Windows 11 vs Windows 10: How do they compare?

Windows 11 has been officially revealed, and it looks to bring a slew of improvements over Microsoft’s current operating system: Windows 10.

But what are the main differences between the two, and are they enough to justify an upgrade? We’ve put together a list of the most important differences, so you know which improvements you should look forward to when you switch to Windows 11. So without further ado, they are:

Central taskbar and new design

The most obvious change for Windows 11 is the new central taskbar, which looks very similar to the macOS layout. It looks much cleaner than its Windows 10 counterpart, which takes up half the length of the desktop with the addition of a long search bar in the middle.

Click on the Windows 10 Start Menu, and you will see a list of all the programs installed on your computer. You also get a Live Tiles view, taking a look at the weather, photo album, and various Microsoft apps.

The Windows 11 Start menu instead shows your installed apps, with a search bar that lets you select the programs you use less frequently. There’s also a recommended section that shows your recent activity so you can go straight back to your last used Word document, spreadsheet, or Photoshop project. This results in a more personalized experience, even letting you align the taskbar to the left of the screen if you prefer the older layout.

Improved multitasking with Snap Desktop

Windows 10 does indeed enable you to display many windows at once, but it’s a matter of drag and drop, which can look really bad and have a lot of room for things to go wrong.

Windows 11 offers Snap layouts, which makes it easy to open multiple windows at once. Simply choose from one of the different templates, and then the selected windows and apps are automatically pinned in place and resized accordingly. Microsoft showed this feature disabled, with Powerpoint, Edge, and Teams all showing simultaneously, and it looked effortlessly seamless.

Teams chat integration

Teams for Microsoft’s messaging app launched in 2017, two years after the release of Windows 10. As such, it’s become an optional app to replace the likes of Slack.

For Windows 11, Teams will play a much bigger role. The chat function will be included in the main taskbar, which makes sending a message to a colleague or friend very easy and fast. You will also be able to start a video call through the service, allowing you to communicate with those on Android and iOS platforms. And if your friend doesn’t have Teams installed, you can still communicate via a two-way SMS.

Windows 11 Store

Android apps in the Microsoft Store

Microsoft is rebuilding the Microsoft Store from the ground up for Windows 11, introducing a cleaner, more organized layout. But the biggest change here is that the Microsoft Store will support Android apps via the Amazon App Store.

This means you’ll have access to a much larger app library this time around, although Android apps will be rendered in a vertical phone-like screen that’s not optimized for computer screens. The usefulness of these apps remains unknown, but this means that you will be able to record and post videos for Tik Tok directly from your Windows device.

Microsoft will also bring more native apps to the Microsoft Store for Windows 11, including Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, and Canva.

Microsoft Xbox Game Pass Windows 11

Enhanced gaming features

There is no doubt that Windows 11 will be a better operating system than Windows 10 when it comes to gaming.

The former will borrow some Xbox Series X features to improve the visual quality of games, such as Auto HDR which automatically adds HDR enhancements for games based on DirectX 11 or higher. Microsoft offered Skyrim as an example, and the improved colors were immediately visible.

The new DirectStorage will also allow those with a high-performance NVMe SSD drive to see faster load times, as games will be able to load assets onto the graphics card without “stuttering” the CPU.

DirectX 12 Ultimate will also be supported, ensuring that you get the best possible gaming performance when paired with high-end components. In short, you will want to install Windows 11 if you are a fan of PC games.

System Requirements Fussier

Not all news is good for Windows 11, as the new operating system is much more demanding in terms of system requirements than Windows 10.

You can note the difference in specification requirements in the table below:

Windows 11 Windows 10
Healer 1 GHz or faster with more cores on a 64-bit processor / SoC 1 GHz or faster processor / SoC
RAM: 4GB 1 GB for 32-bit / 2 GB for 64-bit
storage 64 GB or more 16 GB for 32-bit / 20 GB for 64-bit
System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot Capable Unavailable
TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) v2.0 Unavailable
Photographers card: DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
an offer: 720p screen larger than 9 inch diagonal, 8 bits per color channel Screen 800 x 600
Internet access is required? yes no

The good news is that if your PC is compatible with Windows 11, it looks like you’ll get a much improved experience once the new OS officially launches at the start of Holiday 2021.

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