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Windows 11

Windows 11 is an operating system that's designed to...

9.0

9 Votes

  • Category Software utilities
  • Program license Free
  • Version 22H2
  • Works under: Windows 10
  • Program available in English

Windows 11 is an operating system that's designed to function as the penultimate version of Microsoft's flagship product. It features the same NT core that previous releases of Windows have run on, which makes it an attractive option for those who want a drop-in replacement for an existing operating system. Upgrade paths are available for those who currently run Windows 10, and the two packages aren't all that different under the hood. Average installations of Windows 11 still boot off of NTFS volumes and require the same sorts of drivers that previous versions did.

User interface elements have been dramatically changed, however, and it's this fact that most people are going to notice right away when they start it for the first time. Most notably, the taskbar has been completely restructured so that most of the controls are located directly in the middle. Live tiles are gone completely from the Start Menu, which has been drastically redone to look more like the Program Manager that came with older editions of the OS. Every application loaded on a system gets displayed as an icon in this special menu, which allows relatively instant access to any asset a user might want. Those who are used to more traditional application launching workflows will probably prefer a simple command line interface, which they can bring up by holding the command key and pushing R.

In fact, most of the keyboard shortcuts that date back all the way to Windows 95 are still here in the 11th edition of the OS. For that matter, many of those that became common in more recent versions are still here as well. The biggest difference is that Windows 11 provides additional support for some of the specialty keys that have become common on modern laptops. While this is in theory a positive, it's also going to be a problem for some users who aren't used to them. The new widgets-based interface is much more conducive to the kind of navigation long-term users normally prefer.

Enhanced hardware support makes it much easier to run Windows 11 on a wide variety of newer machines, though you won't be able to boot it from a conventional BIOS chipset. Upgraded UEFI functionality enables users to start their computers more quickly than they ever could have with these dated 16-bit systems. It should also prove more secure than traditional systems ever were. Nevertheless, Windows 11 can run at least some older applications if they have the right form packages installed.

While this new edition make take some getting used to, it does have plenty to offer those who want to get rid of the baggage that came with previous versions.

Pros

  • Full support for UEFI
  • Compatibility with at least some older applications
  • Fresh new interface that tries to centralize UI elements
  • Cuts out live tiles and other annoyances

Cons

  • Redesigned taskbar isn't for everyone
  • User account control prompts are
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