Windows 11 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know


Microsoft Windows 11
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft made its latest working system, Windows 11, publicly accessible on October 5, 2021 — just a little over six years after Windows 10 debuted. Windows 11 provides a number of updates and new options, together with a less complicated design meant to enhance productiveness, ease of use and creativity, methods to join to individuals sooner, higher PC gaming experiences, sooner methods to get info you need, an all-new Microsoft Store, and a extra open ecosystem that unlocks new alternatives for builders and different creators.

This Microsoft Windows 11 cheat sheet particulars the working system’s most important options, lists system necessities for the OS, explains how and when to get it and extra. (Download the free PDF model of this Windows 11 cheat sheet.) We’ll replace this Windows 11 information when new info is launched.

SEE: Windows 11: Tips on set up, safety and extra (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s latest main launch of its working system and the successor to Windows 10. The OS options an all-new simplified, but modernized, interface and was designed to encourage productiveness and creativity.

Windows 11 launched

As of October 5, 2021, Microsoft Windows 11 is offered as a normal launch to the general public. Assuming your private laptop meets the prerequisite necessities together with set up of Windows 10 1909 or later, you can improve to Windows 11 by navigating to the Update & Security settings display.

Users may make the most of the Windows 11 Installation Assistant to bypass the Windows 10 Update & Security display and improve to Windows 11 straight.

While the March 2022 Windows 11 Patch just isn’t categorized as a “characteristic replace” to the working system by Microsoft (a full characteristic replace is scheduled for late 2022), the patch does comprise just a few unannounced new options. For instance, if you run Windows 11 with Widgets turned on, you will discover a brand new icon within the decrease left nook of the desktop that gives a abstract of your native climate situations. Microsoft has additionally up to date Notepad and rebranded the Groove media participant.

SEE: Windows 11 cheat sheet: Everything you need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Pre-release updates of Windows 11

As of July 29, 2021, a preview version of Windows 11 was accessible for overview to members of the Windows Insider Beta Channel; earlier than that date, preview variations of Windows 11 have been solely accessible to members of the Dev Channel. So, to set up Windows 11 Version 22000.100 or higher on a sound Windows 10 PC, activate the Windows Insider Beta Channel on the Update & Security Settings display in Windows 10 after which click on the Check For Updates button.

SEE: How to set up Windows 11 on a digital machine (TechRepublic)

As of August 23, 2021, Microsoft has launched an ISO file for the Windows 11 Insiders Preview; beforehand, your solely possibility was to improve Windows 10 to Windows 11 via Microsoft’s Windows Insider program. To obtain the Windows 11 ISO file, navigate to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads web page and check in along with your account.

SEE: How to set up Windows 11 from Microsoft’s ISO file (TechRepublic)

What new options include Windows 11?

In Windows 11, the newly centered Start button makes use of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to present latest information, it doesn’t matter what platform or gadget they have been being considered on beforehand, together with an Android or iOS gadget.

A brand new set of options to Microsoft Windows 11 would be the introduction of Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops. These provide a “highly effective means to multitask and keep on high of what you need to get executed,” in accordance to the Microsoft’s press launch. With these Windows 11 options, customers can set up home windows and optimize display actual property for a cleaner visible format. Users can create and customise separate Desktops for every a part of their life—like one for work and one for private use.

New Windows 11 Desktops feature.
The new Windows 11 Desktops characteristic.
Image: Microsoft

In Windows 11, Microsoft is integrating Chat from Microsoft Teams into the taskbar so customers can immediately join through textual content, chat, voice or video with private contacts no matter which platform or gadget is getting used throughout Microsoft Windows, Android or iOS. Through Microsoft Teams, customers can now immediately mute and unmute or begin a presentation straight from the taskbar within the new OS.

SEE: Windows evolves: Windows 11, and the way forward for Windows 10 (TechRepublic)

For avid gamers, Windows 11 “unlocks the total potential of your system’s {hardware}, placing a number of the newest gaming expertise to work for you,” in accordance to Microsoft. Windows 11 will provide DirectX 12 Ultimate, which permits immersive graphics at excessive body charges; DirectStorage for sooner load occasions and extra detailed recreation worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, extra vivid vary of colours. Microsoft Windows 11 will nonetheless help customers’ favourite PC gaming equipment and peripherals.

Windows 11’s new Widgets are a personalised feed powered by synthetic intelligence and Microsoft Edge. Instead of utilizing a telephone to verify information, climate or notifications, now customers can open their Windows 11 desktop to see a equally curated view. Widgets provides new alternatives inside Windows 11 to ship personalised content material for creators and publishers.

New Widgets feature in Windows 11.
The new Widgets characteristic in Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

The Microsoft Store is getting a significant overhaul–customers can have one protected location for apps and content material to watch, create, play, work and study. According to Microsoft, the Store “has been rebuilt for pace and with an all-new design that’s stunning and easy to use. Not solely will we convey you extra apps than ever earlier than, we’re additionally making all content material—apps, video games, reveals, films—simpler to seek for and uncover with curated tales and collections.” Soon, main first- and third-party apps similar to Microsoft Teams, Visual Studio, Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva shall be accessible within the Microsoft Store.

Coming in late 2021 for Windows 11: Android apps on Windows. Through its partnership with Amazon and Intel, and for the primary time ever, the Microsoft Store will enable customers to uncover Android apps, which may be downloaded through the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft is enabling builders and unbiased software program distributors to convey apps to the Microsoft Store, it doesn’t matter what app framework is used to create them.

SEE: How to get the preview model of Windows 11 (TechRepublic)

What do builders need to know about Windows 11?

Windows 11 options the brand new PWABuilder3, so builders can construct a PWA from their net app in minutes. WebView2 runtime is included with Windows 11, which makes it simpler to make the most of its net platform as a safe means to construct hybrid net apps. Offerings like Windows Terminal and the brand new Microsoft Edge DevTools can nonetheless be used, as they’re now included in Windows 11.

PWA Shortcuts integrated with Windows 11.
PWA Shortcuts built-in with Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

The Windows App SDK (beforehand often known as Project Reunion) will make it simpler to combine Windows 11 options into apps, nevertheless it nonetheless permits builders to attain greater than a billion customers on Windows 10. The Windows App SDK 1.0 is about to be launched later this yr.

Developers can construct apps that run natively on Windows on ARM with the brand new ARM64 Emulation Compatible ABI. Using the ARM64EC, native ARM and emulated x64 code may be combined in the identical course of or module. This interoperability means builders can optimize apps to run on Windows on ARM—even when the app has x64 dependencies or masses x64 plugins they don’t management.

SEE: Developers: The Windows 11 platform is again (TechRepublic)

To rejuvenate app designs, builders can use WinUI3 in Windows 11, which provides built-in UI updates similar to rounded geometry, refreshed iconography, new typography, enjoyable micro-interactions (similar to Lottie animation) and refreshed coloration palette. The Snap layouts characteristic will helps with most productiveness in Windows 11.

Reunion Windowing permits builders to simply handle and create app home windows. The characteristic works with current app codes, simplifies widespread operations and brings new performance to desktop apps like Light-Dismiss Behavior, Picture-In-Picture mode and simpler titlebar customization.

Along with the most important modifications to the Microsoft Store, Microsoft is taking steps to unlock larger financial alternative for creators and builders. Microsoft plans to allow builders and unbiased software program distributors to convey their apps no matter whether or not they’re constructed as a Win32, Progressive Web App, Universal Windows App or another app framework. This will enable builders to attain and have interaction a bigger viewers.

The income share insurance policies shall be altering, too, in accordance to Microsoft. App builders can now convey their very own commerce into the Microsoft Store and maintain 100% of the income—Microsoft takes nothing. Developers can nonetheless use Microsoft’s commerce with aggressive income share of 85/15.

What are the system necessities for Windows 11?

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or sooner with two or extra cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB or bigger storage gadget
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot succesful
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: High-definition (720p) show that’s larger than 9″ diagonally, 8 bits per coloration channel
  • Internet connection: Windows 11 Home version requires web connectivity and a Microsoft account to full gadget setup on first use. Switching a tool out of Windows 11 Home in S mode requires web connectivity.

SEE: How to inform in case your PC can run Windows 11 (TechRepublic)

What are feature-specific necessities for Windows 11?

Some options in Windows 11 have elevated necessities past these listed above. Here are further particulars relating to necessities for key options per Microsoft.

  • 5G help: Requires a 5G-capable modem.
  • Auto HDR: Requires an HDR monitor.
  • BitLocker to Go: Requires a USB flash drive (accessible in Windows Pro and above editions).
  • Client Hyper-V: Requires a processor with second stage deal with translation (SLAT) capabilities (accessible in Windows Pro and above editions).
  • Cortana: Requires a microphone and speaker and is presently accessible on Windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, U.Ok. and U.S.
  • DirectStorage: Requires an NVMe SSD to retailer and run video games that use the Standard NVM Express Controller driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 help.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate: Available with supported video games and graphics chips.
  • Presence: Requires a sensor that may detect human distance from gadget or intent to work together with gadget.
  • Intelligent Video Conferencing: Requires video digicam, microphone and speaker (audio output).
  • Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA): Requires a microphone and speaker.
  • Snap: Three-column layouts require a display that’s 1920 efficient pixels or larger in width.
  • Mute/Unmute from Taskbar: Requires video digicam, microphone and speaker (audio output). App should be appropriate with characteristic to allow international mute/unmute.
  • Spatial Sound: Requires supporting {hardware} and software program.
  • Teams: Requires video digicam, microphone and speaker (audio output).
  • Touch: Requires a display or monitor that helps multi-touch.
  • Two-factor authentication: Requires use of PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared digicam) or a telephone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Voice Typing: Requires a PC with a microphone.
  • Wake on Voice: Requires Modern Standby energy mannequin and microphone.
  • Wi-Fi 6E: Requires new WLAN IHV {hardware} and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E succesful AP/router.
  • Windows Hello: Requires a digicam configured for close to infrared (IR) imaging or fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Devices with out biometric sensors can use Windows Hello with a PIN or transportable Microsoft appropriate safety key.
  • Windows Projection: Requires a show adapter that helps Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that helps Wi-Fi Direct.

SEE: Windows 11: Understanding the system necessities and the safety advantages (TechRepublic)

When will Windows 11 be launched, and the way can I get it?

Windows 11 shall be accessible via a free improve for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs starting October 5, 2021. To see in case your Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free improve to Windows 11, obtain the PC Health Check app. Microsoft stated it’s working with its retail companions to “make certain [the] Windows 10 PCs you purchase at this time are prepared for the improve to Windows 11.”

Windows 11.
Image: Microsoft

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