The Ultimate Windows 11 Review: Windows 11 vs Windows 10 differences
Windows 11 is Here ... Yeey!
If you're hearing about Windows 11 for the first time, you might ask yourself, "what is Window 11?" Well, almost all Windows users now know Windows 11.
Windows 11 Pos
Windows 11 Cons
Windows 11 is the newest version of Windows, marking a big departure from Windows 10 in terms of design. Under the hood, though, the two operating systems are very similar. We’ve compared Windows 11 vs Windows 10 point-for-point in order to answer one question: Should you upgrade to the latest Windows OS?
So, let's dive in and look at Windows 11 vs Windows 10, their differences, performance improvements, and utility.
When was Windows 11 released?
Answer: October 5, 2021. Microsoft released Windows 11 on October 5, 2021.
Windows 11 is now available for all users who can upgrade to Windows 11
A PC for each of us: Windows 11 is an open-source operating platform that offers many different features. And it's not just the android apps or virtual desktops but a new UI, better performance, and more attractive Operating system.
Wait, was Windows 10 supposed to be the last Windows release?
We are all supposed to too.
But it looks like Microsoft changed its mind and released Windows 11. But since Windows 10 still has a huge user base, Microsoft has offered Windows 10 for free to its customers to introduce their ecosystem.
Steam's huge popularity shows that Microsoft still has plenty of Windows 10 users, and around 90% of Windows 10 users have a desktop PC.
What Is Windows 11? Why Should I Upgrade?
Windows 11 vs Windows 10 is now a great discussion since Microsoft released Windows 11.
Windows 11 is the successor of Windows 10. It's an operating system for your computer, allowing you to use your devices in new and improved ways.
The biggest differences between Windows 11 and Windows 10 are the system requirements, Start Menu, android apps on Windows, and Taskbar. But there are more things to look at when it comes to Windows 11 vs Windows 10.
So, as Windows 11 begins to settle from its launch and many users begin to adopt it, it's the right time to look at its differences from Windows 10. We previously wrote about Windows 11 Guide detailing its compatibility, features, and prices. We also have another Windows 11 guide regarding its features during release. But there's more to be captured as Microsoft continues to update its new Operating System.
Also, Microsoft is sagely rolling out the Windows 11 update to compatible Windows 10 PCs in a tiered approach. This means that even if you haven't been prompted to make the upgrade, your computer might still be eligible for the upgrade.
Should you Upgrade to Windows 11?
Upgrading to Windows 11 is simple, but you might be apprehensive if you’ve been using Windows 10. As we lay out in our guide why you should upgrade to install Windows 11, most PCs can upgrade from Windows 10 for free through a simple Windows update. We strongly recommend going this route to avoid malicious Windows 11 installers that can surface in search engines.
The only hurdle to upgrading maybe the Windows 11 system requirements. You’ll need a recent processor from Intel or AMD and, critically, support for TPM 2.0 on your system. TPM 2.0 is just a hardware security processor in modern PCs that nearly all desktops and laptops support. But you'll just need to check your PC health to be sure, as we've covered in our guide how to see why PC can't run Windows 11.
You can technically install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, but we don't recommend doing it. Read more in our guide: What happens when you install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware. Microsoft could stop supporting systems that aren’t certified for Windows 11. You might not get critical security updates anymore (though Microsoft has rolled out Windows 11 updates for unsupported hardware since launch).
Now, Microsoft has completed the Windows 11 rollout. So, any PC with supported hardware can upgrade for free. Unsupported PCs may be able to upgrade, but they’ll have to deal with a Windows watermark in Windows 11 (unlike in Windows 10).
If you're apprehensive about Windows 11, its reviews are fairly positive, including our own. So it’s worth giving the newest version of Windows a shot.
But expect some changes because Windows 11 removes some features from Windows 10. For example, you can no longer sync your desktop wallpaper; Internet Explorer and the Math Input panel are gone, and a few apps are also removed, such as 3D viewer, OneNote for Windows 10, Paint 3D, and Skype. You can still find them in the Microsoft store, though. Microsoft has a full list if you’re concerned.
Windows 11 Vs. Windows 10: What's New in Windows 11
Microsoft has already announced many new features users can look forward to. Here's everything you need to know. It's officially time to get excited for the latest generation of Windows and get android apps on your PC.
Windows 11 has a range of new Windows apps, new features, and virtual desktops, including a refreshed user interface and a taskbar that makes it feel different from Windows 10. But the core functionality of Windows 11 remains the same as Windows 10.
For most users, the most significant changes are those made to the user interface, or a UI overhaul, specifically:
- The layout
- Start menu
- Windows apps
- Snap layouts
- Android apps
- Microsoft Store
- Virtual desktops
- Collaboration and remote work
Speaking of the Start Menu, Windows 11 is a bit more simplistic. You only see a static list of apps, followed by your most frequented documents on the bottom. You can expand out your apps, scroll through the list, and pin apps as you choose. That might sound familiar, but it is important to note that Windows 11 drops out support for Live Tiles. If you really want to see information in your Start Menu at a glance, then Windows 10 is best.
Get a Fresh Perspective With the New UI Overhaul
Perhaps the most obvious, the new user interface is a huge upgrade from previous versions. We're not only getting better looks with rounded corners and more polished transparency but a more coherent design and a fully customizable experience as well.
When you first boot up Windows 11, you'll see the new centered Taskbar. When using an ultra-wide monitor, this can become a lifesaver. If you're too used to jamming your cursor in the bottom-left corner, don't worry. You can switch back to the traditional taskbar layout with a few clicks.
The new app icons already teased in Windows 10's Sun Valley update also make their way to Windows 11, uniting the design and creating a fluid look across the System. The icons integrate perfectly with the new Microsoft Office visual reboot, and they're here to stay for good.
Windows 11 vs Windows 10: Snap layouts & snap groups
Snap groups are the set of open windows saved in Snap Layouts.
Snap layouts let you quickly arrange multiple windows into a neat configuration when multitasking.
For example, if you're working on a presentation, you can quickly use the snap layouts feature to set up your screen with your email and a browser window to the left and PowerPoint to the right.
Contrary to snap layouts, Snap groups allow you to save your favorite window layouts, so you can reactivate them whenever you want.
Start Menu & Taskbar
If you’re looking at the differences between Windows 11 and Windows 10, the biggest ones are the Start Menu and the Taskbar.
In Windows 11, Microsoft centers the Taskbar and the Start Menu on the screen. This makes it look a bit more like MacOS and ChromeOS. However, you can still move it back to the left if you want.
This is perhaps the first thing you will notice in Windows 11. All the icons are moved in the middle of the Taskbar, including the Start menu button. There are some new default icons, Cortana is gone, and internet and sound buttons are merged in a single popup with more options.
You can still move them back to the left if you want.
Collaboration and Remote Work
You can use Windows 11 or Windows 10 for remote work, but Windows 11’s collaboration features are much better. It supports background blur, eye contact adjustments for meetings, and automatic framing — none of which are present on Windows 10. These AI-powered features are available through Microsoft Teams, though some of them may depend on the hardware you have on your computer.
Maximize Your Productivity
Get the most out of your time with Windows 11’s incredible productivity updates. With a focus on multitasking and supporting you in real-life situations, the new OS is perfect for anyone who wants to get a lot done.
Use the new Snap Groups feature to quickly divide your screen into smaller segments, getting the most out of your resolution. Snap Group layouts are saved to the taskbar and remain the same even if you use multiple monitors. You can have layouts set up for different projects and desktops.
You can now make multiple desktops and have native support for custom wallpapers on each desktop. Additionally, when unplugging any extra monitor, whether it’s a tablet screen or a dedicated monitor, the windows resizes won’t break. When you reconnect, they go back to where they were.
Connect With Microsoft Teams Integration
Like Skype, the new Microsoft Teams integration allows you to easily connect with the people in your life. While Skype isn’t completely being removed, Microsoft is certainly pushing Teams to be the new go-to communication app for Windows users.
The Microsoft Teams icon on the taskbar pops up on your chat list. This makes it faster to connect via text or video chat. Similar to Apple’s Facetime and iMessage, you can use Microsoft Teams to communicate with anyone using any of the supported devices.
Curated News, Widgets, and More
Windows Widgets is a new area in your system. It’s a curated feed powered by artificial intelligence to bring you content that you actually enjoy. This area can be accessed from the left side of the screen and appears as a sheet of glass overlaying on top of your system.
The Windows Widgets area can also be expanded full-screen, providing a new view of what’s happening around you. Everything here is customizable — resize and rearrange widgets to fit your personal needs.
You can even become a widget creator and push out content for your communities! Whether you specialize in local news, gaming content, or something else, Windows Widgets has a place for you. Generous readers can also tip content creators who appear in widgets.
Windows 11 is great if you care about performance. Microsoft talked about it in this Windows 11 performance YouTube video. When compared to Windows 10, Windows 11 does hold some potential for improving the speed of your computer and better performance benefits.
Overall, the performance improvements in Windows 11 come down to how the newer OS handles system processes, as shown in the Task Manager.
Windows 11 has better memory management to favor the Windows apps you have open and running in the background. It also supports better use of virtual desktops.
Other performance improvements in Windows 11 touch on how your PC resumes from sleep and handles standby time. Versus Windows 10, Microsoft mentioned that in Windows 11, your RAM can stay energized when the PC is in sleep mode, so it has power while everything else doesn’t. This will help your PC wake up 25% faster from sleep.
In addition, since the Edge browser is the browser of choice in Windows 11, if you end up using it, you should see additional performance improvements over using the browser in Windows 10. Per Microsoft, you can save 32% for memory and 37% for CPU usage with the sleeping tabs feature.
The last of the performance improvements cover disk footprints and browser caches. In Windows 11, Microsoft expanded the use of compression technologies. In non-critical apps like Sticky Notes, the default rate of the app will be a “stub.” This means that while the app loads up, binaries from the system get pulled on-demand without comprising the app's functionality. This can help reduce the size of an app on the disk and push less background update activity and download traffic. As for the browser cache, Microsoft says that it now uses less disk space.
Windows 11 - being new - has seen its fair share of bugs, compared to its older Windows 10 counterpart, which is more stable. But Microsoft has been quick to fix the Windows 11 issues. We’ve seen a bug that creates thousands of empty folders in File Explorer, as well as a bug that would slow SSD speeds.
Earlier on, Microsoft recommended against one of its Windows 11 updates. The OS has also seen numerous issues with AMD processors. But Microsoft has since fixed all of these problems. However, it's safe to assume that Windows 11 will present more bugs than Windows 10.
There’s one ongoing Windows 11 problem related to memory leaks. Windows 11 could consume more RAM when you open up multiple instances of File Explorer. It never releases the RAM when you close the File Explorer, and the system takes up extra resources. This isn’t a problem everyone is having, and it’s also been around in Windows 10 for a while, but it’s a notable one — to say the least.
If you want to know more about issues with Windows 11, there is a great way to track bugs in Windows 11 Feedback Hub. If you sort by New or Top, you’ll see all the little Windows 11 bugs that we can’t possibly put in one post.
So, if you really want to see what’s happening there, search through the app on your Windows 10 PC for Windows 11 feedback.
Windows 11 promises a better browsing experience by speeding up all web browsers compatible with the system, ven on virtual desktops, focusing on Microsoft Edge.
Edge users also get some specific in-app improvements with this new update, which may also become available on other platforms. For example, once Windows 11 rolls out, you’ll be able to switch to the Vertical Tabs view with 1 click instead of selecting it from a menu. This greatly improves navigation and productivity.
More Edge improvements may be announced as we keep chugging along to the Windows 11 release date. Be sure to check back to see any news about Microsoft Edge.
Windows 11 is the best Windows OS for gaming. Recent Windows 11 updates included optimizations for running games in windowed mode, and it supports features like Auto HDR and DirectStorage. This upcoming feature helps games load in less than one second.
Some Windows 11 features, like DirectStorage, are available on Windows 10, as well. Microsoft has clarified that gaming is a big focus for Windows 11, so it’s the better platform for gamers now, especially with some of the performance bugs worked out. PC gamers are updating to Windows 11 in droves, so that’s a good sign.
Advanced Security From the Chip to the Cloud
Microsoft has made the claim that Windows 11 is the most secure Windows version to date. Windows 11 is Zero Trust ready, with new built-in security technologies for your local computer and the cloud. It’s also zero-compromises; stay productive and don’t limit new experiences while staying protected.
A new set of hardware security requirements is said to come with Windows 11. This is intended to build an even stronger foundation and more resilient to incoming attacks.
More will be revealed about Windows 11’s incredible security in the upcoming months to release. Make sure to stay with us to hear the news first!
Multitasking and external monitor support for productivity
Windows 11 has exclusive multitasking improvements. In fact, they aren’t being backported to Windows 10. So, if you want the latest productivity improvements, Windows 11 is for you.
In Windows 11, you can increase your multitasking, and system performance with Snap Layouts that group your windows and save them to the taskbar. Hover over the Maximize button and you can tile windows in various sizes. It keeps the traditional Snap feature, where you’ll need to manually tile your windows with a keyboard combination or by hovering to a certain side of the screen.
Then there’s a note about external monitors. Windows 11 remembers how you had your windows on your external monitor and will save them in that state when you disconnect from a monitor and then plug it back in. This is one of the most annoying problems with Windows 10 that Windows 11 finally addresses.
Use Windows 11 in Tablet Mode
A big focus in Windows 11 is the improved tablet mode, allowing users with touch-enabled devices to take full advantage of their systems. Haptics are added to Windows 11 when you use a stylus to create a more fluent user experience. Touch targets have been sized up a notch in an effort to make it easier to resize and move windows.
The vertical mode has been improved too. When you turn your screen, side-by-side layouts switch to vertical stacks automatically.
The icing on the cake is the new typing mechanics. The new touch keyboard feels similar to the one you have on your phone, with swipe typing and emojis. You can also use keyboard themes and move the keyboard around where it’s convenient for you.
Don’t like typing when using a tablet? Don’t worry! The better and improved speech recognition makes it easier than ever to dictate with automatic punctuation and has voice commands like “delete that.”
Brand New Microsoft Store
“We've rebuilt the Microsoft Store from the ground up, making sure every app you need is there.”
Microsoft has stated that they’ve rebuilt the Windows Store from the ground up. This area's main goal is to ensure you have every app you could ever need in one place, uniting the millions of download pages into one app.
To achieve this, the new iteration of the Microsoft Store will basically let in any kind of app, as long as it’s safe to use. Big names such as the Adobe Creative Cloud will join the store as soon as Windows 11 rolls out.
App developers can use their own payment systems if necessary, and Microsoft takes a whopping zero cut. With this principle, the new Microsoft Store is shaping to be a “platform to create platforms.”
The Microsoft Store entertainment tab also integrates multiple streaming services like Netflix for easier viewing.
Android Apps Coming to Windows 11
You read it right — Android applications (android apps) are now natively run on Windows 11 via Intel Bridge tech. Now, you can access android apps all your phone applications from your computer.
So far, we’ve seen android apps like TikTok and Instagram run on Windows 11, which indicates that just about any app will be able to operate on your system.
Windows users can access android apps on their desktops and PCs, and there hasn't been anything better than this since sliced bread.
Support and update cycle
Windows 11 broke from the semi-annual update cadence of Windows 10 in favor of a single annual update. That’s just like MacOS. Microsoft will support Windows 10 through 2025, and it recently announced that Windows 10 will only get once-a-year updates as well. The next update is scheduled for release in November 2022.
If you really want the latest and greatest version of Windows, then Windows 11 is where you want to be. Microsoft has talked a lot about how Windows 11 is secure due to TPM 2.0 requirements and Secure Boot.
Windows 11 vs Windows 10: Better Gaming Experience and Xbox GamePass
And it's not just the android apps that are getting the attention. Gamers are also having the time of their lives on Windows 11.
Millions of people use Windows for gaming. Now, you get an even better experience than before, no hardware change is required. With system-wide optimizations, Windows 11 is able to crunch out some extra frames for your games to run smoother and nicer.
Windows 11 includes a range of new video game options, including:
- DirectX 12 Ultimate for better graphics
- DirectStorage for quicker loading (for XBox owners)
- Auto HDR for richer, more vivid in-game colour
Speaking of nicer — Auto HDR technology is being brought to Windows 11. Games will automatically switch into an HDR mode to enhance visuals, similar to how it works on an Xbox console. Over a thousand games will be automatically enhanced without buying new computer parts for your system.
Windows 11 will also integrate Direct Storage API and xCloud for cloud gaming from the Xbox. Games can load directly to the graphics card, which speeds up loading times and makes your games more stutter-free.
The Xbox Game Pass is built into Windows 11 via the Xbox app for game lovers. It has hundreds of Xbox game studios, Bethesda, EA Play, and third-party games for you to experience. Purchase games, try them out and enjoy your new superior gaming setup.
Windows 10 gamers enjoy an excellent OS love of a larger emphasis on games in Microsoft Windows Store DirectX 12's graphics API (that supports high frame rates), the Xbox Console companion application for streaming to a home Xbox One console or a corresponding PC. It's built to serve future gamers. The DirectEx12 Ultimate version makes games more appealing at higher resolution.
What are the security features in Windows 11?
With new features, android apps, a new Microsoft store, and improved storage, Windows 11 has improved security.
Microsoft’s Director of Security, David Weston, has described Windows 11 as a ‘huge, huge win’ in the fight against viruses and cyber threats.
Windows 11 makes it far easier to understand your security baseline and secure the endpoints (potential access points).
Features available include:
- Device encryption
- Secure Boot through UEFI (United Extensible Firmware Interface)
- Virtualisation-based security (VBS)
VBS has become a keystone concept in Microsoft’s approach to security.
Deprecated and Removed Features
Windows 10 has been with us for over 5 years now, and it’s time for some changes. Microsoft has decided to remove or partially disable some of the previous system's features to improve Windows 11. These changes may be based on feedback and data from users who gave their consent to data collection. Let’s see what to expect.
- Cortana will no longer be included in the first boot experience, and it won’t be pinned to the Taskbar automatically.
- Internet Explorer is disabled and completely replaced with Microsoft Edge.
- The Math Input Panel is removed. You can install Math Recognizer on demand if the feature is necessary for your experience.
- News and Interests functionality has been improved and moved to Windows Widgets on the Taskbar.
- Changes to the lock screen.
- The Snipping Tool has been replaced with functionality from the Snip & Sketch app.
- Named groups and folders of apps are no longer supported in the Start menu.
- The Timeline view is completely removed.
- Wallet is removed.
A full list of removed or deprecated features can be found here on Microsoft’s website.
Windows 11 vs. Windows 10 Versions: Is Windows 11 Worth it?
Bottomline: Windows 11 is worth it. It comes with many new features, performance improvements, improved security, and design changes. The latest Windows OS usually gets more attention, so there are better fixes for issues related to its performance. There’s not too much risk in upgrading to Windows 11, either. And if you don't like it, you can easily uninstall Windows 11 and return to Windows 10.
Windows 11 is available in the following editions:
- Windows 11 Home: The classic version of Windows 11. This edition packs everything you need into one powerful system, perfect for casual users.
- Windows 11 Pro: We expect Windows 11 Pro to include some features useful for power users or people who work in organizations. Usually, the Pro version of Microsoft’s systems includes some additional security measures and settings.
- Windows 11 Education: This version seems to be aimed at students. Because Microsoft offers programs for schools and universities, it’s safe to assume that anyone who’s attending a partnered institution can use Windows 11 Education for free.
- Windows 11 Pro for Workstations: This is a higher-end version of Windows 11 Pro for desktops with the most powerful hardware. It’s speculated that most features will be brought over from Windows Server and made available on a desktop version of Windows 11.
Windows 11 vs Windows10 installation
The first thing Windows users should do is check if your setup meets the minimum requirements for Windows 11. Here’s what we know so far.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
- Memory: 4 gigabytes (GB) RAM.
- Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device.
- System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
- Graphics Card: Any GPU compatible with DirectX 12 or later with the WDDM 2.0 driver.
- Display: A high-definition (720p) display greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel.
- Internet and Microsoft Accounts: Windows 11 requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Updates also require a connection to the internet.
Read more here: Feature-specific requirements for Windows 11.
Check if Your Device Is Windows 11 Compatible
Luckily, Windows users don’t have to pick your PC apart or dig deep into your system to determine whether you can run Windows 11. Microsoft released an easy checkup for all Windows 10 users to check for you.
- Navigate to this page in your browser and click on the Download App button.
- Launch the WindowsPcHealthCheckSetup.msi file to install the required software. A new window should appear on your screen, where you need to follow the on-screen instructions.
- Once the installation is complete, launch the PC Health Check app. You can find it in your Start menu, or by searching in the taskbar.
- Click on the Check now button under the Introducing Windows 11 section. You may need to wait a minute for the app to gather the necessary information about your system.
- The result of the checkup will show on screen shortly after. You will either see “This PC can run Windows 11” or “This PC can’t run Windows 11” with no further specifications. Look into the special requirements for the system to see what you’re missing.
Clean Install or Upgrade When Installing Windows 11?
Both clean install and upgrade have their own benefits that you need to consider before making the change from a previous version of Windows. This is mostly down to personal preference and the resources you have available. We’re here to help you make the best decision on whether or not you should erase everything or simply perform an upgrade.
The complete clean installation of Windows 11 has several of its own advantages. Leftover legacies that come from older Windows installations are completely cleared off your computer, minimizing the risk of conflicts or errors. The new system you put on your computer will be fully new, installing Windows 11 according to your wishes and ideas. However, this means you’ll lose all data stored on your system disk.
If you want to perform a clean install of Windows 11 but keep your files, look into solutions such as cloud storage backups or backup devices. For example, attaching external hardware and storing your files on it while the installation occurs is a wonderful solution.
Upgrading to Windows 11 from the Update Center has an option to keep your personal files, but erase all applications. This spares you from having to create backups, however, the risk of leftover files and legacies from your previous system arises.
We recommend reevaluating which option you prefer before proceeding with the installation of your new Windows 11 system.
Windows 11 32-Bit vs 64-Bit
Like Windows 10 Windows 11 is expected to still come in two different bit infrastructure versions: 32-bit and 64-bit editions.
Most modern processors run on the 64-bit format, which makes it required to use 64-bit drivers for Windows. When possible, you should also go for the 64-bit edition of operating systems and applications.
However, some people are forced to use the less popular and certainly less powerful 32-bit edition. This should be done if your device has old components or only 2 GB of RAM. With such little available memory, the 64-bit edition would cause slowdowns and a significant drop in performance.
Check in advance if there are proper 64-bit drivers for your devices. If your PC has at least 4 GB of RAM or more, and you know your processor runs on the 64-bit infrastructure, the 64-bit edition of Windows 11 is recommended. A 32-bit edition is perfect for older devices as it occupies a maximum of 2 GB of space.
Prerequisites To Install Windows 11
You can’t legally install Windows 11 as of yet, but you can learn the process early and be ready for the release. Before you can begin the installation process, make sure you have the following things ready and within reach:
- Your computer or laptop is connected to a reliable power source.
- Have an installation media such as a USB stick, with the Windows 11 installer already placed on it.
- Your unique 25-character product key from purchasing a new copy of Windows 11, or an existing licensed copy of Windows 10. You can find the product key either on your computer or on the cover of your Windows product package.
- A stable connection to the internet to configure networks, download updates, and access online features.
- All necessary external hardware such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, a web camera, and a microphone is essential depending on your personal needs. Make sure you have access to their drivers as well.
Once you have everything done, you can begin the installation process following the instructions detailed below. If you get stuck, our technical experts are here to offer 24/7 support to help you install Windows 11 without any errors or complications.
» Microsoft Windows 11 Review: It's time to Upgrade Now
» Windows 10 End of Life: When Does Windows 10 Support End?
» What Happens if You Install Windows 11 on Unsupported Hardware?
» How To Fix the “This PC Can’t Run Windows 11” Error
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» Does Windows 11 Use More RAM Than Windows 10? Here’s the Answer
» 5 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 11