Microsoft’s latest operating system has launched worldwide – although only for selected users. Microsoft says the rollout of Windows 11 “will be phased and measured”, and that “new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first” before “in-market devices” based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors.
Windows 11 is expected to be faster, with a rounder user interface, with light and dark modes, and Snap Layouts which lets users group apps together in the new Start Menu that can then be brought up at a click of a button from the taskbar.
The most distinct feature is that the Start Menu, located in the middle of the taskbar.
Windows 11 also consolidates different Microsoft services, such as Teams replacing Skype, and updates to a dedicated Xbox app for video game streaming.
Live Tiles, which showed widget-like information since Windows 8, have now been removed; sent instead to a dedicated Widgets button in the taskbar.
It has also modernised, with new Settings menus and options, but older user interfaces such as Control Panel still feature which some users may find disappointing in an otherwise sleek operating system.
The built-in search function on Windows 11 is still tied completely to the Bing search engine rather than any more popular, or more private options. This comes as Google claims that “Google” is the most popular search term on Bing, however, Microsoft dazeclined to comment.
Windows 11 has also not been the smooth upgrade that many would expect. The software giant had originally said that computers running Windows 11 would require a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 chip. This is a security chip mostly used in professional notebook machines and desktops to store and protect passwords and encryption keys.
This decision, however, meant that some of Microsoft’s own computers, including the Surface Pro tablets, the Surface Hub, and the Surface studio, would not be able to run Windows 11.