Windows 11 announced with widgets, Android apps support, new system requirements

Windows 11 release

As expected, Microsoft has formally announced Windows 11 operating system that’s basically Windows 10 with a new look, and some extra features such as Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and Desktops to further improve the multitasking experience.

Windows 11 Snap Groups
Windows 11 Snap Layout

Snap Layouts and Snap Groups will allow you to select pre-defined layouts to quickly arrange windows as you see fit, and you can define multiple “Desktops” for work, gaming, or school, etc…

Other changes include Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar, new gaming features such as DirectX 12 Ultimate, Direct Storage for faster loading, or Auto HDR, a new Microsoft Store with support for Android apps through the Amazon Appstore, and AI-powered widgets to display useful information like calendar, weather, news, stock quotes, etc…

Windows 11 widgets
Windows 11 widgets

There are also features that have become deprecated or pushed to the wayside with, for example, Cortana not used anymore during installation and not pinned to the taskbar, Internet Explorer is now disabled, Tablet Mode has been removed with Windows 11 relying on new touch-friendly features depending on whether a keyboard is attached to the device.

Microsoft also touted some improvements under the hood, with Windows 11 waking up from sleep faster, faster Windows Hello security & web browsing, longer battery life. Windows Updates have been optimized with updates 40% smaller, and get ready for it: download and install in the background. If I understand that correctly, that means there’s no need to wait for minutes or hours for updates to complete while you are simply trying to turn off your computer!

System requirements have also changed, and the days when you could run Windows 10 on a mini PC with just 2GB RAM and a 32GB eMMC flash are well gone with Windows 11’s minimum requirements including:

  • Processor – 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
  • Memory – 4 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 – DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
  • Display – Greater than 9-inch with HD Resolution (720p)

Microsoft noted that additional storage may be needed for updates and extra features, so 64GB is probably the new 32GB, and 128GB storage is probably recommended.

Most computers running Windows 10 that meet the above minimum requirements should qualify for a free Windows 11 update later this year, or in early 2022. I’m not sure how many PC’s, laptops, or tablets come with a TPM 2.0 chip, but based on the information this is required, so if your device is missing the security chip, you may be out of luck. You can download the PC Health app to check for Windows 11 compatibility.

Windows 11 is scheduled for release later this year, but enthusiasts and developers should be able to install the first Insider Preview build for Windows 11 once it is released next week.

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9 Replies to “Windows 11 announced with widgets, Android apps support, new system requirements”

  1. Other sites are reporting that once it launches, it will only need TPM 1.2.

    It would be nice to see 4 GB RAM pushed out of the market.

    I don’t get why they specify a screen size. What about GPD Win and other handhelds?

        1. Asides the ‘Dock’ concept and Display PostScript (though internally based on PDF in MacOS X) both OS looked not even remotely the same 🙂

          I worked with both the classical MacOS and NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP side by side over 2 decades ago. Back at that time the *STEP boxes and some office PCs running OS/2 were the only x86 machines around…

  2. It’s fun to see that the standard has changed of camp. 20 years ago, we were trying hard to run Windows apps under Linux with Wine and Dosemu, using horribly bogus reimplementations of undocumented features, and we were bragging about being able to launch notepad or winmine without crashing for 10 minutes. There was Sun’s WABI which was extremely compatible and allowed to run virtually anything as well. Nowadays it’s the opposite. Windows needs to run Android apps to survive, so likely it emulates a Linux kernel… Long gone are the days were Balmer was saying that Linux was a cancer.

    On another note, I’m surprised by the point made about the updates. I had been suffering from their crappy “installing updates, don’t turn off the computer” on Windows 95 two decades ago, I didn’t know it still used to plague their recent systems, and had imagined it was long fixed. By the way I had always abruptly turned the power off in front of the message and the computer never exploded!

    The last version I used was XP at a customer’s. I had a win7 on a netbook only to access a scanner, and first met with win10 for the time it took to click 25 times on “Next” till I could reach “reboot” on my new work’s laptop, and discovered it for real on a friend’s PC two weeks ago, figuring I had absolutely no idea how to use that overly complicated environment and that I could be of no help to him. I don’t miss that bizarre OS, really. I don’t hate it either, I just don’t understand how its designers’ brains work and can never figure how to do simple things. It always feels like I have to change a tire in order to turn the car’s radio on :-/

    1. Yeah. Windows 10 is a big mess. I wonder about linux’s future when fuschia took off and turn out a success. Last I heard, fuschia is binary compatible with linux. And on Linux, wayland is quite a mess IMO.

  3. I think it’s terrible that W11 may run on a Coffee Lake and not ok a Kaby Lake. It can run on a Two core 8th Celeron, and not on a 4C/8T i7700. The Coffee Lake didn’t introduce so much rather than Kaby.

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