Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: finally time to upgrade?

Windows 11, the latest iteration of the Windows operating system, stands as one of the most impressive
Windows versions to date. Despite this, its underlying architecture bears significant resemblance to its
predecessor, Windows 10. In this comparison, we meticulously examine Windows 11 and Windows 10,
meticulously evaluating each aspect to address the crucial question: Is upgrading to the latest Windows
OS worthwhile? Our analysis highlights the major disparities between the two systems, incorporating
the impact of the Windows 11 2H22 Update. However, it’s important to note that Microsoft no longer
offers new licenses for Windows 10. Consequently, if you’re transitioning from an older Windows
version, you must upgrade directly to Windows 11.

Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: what’s new

Windows 11

Despite its outward resemblance to Windows 10, Windows 11 offers a wealth of innovative features.
Alongside subtle updates such as a revamped Start menu and Taskbar, this operating system introduces
significant enhancements, including the noteworthy inclusion of Android app support on Windows 11.

Better design and features

Arif Bacchus

windows 11 marks a significant visual departure for Microsoft. In this new operating system, both the
Taskbar and the Start menu are centered on the screen, giving it a resemblance to macOS and
ChromeOS. However, users still retain the option to move them back to the left if they prefer.
Unfortunately, the native capability to pin the Taskbar to the right or left sides of the screen has been
removed in Windows 11. Nevertheless, third-party applications like Start11 offer a solution to restore
this functionality for those who desire it.
Apart from the prominent visual changes, Windows 11 introduces rounded corners on windows, fresh
app icons, and exclusive Fluent Emojis, which are unique to this version. However, the promised 3D
emojis showcased during the initial launch have not yet made their appearance.
Windows 11 also brings several smaller feature additions, including live captions for browsers and a
Focus mode that enables users to customize notification settings for specific time durations while they
focus on their work.
File Explorer has been a key area of focus for Microsoft. The latest update introduces tabbed browsing,
and there are reports of a significant redesign planned for 2023. This redesign aims to incorporate
Microsoft services and OneDrive into File Explorer, along with the introduction of a new details menu when selecting files or folders

Start menu and Taskbar

Arif Bacchus

When comparing Windows 11 and Windows 10, the most noticeable differences lie in the Start menu
and the Taskbar.
Starting with the Start menu, Windows 11 embraces a more minimalist design. It presents a static list of
apps with the addition of frequently accessed documents at the bottom. Notably, Live Tiles, which were
present in Windows 10, have been removed, resulting in a cleaner appearance for the Start menu.
Regarding the Taskbar, Microsoft has made a few adjustments in Windows 11. The search box has been
condensed into an icon, and Cortana functionalities have been removed. Additionally, Windows 11
introduces a dedicated Microsoft Teams icon integrated into the Taskbar. However, users have the
freedom to remove this icon if they do not use Teams.
Another significant change is the relocation of the weather display on the Taskbar. In Windows 10, it
was known as News and Interests, but in Windows 11, it is replaced by Widgets (check out our roundup
of the best Windows 11 widgets). While the weather information is still visible, Widgets also provide
additional features such as personalized news, sports scores, traffic updates, and more.

Android apps integration

The app stores in both Windows 11 and Windows 10 share a similar design.
However, Windows 11’s app store introduces a notable feature: support for
Android apps through the Amazon Appstore. It’s important to note that only
specific Android apps are compatible, so referring to our guide on how to
install Android apps on Windows 11 is recommended.
In comparison to Windows 10, Windows 11 expands its range of available app
types beyond the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). While UWP apps remain
accessible, Windows 11 also includes support for Win32 apps like Firefox and
the Epic Games Store. This broader app compatibility enhances the software
ecosystem for users.

Improved gaming features

If you prioritize gaming, Windows 11 is the optimal choice as the best
Windows OS for gamers. Recent updates to Windows 11 have brought
significant optimizations specifically tailored for gaming, including
enhancements for running games in windowed mode. It also introduces
features like Auto HDR and the upcoming DirectStorage, which accelerates
game loading times to less than a second.
While some of these features, such as DirectStorage, are also available on
Windows 10, Microsoft has emphasized gaming as a key focus for Windows
11. As a result, Windows 11 has emerged as the preferred platform for gamers,
especially considering the resolution of performance issues that were initially
present. Many PC gamers are enthusiastically transitioning to Windows 11,
indicating its positive impact on gaming experiences.
Microsoft has confirmed that the gaming-related issues encountered in the
2022 Windows 11 update, particularly concerning Nvidia GPUs, have been
addressed and resolved. Therefore, if you have been hesitant to update, you
can now do so without worrying about any performance setbacks.

Snap Layouts and multitasking

Windows 11 introduces exclusive multitasking improvements that are not
being backported to Windows 10. With the Snap Layouts feature in Windows
11, you can enhance your multitasking capabilities and overall system
performance. Snap Layouts allow you to group windows and save them to the
taskbar, making it easier to access and providing a wider range of
configurations compared to Windows 10. Microsoft has continuously updated
Snap Layouts with additional functionality since its initial launch, further
enhancing its usefulness.
Furthermore, Windows 11 addresses a significant issue related to multimonitor setups. It now remembers the specific window positions on external
monitors, ensuring that when you disconnect and reconnect a monitor, your
windows will be restored exactly as you had arranged them. This resolves one
of the most frustrating problems experienced by users of Windows 10,
offering a more seamless multi-monitor experience.

Enhanced tablet mode

Windows 10 features a traditional tablet mode that transitions your PC into a
full-screen Start menu experience. However, Windows 11 deviates from this
approach. Instead, it offers a tablet mode that resembles the functionality of
an iPad, providing a more touch-friendly experience when you switch your
device to tablet mode. Windows 11 introduces new gestures specifically
designed for touch interactions, such as opening the Start menu and
dismissing windows, which were not present in Windows 10.
Moreover, Windows 11 enhances pen functionality by offering deeper
integration. While you can still utilize tools like Whiteboard for visual
collaboration, Windows 11 takes it a step further by enabling support for up to
four app shortcuts through your pen. This facilitates quick access to frequently
used apps and enhances productivity.
Voice navigation in Windows 11 is also significantly improved. You can now
use your voice to launch apps, enter keyboard and mouse inputs, control the
operating system, and perform a wide range of tasks. In essence, Windows 11
empowers you to fully control the OS using voice commands, offering a more
intuitive and hands-free experience.

Performance

Windows 11 is an excellent choice for those who prioritize performance. In a
YouTube video, Microsoft highlighted the performance benefits and
optimizations of Windows 11.
According to Microsoft, Windows 11 focuses on efficient memory
management to prioritize the app windows that are actively open and running
in the foreground. This ensures that these windows receive more CPU power
compared to other system resources. Additionally, Windows 11 optimizes the
handling of data in RAM during sleep mode, resulting in a 25% faster wake-up
time compared to Windows 10.Since its launch, Microsoft has continued to introduce performance
improvements to Windows 11. For instance, a February update specifically
enhanced solid-state drive (SSD) speeds.
While Windows 11 offers snappier performance than Windows 10, the realworld differences are relatively small. The various optimizations in Windows 11
enable it to run more efficiently on less powerful laptops, but transitioning
from Windows 10 to Windows 11 does not result in a significant sacrifice of
performance.

Collaboration and remote work

Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 can be used for remote work, but
Windows 11 offers superior collaboration features. Notably, Windows 11
supports background blur, eye contact adjustments for meetings, and
automatic framing, which are not available on Windows 10.
These advanced features, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), are accessible
through Microsoft Teams. However, it is important to note that the availability
of these features may depend on the hardware capabilities of your computer.

Should you upgrade to Windows 11?

As the most recent iteration of the Windows operating system, Windows 11 is
considered the top choice for the majority of users. However, it’s important to
note that the introduction of new features in Windows 11 may present certain
limitations and complexities when upgrading, particularly for older PCs.
When considering the decision to upgrade to Windows 11, it is essential to
weigh the potential benefits against the compatibility and system
requirements of your specific hardware configuration.

Upgrading to Windows 11

If you’ve been hesitant about upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11,
rest assured that the process is straightforward. In our comprehensive guide
on how to install Windows 11, we explain that most PCs can upgrade from
Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free through a simple Windows update. It is
strongly recommended to follow this official upgrade path to avoid potentially
malicious Windows 11 installers that can be found through search engines.
Microsoft has completed the rollout of Windows 11, which means any PC with
compatible hardware can upgrade to it for free. However, it’s important to
note that you have a limited 10-day window to downgrade from Windows 11
to Windows 10 after the update. If you miss this window, downgrading would
require a clean install, which involves erasing all your data. For more
technically inclined users, there is also the option to dual-boot Windows 10
and Windows 11 with minimal risk.
While Windows 11 introduces numerous new features, it’s worth mentioning
that Microsoft has removed certain features that were available in Windows
10. For instance, you can no longer sync your desktop wallpaper, and Internet
Explorer and the Math Input panel have been phased out. Additionally, a few
apps have been removed, including 3D Viewer, OneNote for Windows 10,
Paint 3D, and Skype. However, these apps can still be found in the Microsoft
Store if needed. Microsoft provides a comprehensive list of the changes for
those who have specific concerns.

System requirements and compatibility

The primary obstacle to upgrading to Windows 11 lies in meeting the system
requirements. To install Windows 11, your system must have a relatively recent
processor, such as an Intel 8th-generation or AMD Ryzen 2000 (or newer)
processor, and support for TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module). TPM is a
hardware security processor found in modern PCs. Most desktops and laptops
already support TPM 2.0, but if you have a custom-built PC, it’s advisable to
consult our list of motherboards that support TPM. It’s worth noting that
Windows 10 does not impose this restriction on custom PCs.
While it is technically possible to install Windows 11 on unsupported
hardware, we strongly discourage doing so. Microsoft may cease support for
systems that are not certified for Windows 11, resulting in a lack of critical
security updates. Although Microsoft has released Windows 11 updates for
unsupported hardware since its launch, this cannot be guaranteed in the long
term.If your computer is over four years old, there is a high likelihood that it is not
compatible with Windows 11. This may be a deciding factor between choosing
Windows 11 and sticking with Windows 10.

Support and update cycle

Windows 11 departs from the semi-annual update schedule of Windows 10
and aligns with a single annual update, similar to macOS. Microsoft remains
committed to supporting Windows 10 until 2025, but it has also announced a
transition to once-a-year updates for Windows 10. Alongside the major annual
update, Windows 11 also receives smaller feature rollouts throughout the year.
The most recent Windows 11 2022 Update sets the precedent for these annual
updates. It introduces a plethora of features, showcasing a stark contrast to
the slower pace of updates witnessed during the Windows 10 era.
This update encompasses various enhancements, ranging from subtle user
interface tweaks, including the Start menu, to the introduction of entirely new
applications like Clipchamp. It also incorporates indispensable accessibility
features. Moreover, important features from Windows 10, such as the
inclusion of folders in the Start menu, have finally made their transition to
Windows 11. In many aspects, it feels like the version of Windows 11 that
should have been released earlier.Microsoft continues to offer support for Windows 10 until October 14, 2025.
However, the sale of new Windows 10 licenses ceased at the beginning of
2023. This implies that existing Windows 10 users will continue to receive
support for the next couple of years. However, if you intend to upgrade from
an older version of Windows, it is necessary to make a direct transition to
Windows 11.

Bugs

Windows 11 has encountered its fair share of bugs, unlike the more
established and stable Windows 10. However, Microsoft has demonstrated a
prompt response in addressing these issues. Some notable bugs observed in
Windows 11 include the creation of numerous empty folders in File Explorer
and a bug that significantly slows down SSD speeds.
At one point, Microsoft even advised against installing a specific Windows 11
update, and the OS has experienced several issues specifically related to AMD
processors. While Microsoft has resolved these problems, it is reasonable to
expect that Windows 11 may encounter more bugs compared to Windows 10,
even with Microsoft’s diligent efforts to rectify them swiftly.
However, there is an ongoing issue in Windows 11 related to memory leaks.
Upon opening multiple instances of File Explorer, Windows 11 may consume
additional RAM that it fails to release when the File Explorer is closed, resulting
in the system utilizing excess resources. It’s important to note that not
everyone experiences this problem, and it has also been observed in Windows
10 to some extent. Nonetheless, it remains a notable issue worth mentioning.
While we have highlighted a few specific Windows 11 issues here, it is worth
noting that the Feedback Hub app provides an excellent platform for tracking
bugs in Windows 11. Windows users can report new bugs through this app,
and by sorting the feedback by “New” or “Top,” userrs can access a
comprehensive list of Windows 11 bugs that cannot all be covered in a single
post. Therefore, if you are interested in staying informed about the latest
happenings and issues, it is recommended to explore the Feedback Hub app
on your Windows 10 PC and search for Windows 11 feedback.

Is Windows 11 worth it?

For most individuals, upgrading to Windows 11 is highly recommended. It
offers a comprehensive array of new features, performance enhancements,
and design updates. Being the latest Windows operating system, Windows 11
naturally receives more attention and support compared to Windows 10.
Moreover, the risks associated with upgrading to Windows 11 are relatively
low. With proper planning, it is possible to uninstall Windows 11 and revert
back to Windows 10 if needed. Additionally, with the availability of the latest
update, there has never been a more opportune time to give Windows 11 a
try.

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