Microsoft is officially confirming the name for the next release of Windows today: Windows 11. After months of teases, hints of the number 11, and a giant Windows 11 leak, Microsoft’s new operating system is official. The big focus for Windows 11 is a simplification of the Windows user interface, a new Windows store, and improvements to performance and multitasking.
Windows 11 includes a new Start menu and updated Start button that are both centered on the taskbar. The new Start menu drops the Live Tiles that were originally introduced with Windows 8 and opts for more of the typical launcher you’d find in Chrome OS or Android.
Performance is also a big focus for Windows 11. Windows updates are 40 percent smaller, and more efficient as they now happen in the background. Hopefully that will mean that Windows 11 doesn’t disturb you in the middle of work.
Microsoft is also integrating Microsoft Teams directly into Windows 11, for both consumers and commercial users. Teams is integrated directly into the taskbar, allowing Windows 11 users to call friends, family, or coworkers.
Free upgrade starting this fall!
Microsoft says that Windows 11 will begin shipping to customers this fall, and Windows Insiders can begin testing a preview of the release next week. Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, as long as your existing PC is compatible with Windows 11’s new system requirements.
Windows 11’s minimum system requirements are as follows:
A modern 64-bit processor 1Ghz clock speed 2 cores 64GB drive 4GB RAM UEFI, Secure Book capable & TPM 2.0 9-inch display with 1366×768 resolution DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
These minimum specification requirements mean that Windows 11 is the first version of Windows to be made available on 64-bit machines only. The 32-bit version of Windows is no longer offered. 32-bit apps are still supported on Windows 11, however, so there won’t be any app compatibility issues.