As the calendar transitioned from the 4th to 5th October at midnight last night, Windows 11 started its rollout around the world. Starting this morning you will be able to buy new PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed. Moreover, Windows 10 users looking at the green Windows 11 grass can take the leap, if their PCs meet Microsoft's hardware requirements.
You won't be surprised to hear that Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer, Windows and Devices, is 'pumped' about the launch of Windows 11. In a launch-timed blog post, Panay tries his best to excite, saying that "the gorgeous graphics, sounds and animations of Windows 11 along with the innovative and beautiful hardware from our partners and Surface provides an experience like none other". However, most PC users who read tech news will already have a good grasp about what Windows 11 offers above and beyond Windows 10, and will be weighing the choice to click that purchase/upgrade button very carefully.
Key new features of Windows 11, such as the new Start menu and Taskbar, the introduction of Widgets, integration of Microsoft Teams, new multitasking options and shortcuts (Snap Layouts and Groups, and Desktops), improved accessibility, better touch control, thoughtful hybrid work features, enhanced security features, and the claim that the OS is "built for gaming" – might have some gravitational pull. However, upgrading the OS is a much more serious decision than getting a new version of an application, and at this stage there are bound to be teething troubles.
On the road to release, Microsoft's dithering on the PC Health Check / compatibility issues hasn't been reassuring, and the recent news about VBS slowing down games doesn't bode well. As well as that natural reluctance, I've just read through Windows Insider Paul Thurrott's review of Windows 11, timed for launch day, and it isn't very complimentary to Microsoft. In summary, Thurrott welcomes the modern UI and multitasking features (which seemed to be warmly welcomed by HEXUS readers in the news section, too), there are too many drawbacks at this time.
The biggest complaint by Thurrott is about Microsoft seemingly rushing out Windows 11, while it isn't ready for prime time. Most seriously perhaps, there are "functional regressions" compared with Windows 10, and the new apps and widgets seem to be mere gestures to provide 'new' talking points. Concerns about default app settings, and online accounts needed to set up Win 11 Home, are raised too.
Microsoft has a new blog post on how to get Windows 11, in case you need some guidance.
Are any HEXUS readers going to switch to Windows 11 today? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.