for the "News & Interests" Taskbar (currently, neither Microsoft News or Weather adhere to your accent-colour in Windows 10, so this doesn't surprise me: both seem to lack any recent development)


    S Mode will only be available in the Home edition


    Snipping Tool has been removed; the modern Snip & Sketch tool will be renamed to Snipping Tool


    Start Menu: (1) no groups can be created; (2) the "All Apps" list will be an entirely flat, alphabetical list; no folders will appear; (3) Pinned Apps and Sites will not move-over from Win10 during an upgrade; (4) Live Tiles are removed; Widgets replace them


    Tablet Mode has been removed (Win11 will just auto-adjust itself)


    Taskbar no-longer allows any of the following: (1) a screen-position other-than the bottom (sorry those who like it at the side, or top of the screen!); (2) the option to use the small button size has been removed, as has (3) the option not to combine multiple windows into one button; (4) folders and toolbars can no-longer be added (sorry anyone who likes the old Quick Launch!); (5) you cannot replace PowerShell with Command Prompt when right-clicking the Start button


    Timeline has been removed


    Wallet has been removed


    The following apps will no-longer get installed on a fresh (clean) install of Windows 11: 3D Viewer; Microsoft News; OneNote for Windows 10; Paint 3D; Skype


    Unconfirmed (seen on other news sites):


    "Character Map" will be removed; either a new Modern UI app will replace it, or the "Emoji Panel" will be revamped to cover the same functionality


    "Disk Cleanup" will be removed; all functionality will move into Start > Settings > System > Storage


    "Private Character Editor" will be removed by-default and have to be added via "Optional features"


    "Problem Steps Recorder" may get replaced with a Modern UI app

    • hrlngrv

      Re Taskbar, give Stardock some time.

    • shark47

      Glad that live tiles are going away. It looks like some of that functionality is going to be in the Windows Widgets.

    • bluvg

      Oh my. Some of those are pretty significant, especially the Start Menu and Taskbar stuff. Timeline is an interesting removal also.


      Some vendors really abuse the Start Menu, littering it with junk. The inability to group is odd, and going to suck with those installs.

  21. Michael Sorrentino

    Looks like garbage to me, plus I prefer the taskbar docked at the top, they are removing the ability to change the position of the taskbar, which is stupid. Looks like I'll be sticking with W10.

    • hrlngrv

      | I prefer the taskbar docked at the top


      Maybe you aren't the sort of Windows user MSFT cares about retaining.


      More seriously, give Stardock some time. When MSFT piles the manure high, it takes a while delve passes through it.

  22. djross95

    Looks like a nice release (more than "lipstick on a pig", I'd say), and I'm excited to see the final product. Loved the subtle hits at Apple, well deserved! Also love the new look and excited for Android apps on Windows. Now MS just needs to execute!

  23. waethorn

    As if Parallels didn't have enough to do, updating PD to support Apple silicon. Now they have to update the emulation stuff to support Windows 11...

  24. Elan Gabriel

    I don't fully understand why people are so upset with MSA, but are OK with having a Google account or Apple ID as a requirement to use their systems.


    As for the teams integration, my guess is that it will get killed later on. Teams is a buzz word right now, but people associate it with work, not fun. I don't see many non "required by work" users keep it on or even use it.

    • Shamir Dasgupta

      MSA itself is not the issue. But windows (at least Win 10) has an annoying feature that creates the "user" folder during installation with the first 5 characters of your email address. If your first name has five characters that's great but for some, the folder name (maryann becomes marya) is less than desirable. (Yes, you can registry hack and do all sorts of stuff to rename user folder). Here is hoping - maybe they will fix it.

      • ekim

        That would be great! My name is Michael and I'm really tired of the user folder being initialized to micha. Currently the only way around that is to setup a local account first and then convert it to a Microsoft account. I suspect that the folder root can't be changed in the registry either but I could be wrong.

    • WarWizard

      Skype is being slowly replaced with Teams, so eventually even non-work users will be using it. Teams is pretty good for sharing within a family using the 'personal' version.

  25. Fuller1754

    Having watched CNET's recap, I'm actually more excited about W11 than I was about W10. There's too much negativity in these comments. Even if the biggest change is just the UI refresh, people greatly underestimate how important this is. Even if the *only* change were the new design and new icon set, I would desperately want to upgrade. Why? Because W10 never never fully matured in this area, with multiple icon and design styles all over the place. But of course there's more. I think MS has really put a lot of love into this new version of Windows.


    "It looks like Big Sur." So what? In fact, great! After Microsoft introduced Metro design, Apple and Google followed suit, easing up on 3D textures and skeuomorphism in favor of a more authentically digital look. Material Design in particular took this route, but iOS 7 was also obviously much "flatter" and more modern looking. This was a step forward. It looked way better. Microsoft lead that change. Now that look is being refined with translucency and some play with light, etc. and Microsoft's Fluent Design is taking cues from Apple. But it looks great. I don't really care who's copying whom as long it looks good. And anyway, Snap layouts, the new Store, all these seem like big improvements. I'm looking forward to it.

  26. ronh

    "Yes, I’m writing a book. And thanks to Microsoft for creating the perfect version break that I needed: The Windows 10 Field Guide will conclude this summer with version 21H1 and I’ve already started working on the Windows 11 Field Guide, which will be a new book (from a purchasing perspective) with completely updated content."


    Sign me up Paul!

    • curtisspendlove

      I’m also interested. Will you be doing an “early access” kind of thing with the book? Where we can pay in advance and get development revisions before final publishing?

  27. lezmaka

    As with most things promised in Windows, I'll believe it when I see it. A simple thing that makes me skeptical that they will deliver is the rounded corners. At the beginning they mentioned the rounded corners and explicitly said how it's not just Windows but apps have rounded corners too. Then during the rest of the presentation, some windows still have square corners (PowerPoint and Word were a couple I saw, and some of the Teams/chat windows too). If this were a live demo on a real system, that would be fine. But this was a pre-produced presentation and that should've been caught. Or maybe they really were rounded but since the live stream on microsoft.com wasn't working, I had to watch on Youtube where the stream was probably getting re-encoded, but most corners were obviously rounded but others sure didn't look round.

    • dftf

      Microsoft Office has used its own internal "widgets set" for ages... so the UI elements, like buttons, scrollbars, tick-boxes, radio-buttons are not always matching with Windows itself. As such they might need to program rounded-corner support into Office specifically (which will probably mean shipping a number of bitmap images at the different scaling-sizes to overlay in the corner areas).


      Not the only Microsoft app to ever do this... back-in-the-day, MSN Messenger had XP-style buttons when running on Vista for a while, and then later Windows Live Messenger would have Vista and 7 style buttons and controls even when running on Windows XP. It would really help if they just stuck with the system controls, rather than implement their own!

  28. epguy40

    looks like Windows 11 is getting one feature update a year as I read some recent online reports

  29. bmatusz

    Estimated release date?

    • dftf

      For new devices, with Windows 11 preinstalled: by the end of this year


      As a download to upgrade existing Windows 10 installs: during the first half of next-year

  30. arthemis

    Soo, for us that couldnt watch the live streaming, when it is released?

    • dftf

      For new devices, with Windows 11 preinstalled: by the end of this year


      As a download to upgrade existing Windows 10 installs: during the first half of next-year

    • lvthunder

      The stream did not say.

  31. spiderman2

    "Snipping Tool continues to be available but the old design and functionality in the Windows 10 version has been replaced with those of the app previously known as Snip & Sketch."


    Thurrot April 7 2021:

    "And Snipping Tool is finally replacing Snip & Sketch, and will be updated in the Store, though it’s not getting a new icon."


    • dftf

      If you run the leaked build of Windows 11 right now (21996.1), both the legacy "Snipping Tool" and the newer "Snip & Sketch" both come-preinstalled, and if you go into "Optional features" you can only remove both together. I'm still puzzled why "Snipping Tool" ships, given "Snip & Sketch" seems to have all the same features (and also the addition of an on-screen ruler and protractor)

      • spiderman2

        As I understood they will keep snip and sketch but they'll rename it to snipping tool, not the other way around like Thurrot said

  32. bluvg

    The new snap/snap groups/multimon stuff is a pretty big deal for the day-to-day. Bigger targets for resizing as well. Seriously, this is ridiculous today--some resize targets are a. single. pixel. wide. And sometimes they seemingly don't appear at all, or your mouse pointer curiously disappears.


    The update stuff (can I say I called it? Not that anyone cares, but seemed like no one else was talking about this pre-launch) is promising. Fingers-crossed this is coming to Server, where it is BADLY NEEDED (2016/2019 update times are absurdly long compared to that of 2012 R2).

  33. bluvg

    "Windows 11 Home will require a Microsoft account."


    I think the more controversial bit for me was perhaps the passing, subtle comment from Panos about "opening Windows" to content creators small and large. Sounds like code for advertising, now baked into the OS (further).

    • edwyche

      I don't understand why Microsoft is requiring people that have the Home version to use a MSA account. I think think there are other OS's that require a cloud account to sign into their OS. I think requiring a MSA for Home is a mistake.

      • scovious

        Can you setup your iPhone or Android without their respective account? I think you can't.

        • dftf

          I can't speak for iPhone or iPads, but I think it's still possible to setup an Android device without a Google Account, though unless you're happy to obtain the APK files manually to install apps, you won't be able to do much on them as the Play Store does require a Google Account. (I guess you could install the Amazon App Store and use an Amazon account; or on Samsung devies, create a Samsung Account and use their own store, though you'll not find all the same apps you would in the Play Store).


          I would think that ChromeOS requires a Google Account though, given it's web-app based? And I'd imagine all the current-gen games-consoles would too, as many games require a download from their respective stores, as the physical-media copies sometimes don't include the entire game...

        • innitrichie

          Yes you can setup Apple devices without an Apple ID/account, which is great if you only want to run stock iOS apps on iPhone and iPad.

          • dftf

            Can you still do the "Software Update" without an Apple ID linked (I know on Android phones you can).


            Though as I doubt this would update Safari, or the WebKit engine (I'd guess both get updated via the Store, like their Android equivalents?) then it would still be unsafe to use online

    • dftf

      I never heard this bit in the stream, but yeah, while I agree it does make-sense for many home-users, it's a pity to make it a forced-requirement. I just wonder if you have local accounts on a Win10 Home install right-now must these change to a Windows Account if you upgrade to Win11, or will this requirement only apply to clean-installs, or if you ever add a future new account?

    • innitrichie

      I'm hoping it's more along the lines of.... by forcing people to connect their Windows 11 PC to Microsoft Accounts, they'll make it easier for others to sell content, IAPs, and other digital services directly within the Windows experience.

  34. Jester

    Anything new with security? Be nice not to have all these monthly fixes.

    • ikjadoon

      They did say Windows updates will "happen in the background". Like, how much in the background? They already get installed in the background, no?

      • dftf

        Yeah, I wondered the same thing.. by "background" I assume they mean "rarely will a reboot be required", as currently all updates do happen in the background, and you only see anything pop-up once it informs you a reboot is required. If they can do an in-place kernel-reboot this would be a major change, especially for servers...

      • bluvg

        They did tease the update experience previously, unrelated to Windows 11. I think it was Panos that touted a "60-second" update time, in terms of interruption for the end user.

  35. navarac

    Listening to Security Now this week, hitting ALT+F4 when confronted by the Internet required and Microsoft account screens, will jump over those hoops (in the leaked build, of course). No doubt Microsoft will plug that particular hole!

    • dftf

      If you mean during Windows 11 Setup, as-long-as you're installing "Pro" or higher (not "Home") just click "I don't have Internet" and you can then setup a local account

      • justme

        He is referring to Home. Yes, if you have Pro or better you can use an offline account - but how many OEMs will sell machines with Pro?

        • dftf

          I wonder what will happen to anyone on Home right-now with a local account who tries to upgrade to Win11... will it force converting the account first, or not force the requirement for existing local-accounts, only on clean installs, or if you try to add a new account post-upgrade?

        • hrlngrv

          If they can pass the increased license cost along to end-buyers, I figure most OEMs would be perfectly happy to sell Windows 11 Professional rather than Windows 11 Home, though probably not on their lowest of the low-end systems.

          • dftf

            Leaving aside the new no-local-accounts requirement, I've never otherwise understood why people push-against the Home version.


            Average home-users have no-need for the extra features in "Pro". The only useful thing really is BitLocker.


            But as Windows 11 will require all new devices to ship with a TPM, that means they will all offer the "Device Encryption" option in the Settings app. Which essentially is just BitLocker, but doesn't allow for any extra config other than "on" or "off". Which is the kind of simplicity one would expect in the Home version.

            • justme

              I disagree with this assessment - being able to edit Group Policy without having to resort to regirstry hacks is huge (for me, anyway). You dont get that with Home.

              • dftf

                If using Group Policy Editor would be "huge for you", then upgrade to Pro... most home-users won't even be aware there is such a thing!

                • justme

                  I already do - you said "...the only useful thing really is BitLocker." when referring to Pro. Whether the average Home user needs it or not, I simply pointed out that Bitlocker is not the only useful thing in Pro.

              • dftf

                BitLocker is the only thing in Pro I think would actually be useful for an average home-user: currently, in Windows 10, you only get "Device Encryption" (which is essentially BitLocker behind-the-scenes), but this only works on 64-bit CPUs, with a TPM and with Secure Boot enabled.


                I never said Pro has no-other features compared to Home. I'm aware it has things like "Remote Desktop"; "Windows Sandbox"; "Hyper-V"; "Business Store"; "Encrypting File System"; "Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer"; "Ability to join a Domain", and hardware-wise allows for 2TB of max RAM, not 128GB; 2 physical CPUs, not 1; and 128 maximum cores on a CPU, not 64.


                But of those how many do you think your average home-user will even understand let-alone ever use?


                The Home edition should deliberately be kept simple. Pro is there for people who want more (or "Pro for Workstations", which allows up-to 6TB of RAM, up-to 4 physical CPUs and a total of 256 cores, along with allowing Windows to be installed on the new ReFS file-system)

  36. PhilipVasta

    I just realized they didn't say anything about the core apps: mail, calendar, etc. They can't be leaving them as is... right? Right?

    • ikjadoon

      Same: isn't File Explorer...a major part of productivity today?


      There's just so much Windows needs to update. We'll have to see the Insider Builds soon, to see if they've even touched anything in there beyond Windows 10.

    • geoff

      I want the OS apps Mail and Calendar to be removed automatically if Office (Outlook) is installed.


      When there are two email clients, something usually attempts to open the 'wrong' one. The "Share" command in Photos is a regular offender. If a users attempts to send a photo to another person using the Share command, it often opens Mail, not Outlook. And the user gets confused.


      Just remove Mail and Calendar when Office 365 is installed. Automatically.

  37. SWCetacean

    It looks like all of the technical upgrades that were meant for Windows 10 21H2 (auto HDR, direct storage, and display improvements have already been announced months ago for the 21H2 update) were rolled into Windows 11. Perhaps that was what they meant with the Windows 21H2 update, just they weren't allowed to say that the 21H2 update would be Windows 11. It seems Windows 11 brings together a lot of stuff that Microsoft has been building separately for a while now (I wouldn't be surprised if the new Windows Store was just a frontend for winget and the new Windows Package Manager). Basically a rebasing of Windows components to the new stuff rather than that new stuff (.net core, Windows Terminal, Powershell Core, winget, etc.) being add-ons that users have to seek out to get benefits from. DirectX 12 Ultimate was like that; it was really just another feature level on top of DirectX 12 (and the technical documentation says as much), but the point was that it formed a new baseline for devices and software to target.


    The UI changes seem pretty neat though, and I'm interested in trying them out.

  38. navarac

    An extra system requirement MAY be a TPM 2.0 module. Without that fitted to the Motherboard, the leaked build would not install.

    • dftf

      Hmm, odd... I was able to install the leaked (21996.1) build inside VMWare Player and it installed fine, so maybe when it detects a VM it doesn't require a TPM (or Secure Boot) then?


      If the final version will require both then both my laptops will be stuck on Windows 10: one is legacy BIOS only, with no TPM; and the other does have a TPM, but in-order to boot from the SATA drive-bay, you have to change from "UEFI" mode to "Legacy BIOS", which doesn't then allow for Secure Boot


      So compared to the dropping support for 32-bit kernels, I think this change is going to limit how many devices can run it compared to Windows 10...

    • dftf

      As an update: according to

      docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 , it'll require a minimum of a v1.2 TPM chip; v2.0 is just recommended

  39. lewk

    So, they made the update 40% smaller by just dividing it up into two updates? The larger base (cobolt) update (leaked last week), and a second slightly smaller feature experience pack update? So theoretically when combined, they equal the same size update as previously. lol

    • dftf

      Oh really...? That sucks, I just assumed they were compressing the updates with a more-modern algorithm than the LZX they do currently in their CAB format, such as 7-Zip...

  40. sephdk

    Windows 11 also requires TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot, so no update for me... Maybe it's time for an upgrade.

    • dftf

      I must have missed that bit in the live-stream, but yeah... a lot of older devices will be out then!


      Dropping the 32-bit kernel editions was sensible, as very-few really need to use them thesedays (and large-enterprises can use one of the LTSC editions instead if they need it). But my older laptop has no TPM, so that'll be stuck now on Windows 10. And my newer one does have a TPM... but in-order to use a SATA SSD drive, the firmware has to be on "Legacy BIOS" mode, not "UEFI", as the SATA bay cannot be used to boot in UEFI mode. And "Legacy BIOS" doesn't offer Secure Boot support. So that also rules-out my newer device...

      • sephdk

        I don't think it was mentioned during the stream, but it says so on the Windows 11 website.

    • Alkaidia

      Yup. This is going to be the thing that really culls the older PCs. TPM 2.0 wasn't even released until the end of 2017.

      • mattbg

        My X1 Carbon 5th gen from mid-2017 has TPM 2.0.


        TPM 2.0 was a 2015-2016 thing.

    • skinnyjm

      Yes, this is a show stopper for A LOT of perfectly capable hardware out there. My desktop and laptop, for example, meet all the requirements except this one. When Windows 10 support ends in 4 years, there will be a lot of good hardware going to garbage (or possibly converting to Linux of some sort).

    • donaldvc

      At the moment, my Surface Book Gen 1 with secure boot and TPM 2 fails the PC Health check for Windows 11 - unless that's a bug I guess that would rule out a significant proportion of the installed Windows 10 base?

      • dftf

        Microsoft have confirmed only these Surface models will be eligible for upgrade to Windows 11:

        Surface Book 3

        Surface Book 2 (only models with an 8th-gen Intel CPU)

        Surface Go 2

        Surface Laptop 4 (13.5" and 15")

        Surface Laptop 3 (13.5” and 15")

        Surface Laptop 2

        Surface Laptop Go

        Surface Pro 7+

        Surface Pro 7

        Surface Pro 6

        Surface Pro X

        • donaldvc

          Thank you for the list of supported Surface devices. The updated PC Health Check indicates that the i5-6300U on Surface Book Gen 1 is the reason "This PC can't run Windows 11". I guess if an 8th generation Intel CPU is recommended rather than required this may change in future - for now, a little disappointing.

          • dftf

            I would think there will be some changes before launch, yes.


            Currently their Surface Studio 2, coming in at-around £3500, on-sale from late 2018, also fails due to the CPU:


            theregister.com/2021/06/25/windows_11_processor/

  41. SvenJ

    If you live in a submarine, we have a version for you. It's called Windows 10.

    • dftf

      "We all live in a Yellow Submarine"

    • wright_is

      Only until 2025, after that, you'll be using Linux.

      • dftf

        "Windows 10 2019 LTSC" is supported until Jan 2029; I wonder if after Home and Pro end-support in 2025, if you'll see people setting-up their own licencing servers on the Internet and then selling LTSC licences, so people go that route

  42. tendulkar

    My laptop has TPM 2.0 Module, Directx12 support. Disk size is 512Gb, but available space is roughly 32gb.


    Microsoft health checker tell me Windows 11 isn't supported. Any idea why?

    • jtemplin

      It could be your CPU. My barely 3-year old i7-7700 in my XPS 8920 isn't on the required CPU list. The Intel cut-off is 8th gen and later. Ridiculous.

      • dftf

        According to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11/ it says the 8th Gen CPU requirement (and TPM 2.0) are recommended, but not required. Not sure if that page is incorrect, or if the tool is

        • jtemplin

          Doesn't say that anymore: "Devices that do not meet the hardware requirements cannot be upgraded to Windows 11."

      • tendulkar

        Then It'd be death of Windows as we have known it. Mine is 6th gen i7.

        • dftf

          According to docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/windows-11 an 8th Gen Intel CPU will be treated as "recommended", not "required"

    • dftf

      It might be that your device is running in "Legacy BIOS" mode, rather than "UEFI". If Windows boots from a SATA-type SSD, often "Legacy BIOS" mode has to be used.


      Beyond that, check if any BIOS or TPM firmware updates are available for your device

      • tendulkar

        UEFI boot mode is enabled.

        • dftf

          An updated version of the Health Check Tool has been released that will now tell you what the issue is: bit.ly/3x3XxJq

        • dftf

          In the Windows Security app, click "Device Security" and see if you have a "Secure Boot" heading; if not, this is not enabled (or supported) on your device, and needs to be


          Beyond that it might be that your CPU is less-than an eight-generation Intel (or equivalent) which is currently "recommended" for Windows 11, but it seems in the Health Check tool it is treating that as "required" instead. A new version of the tool may get released, try rechecking then

  43. RussDW

    During the Windows 11 tablet demo, the demo guy said that speech recognition is more accurate. I know the Microsoft/Nuance deal won't close until later this year, but I wonder if they have a side deal and have integrated the Dragon speech engine. That would be a nice improvement

    • bluvg

      I think Nuance tech is licensed behind-the-scenes for a lot of voice recog services already? Not sure about Microsoft's own use until now, though.

  44. Stoffel

    Did they mention when it will be released?

    Will there still be Windows 10 21H2 and then we get Windows 11, or will this come out later this year in stead of Windows 10 21H2?

    • dftf

      It'll be released sometime in the second-half of this year, according to the "Get Ready" section on microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11


      I've no-idea what happens now with Windows 10: given many devices won't be able to run Windows 11, due to the UEFI, Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 requirements, I'd expect to see some feature-backporting for a while. And all of the "Store apps" should remain feature-identical: so Calculator, Mail, Groove and so-on shouldn't work differently on Windows 11 to 10

  45. dftf

    Some replies to Paul's points:


    Free upgrade: I've read on other sites a Windows 7 or 8 key can still be used during Windows 11 setup to activate it -- are you able to confirm? Also, will it be possible to "upgrade" a Win10 install to Win11 "over-the-top", and will it do so in future in the same way major Win10 updates have?


    The system requirements are changing: I can't imagine many devices still use a single-core CPU. And even the cheapest PCs now all ship with 4GB minimum, so no big issues here.


    Windows 11 will be 64-bit only: this is MAJOR news. Though I did not hear this in the stream myself, so where was this mentioned? I assume this means 32-bit apps will still run on the 64-bit kernel versions, just that there will no-longer be an x86 and ARM32 kernel versions?


    Windows 11 Home will require a Microsoft account: again, I didn't hear this in the live-stream myself. If you do an "in-place upgrade" of Win10 to 11, will this be forced for anyone currently using local-only, or only affect new-installs, or when new user-accounts get added?


    Windows Updates improvements: I'm guessing they're using something like 7-Zip to now compress the packages, not LZX (CAB)?


    Teams integration: isn't the Skype brand being discontinued?


    Windows widgets: I never used the Gadgets back in Vista or 7, so can't see me using these either, personally. (Not to mention, Gadgets got discontinued in those OSes due to security issues... hopefully Widgets won't see the same fate!)


    New Store with Android apps: a major addition, but a few things I think need clarifying: (1) what happens with apps that require a Google Account sign-in, such-as WhatsApp for its backups; (2) what about apps that require WebView to render content; and (3) what about apps that rely on Google Play Services? I can't help but think compared to iOS and iPadOS apps on macOS Big Sur this is going to be more-limited in-comparison...

    • sandeepm

      It's a good thing that they are teaming with Amazon, not Google. Apps that rely on Google Services will not be supported. That is excellent, as this will help push developers to make apps without google services, and google will less opportunity to snoop into peoples lives that much. Although possibly they will allow people to sideload google services in the future, like on Fire OS.


      It also seems like it will need Intel Bridge, and that will only be available on Intel and only on Core 10th gen + processors. Maybe only on Intel Integrated Graphics.


      • geoff

        100% agree.

        Android Apps, but absolutely no dependence on the Google Play Store.

        I can accept Android Apps on those terms.

    • MikeCerm

      64-bit: I'm sure they're not making changes to how Windows runs 32-bit apps, just no longer offering a 32-bit only option. With the exception of the first generation or two of Intel's Atom CPUs, every CPU released in the last 15+ years has supported x86-64.


      Android Apps: Almost no apps require a Google account to sign in. WhatsApp doesn't, and backing up to Google Drive is optional. (2) The Windows Android subsystem is going to need to hook those calls and use EdgeView instead. Not a big deal. (3) Most apps don't need Google Play Services. With the exception of Google's own apps, Amazon Fire tablets have lots of apps. What Amazon did was clone all the APIs, so when an app calls the Location API, Amazon has it's own service that responds to that request just like Google Play Services would, so devs don't really need to rewrite their app to work on Fire tablets much, if at all.

  46. scovious

    Does this mean that we can still setup a Windows 11 install using a local account instead of a Microsoft Account on Windows 11 Pro?

    • dftf

      You should be able to... if you run the leaked Windows 11 build right-now (21996.1), and select "Pro" as the edition during the install, then on the Network screen choose "I don't have Internet" you do get an option of "Continue with limited setup", which allows a local account. If you pick "Home", however, it forces you to connect to the Internet to continue the Setup

    • geoff

      Even if you can - why would you do that?

      • justme

        Simple - if you dont use any of the cloud features, there is no need to sign in with a Microsoft account. It also makes it a little less straight forward for Microsoft to follow you around the web. Why WOULDNT you sign in with a local account - when you need the cloud, you can sign in. When you are finished, you can sign out.


  47. RobertJasiek

    I suppose W11 does execute x64 and x86 software.


    Concerning Teams, I have a security question: will it be software that can be blocked for a user account or will it be a Windows system service that must be deactivated for all user accounts if one wants to block it for at least one user account?

    • dftf

      I suppose W11 does execute x64 and x86 software.


      That's what I'm assuming too... while it makes-sense to finally ditch the 32-bit (x86) and ARM32 kernel versions of Windows, I think 32-bit app support within 64-bit OSes will be needed for a while yet. Even some current apps, like VMWare Workstation and Player are still 32-bit only!

      • curtisspendlove

        The big thing is games. There’re so many games that are still 32 bit. And I think Steam would be pretty up in arms if Windows 11 refused to run 32 binaries.


        Although, maybe that is part of the emulation story…

      • rmlounsbury

        I would assume W11 can run x32 bit software (if not this will keep many an enterprise from considering W11 for awhile). I think the 64-bit news is that the OS itself will only ship a 64-bit version with no 32-bit versions (which you can still get W10 in). I don't think this really impact anyone and pretty much all other major OS platforms are 64-bit only now as well.

        • dftf

          "[...] the OS itself will only ship a 64-bit version with no 32-bit versions (which you can still get W10 in). I don't think this really impact anyone and pretty much all other major OS platforms are 64-bit only now as well."


          I'm sure there will be some users who will come here and moan something similar-to "how dare they get-rid of the 32-bit kernel support; our enterprise has this massively expensive production-control system, with only 32-bit drivers and a 16-bit database connector we purchased back in the late 1990s..."


          To which I'd say: just run those PCs on an isolated network (not Internet connected!) and shove something like Windows XP on them. Why must you run 32-bit Windows 11 on them specifically?


          As for your second part: iOS, iPadOS and recent versions of macOS are all 64-bit only; some Linux distros, like Ubuntu and Mint only officially offer a AMD64 kernel (Intelx86 can only be found in community-produced versions) and I think Android is supposed to only be offering 64-bit install images from late 2023...

  48. paulwp187

    With all the work put into making a lightweight OS Windows 10X, wouldn't it be easier to start with Windows 7 and make it more secure/change the UI/build from there? If the Windows 11 system requirements are a sign of progress, what have we gained in this timeframe? MS teams consumes 1GB on my work PC. It looks like Microsoft have opted for convenience over efficiency. Maybe they could have delivered Windows 10X with Win 32 support and delivered a news desktop Windows. How much from Windows 8 and first generation Windows 10 do we actually need? Memory usage changed significantly for me after Win 10 15/07, 16/07 onwards.

    • bluvg

      I think the memory usage increase is more due to the apps than the OS. Teams is definitely a hog.


      There's been too much low-level OS advancement (especially security-related) since 7 to... go back to 7, and then do the same thing over again on top of 7.

    • bluvg

      "wouldn't it be easier to start with Windows 7 and make it more secure"


      No.

      • paulwp187

        And yet they can do that with Linux. Win32 compatibility from 2009 isn't that old. Windows 7, Windows 8 and the first 2 or 3 versions of Windows 10 use much less memory than Windows 10 today. Look at how many threads (crap) are in use on a clean boot in comparison.

        • bluvg

          Not trying to excuse everything, but a lot of that is system hardening stuff, breaking out services that were formerly combined. The Linux comparison I don't think it accurate, though--Linus doesn't go back to 2.6 and then build from there.

          • paulwp187

            Exactly. Doesn't need to. Linux already runs on fewer resources. Has Windows really grown 50% due to security features?

            • dftf

              In some cases, yes: the "Windows Security" app in Windows 10 21H1 right-now offers way-more features than "Microsoft Security Essentials" or "Windows Defender" did. And new Services are required for some of the newer features, such as to support Xbox or things like Hyper-V.


              There are ways to reduce the RAM use though: in Task Manager check the Startup tab and see if there is anything you don't need to run; in services.msc you could set some to "Manual" or "Disabled" if you're sure you don't need them; and for the "Modern UI" apps, go to Start > Settings > Privacy > Background Apps and turn-off any that you don't want to keep running after you close the app off-screen

            • bluvg

              I meant regarding the starting point--Linus wouldn't go back to an old version (e.g., Linux 2.6, a bit older than 7 but close for analogy purposes) and then start building from there. The bloat issue is a separate thing, but he has complained about with Linux as well. Granted, you can create your own Linux according to your needs, which you can't really do (in the same way) with Windows. The point is there's no going back to 7 as a starting point, since they'd just be rebuilding the same things that are already in 10 (including the service isolation hardening, which is responsible for much of the process count increase).

  49. jtemplin

    You might want to revisit that page: "Devices that do not meet the hardware requirements cannot be upgraded to Windows 11."