Introducing the Windows 11 Field Guide

Posted on June 27, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 26 Comments

I turned to electronic publishing for my books almost 10 years ago to bypass the slowness and inefficiencies of traditional publishing. And so you won’t be surprised to discover that my next book will be called Windows 11 Field Guide. It’s a follow-up to my previous two core Windows titles, Windows 10 Field Guide and Windows 8.1 Field Guide. And as always, I’m making a few changes this time.

Here’s what’s happening.

Self-published. Like those previous two titles, this book is being self-published.

Transparent. As before, this book is being written transparently and publicly, and you can follow along, download chapter and book updates, and provide feedback as it’s written.

Price. As with the Windows 10 Field Guide, the Windows 11 Field Guide will cost $9.99, but you are welcome to pay more if you wish. Once you buy the book, you own it and get all future updates for free.

Support. I will have supported the Windows 10 Field Guide to address new features and other changes for 6 years (!) by the time it winds down later this year. I can’t afford to do that for this book. So I’m going to match the length of support of the book to the length of support for the product, which is two years.

Formats. The Windows 11 Field Guide will be available for download in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB and should be compatible with any e-reader software, including Kindle and popular web browsers like Google Chrome.

Time frame. I will be actively working on the Windows 11 Field Guide throughout the second half of 2021 and up to and past the product’s initial launch. I will publish the first pre-release versions of the book before Windows 11 is released to the public.

Scope. This book will be a complete reference to Windows 11 for end-users. It will focus on what’s new and what’s changed, with a special emphasis on “where did it go?” content for those many people upgrading from Windows 10. It will assume that most readers are already familiar with previous Windows versions and will not talk down to you.

New content. In addition to covering all the new features in Windows 11, this book will consolidate a few previous separate chapters (such as Groove Music and Movies & TV) and will introduce new chapters related to the command line, virtualization, and other advanced topics.

Projected length. The Windows 10 Field Guide is about 500 pages long, but I’d the new book to be a bit shorter, hopefully around 400 pages when complete.

The Windows 11 Field Guide is not available for purchase yet, but I’ll try to get that together quickly so that anyone interested in reading and helping improve the book before it’s finalized can do so. That will probably happen in late summer, after we get a feature-complete version of Windows 11, and when I’ve written enough content to go public.

More soon.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Introducing the Windows 11 Field Guide”

  1. madthinus

    My suggestion is to leave the Edge out of the scope.

    • Paul Thurrott

      You mean, leave out Microsoft Edge? I think that's the longest chapter in the current book.

  2. bschnatt

    Will it include a chapter on integrating Android & Windows 11 (Your Phone, Microsoft Launcher, etc)?

  3. lwetzel


    Hurry and start writing this. I have the insider release and can't find anything. ;)

  4. pecosbob04

    So Paul, have you ever considered doing a field guide for Linux, MacOS, or IOS (and variants)? Alternative question; if not can you recommend a similar source for those OSs?

  5. jchampeau

    Just my two cents worth (err, $9.99 as it were): I think the cost for this should be $9.99 per year akin to a magazine subscription. You could pay once and get updates for the year, and then choose to renew for another $9.99 and get another year's updates or not. I'm thinking back to the days when I bought books at Borders for $30-$50 each, and within 3-5 years they were out of date. $10/year is a more-than-fair price.

    • Kendog52361

      If he's looking at an "annual pricing schedule", I would suggest something more like a slightly lower yearly price, or a "lifetime price", to "pay once". Maybe even include the yearly update as part of the annual premium membership on

      • philbypond

        I like the concept of a subscription price that would allow for more than the 2 year of updates. Maybe $9.99 first year and $4.99 for subsequent years. Don't know what kind of billing complications or added cost there might be with subscription dates starting at different times for different purchasers. Also, the lifetime price could be attractive depending on how long a lifetime is ;-) .

  6. Usman

    <shut up and take my money.gif>

    Looking forward to reading it

  7. vladimir

    It's a buy on day one for me. Thank you for the good work.

  8. sinclap

    Does W11 support the fourth generation Haswell?

    • chaoticwhizz

      According to what I have read, anything older then 8000 series Intel is unsupported. I can verify that my I5 6600 Skylake CPU is showing as unsupported.

  9. rob_segal

    Windows 11 Field Guide, Chapter 1: We're all still confused about what CPU's this thing will run on. ?

  10. navarac

    Great. I shall look forward to the new book.

  11. curtisspendlove

    Perfect. Look forward to the “pay me now” link appearing sometime in the near(ish) future. :)

  12. StevenLayton

    In the nicest possible way “ shut up and take my money!” ;)

  13. bncz1

    Just browsing the Win 10 field guide table of contents, I don’t see anything on the Windows Insider Program or a Win 10 dual boot setup ? Both would be of interest to me ?

    • chaoticwhizz

      I tried dual-booting a few years ago with Windows 8 and a Linux Distro. It was a pain because sometimes Windows updates would wipe out the Linux option in the boot loader. Rebooting to get to the other OS was not a fun process either. I think it is better to pick one OS as your main based on your needs and run the other OS as a virtual machine inside your main OS. You have options no matter what you choose as your main OS

      • bncz1

        I’ve been triple booting Win 10 , Win 10 insider preview Beta channel, and Win 10 insider preview Dev channel for years. Only once did an insider update cause a problem to the non insider partition, when it corrupted the BCD.

        • curtisspendlove

          Perhaps. But those all sound like Windows Builds.

          MS updates routinely take out grub (or even non-Windows UEFI loaders).

  14. smorabito

    Any update on this?