Windows 11 launches with redesigned start menu
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Wednesday 6th October 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Windows 11 launches with redesigned start menu
Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s computer operating system, launches worldwide on Tuesday 5th October 2021 as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users.
Windows chief product officer Panos Panay, told the BBC the latest version was built to be “clean and fresh and simpler” for the user.
He promised that the new operating system would not be an “extreme departure” from what people know.
And even the least tech-savvy users can upgrade easily, he added.
“I use the frame of my father – he’s 89,” Mr Panay said. “I’m so excited for him to hit that button and upgrade, you have no idea.
“Not because he’s my dad – because I just want it to be easy for him.”
He said expert users had already tested it extensively through Window’s Insider trial programme and was confident there would be no teething issues, adding the upgrade is “ready now”.
Windows 11 has some significant design changes, along with some alterations on how the system works under the hood.
By default, the Start menu is centred on screen, along with icons in the taskbar. When clicked on, the Start button opens a menu of frequently used apps.
In some ways, it mimics the appearance of a smartphone app menu or launcher. Microsoft has also dropped the “tiles” which were present on Windows 10’s start menu.
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Mr Panay said the team had learned from Windows 8, which got rid of the start menu entirely, upsetting many users.
“You learn from that, of course, and then you adapt,” he said.
Developing Windows 11’s interface involved watching how people use their computers – “what they want to click on, where their eyes are on the machine when they come into our labs,” he explained.
“You get this confidence of learning from history,” he added.
For Windows 11, “the Start button is right there. It’s right in the middle of the screen. It’s not gone.”
When Windows 10 came out, Microsoft declared it would be the “last version” of the system. That has obviously changed.
“We’re in a time where there is a bit of a new era for the PC happening right now,” Mr Panay said.
“I think Windows 11 kind of stamps that moment and it is a signal for that moment.”
Across the operating system, the design favours rounded corners, and has simplified most menus and folder views. And there are new, improved options for arranging windows and “snapping” them into grids.
Widgets, a major selling point of 2007’s Windows Vista, also make a comeback – but instead of “floating” on the screen where the user puts them, they live in a sidebar on the left, and are also linked to Microsoft services.
Some changes go deeper than the interface and design.
System integrations for Microsoft Teams – replacing Skype – and the Xbox app both feature heavily in Microsoft’s advertising.
The Microsoft Store – the Windows version of an app store – has been completely redesigned and will allow third-party apps to sell inside it, without taking a substantial cut.
And one new feature which raised eyebrows in the technology world was that Windows 11 would run Android smartphone apps through the Amazon app store.
Early adopters have reported that the in-built search function of the new version is significantly faster on most devices – but also that it favours Microsoft’s own services, Bing and the Edge browser, when delivering web results.
For gamers, Microsoft promises that its new drive technology – Direct Storage – will lead to much better loading times in games by allowing a graphics card to access storage drives without going through the central processor.
But that feature, like some others, needs newer hardware to work.
As a result, not every computer will see all the potential advantages to upgrading – and some machines may not be able to upgrade at all.
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The minimum requirements include a type of security chip – called a TPM – only installed on modern computers.
“If your device does not meet these requirements, you may not be able to install Windows 11 on your device and might want to consider purchasing a new PC,” Microsoft says.
The company has just launched a range of its own new hardware devices to coincide with the new Windows version.
But users already running Windows 10 do not need to go to this expense if the computer is still working. Windows 10 will continue to be supported and receive security updates until October 2025.
How and when to upgrade to Windows 11
It might be months before you can install the OS through Windows Update, though.
Windows 11 is here and Microsoft has detailed how the phased rollout will work. The first systems to get the operating system are new devices on which it’s pre-loaded. Starting on October 5th, Microsoft will initially offer the free upgrade to new PCs, laptops and tablets that ship with Windows 10.
Next, Microsoft says it will look at hardware eligibility, reliability metrics and other factors on existing Windows 10 devices to determine when to offer the latest OS through Windows Update. It’s a similar approach to how the company has handled Windows 10 feature updates over the years. You can find out whether your device is compatible using the PC Health Check app.
Microsoft will let you know when Windows 11 is ready for your system via the Windows Update Settings page or when you check for updates. You might be in for a wait, though. The company expects to offer the upgrade to all eligible Windows 10 devices by mid-2022.
Windows 11 Microsoft
Windows Update is Microsoft’s suggested Windows 11 upgrade method, and likely the easiest one for most people. However, you can install the OS manually if you prefer. You can download the Installation Assistant or use an ISO install.
Microsoft doesn’t recommend installing Windows 11 on devices that don’t meet the system requirements, but you’ll still be able to do so. It’s worth noting that you might not get Windows 11 updates on PCs with unsupported processors.
However you decide to make the switch to Windows 11, it’s probably best to back up all of your files first. The OS is likely stable at this point, but it’s not worth taking the risk that something will go awry and cause you to lose important data.
Meanwhile, Microsoft says today marks the start of the 24-month lifecycle for Windows 11 Home and Pro editions, as well as the beginning of 36 months of servicing support for the Enterprise and Education versions.
TOP FORTY-EIGHT OF THE DAY
THE RELEASE DATES OF ALL PREVIOUS WINDOWS O/S BASIC VERSIONS
Name Release date Version Editions
1 Windows 1.01 20/11/1985 1.01 N/A
2 Windows 1.02 14/05/1986 1.02 N/A
3 Windows 1.03 21/08/1986 1.03 N/A
4 Windows 1.04 10/04/1987 1.04 N/A
5 Windows 2.01 09/12/1987 2.01 N/A
6 Windows 2.03 09/12/1987 2.03 N/A
7 Windows 2.1 27/05/1988 2.1 N/A
8 Windows 2.11 13/03/1989 2.11 N/A
9 Windows 3.0 22/05/1990 3 Windows 3.0a
10 Windows 3.1 06/04/1992 3.1 Windows 3.1
11 Windows NT 3.1 27/07/1993 NT 3.1 Windows NT 3.1
12 Windows 3.11 08/11/1993 3.11 Windows 3.11
13 Windows 3.2 22/11/1993 3.2 Windows 3.2
14 Windows NT 3.5 21/09/1994 NT 3.5 Windows NT 3.5 Workstation
15 Windows NT 3.5 130/05/1995 NT 3.51 Windows NT 3.51 Workstation
16 Windows 95 24/08/1995 4 Windows 95
17 Windows NT 4.0 24/08/1996 NT 4.0 Windows NT 4.0 Workstation
18 Windows 98 25/06/1998 4.1 Windows 98
19 Windows 98 2nd Edition 05/05/1999 Windows 98 Second Edition
20 Windows 2000 17/02/2000 NT 5.0 Windows 2000 Professional
21 Windows Me 14/09/2000 4.9 Windows Me
22 Windows XP 25/10/2001 NT 5.1 Windows XP Starter
23 Windows Vista 30/01/2007 NT 6.0 Windows Vista Starter
24 Windows 7 22/10/2009 NT 6.1 Windows 7 Starter
25 Windows 8 26/10/2012 NT 6.2 Windows 8
26 Windows 8.1 17/10/2013 NT 6.3 Windows 8.1
27 Windows 8.1 Pro
28 Windows 8.1 Enterprise
29 23/05/2014 Windows 8.1 with Bing
30 Windows 10 version 1507 29/07/2015 NT 10.0[f][g] Windows 10 Home
31 Windows 10 version 1511 10/11/2015 1511 Windows 10 Home
32 Windows 10 version 1607 02/08/2016 1607 Windows 10 Home
33 Windows 10 version 1703 05/04/2017 1703 Windows 10 Home
34 Windows 10 version 1709 17/10/2017 1709 Windows 10 Home
35 Windows 10 version 1803 30/04/2018 1803 Windows 10 Home
36 Windows 10 version 1809 13/11/2018 1809 Windows 10 Home
37 Windows 10 version 1903 21/05/2019 1903 Windows 10 Home
38 Windows 10 version 1909 12/11/2019 1909 Windows 10 Pro
39 Windows 10 version 2004 27/05/2020 2004 Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
40 Windows 10 version 20H2 20/10/2020 20H2 Windows 10 Pro Education
41 Windows 10 version 21H1 18/05/2021 21H1 Windows 10 Enterprise
42 Windows 10 version 21H2 Late 2021 (expected) 21H2 Windows 10 Education
43 Windows 11 version 21H2 05/10/2021 Windows 11 Home
44 Windows 11 Pro
45 Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
46 Windows 11 Pro Education
47 Windows 11 Enterprise
48 Windows 11 Education
REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
– Nicolas Chamfort
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
I tell you, in this world being a little crazy helps to keep you sane. Zsa Zsa Gabor
Happiness is…A new version of Microdoft Windows O/S.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
I just wrote a book on reverse psychology – don’t buy it!
Love is…a daily balancing act.
A time to use Windows 1.01, it must be 20/11/1985…A time to use Windows 11, it must be 6/10/2021.
1891 William Henry Smith, (WHSmith) English newsagent, bookseller and statesman died.
1968 The first three places in the US Grand Prix were taken by British drivers: Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill and John Surtees.
1978 Ann Dadds became London Underground’s first woman Tube driver.
©2021 Phil M Robinson