For years, Apple sold itself as the anti-Microsoft. Now Windows 11 is the anti-Apple

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CNET 03 July, 2021 - 09:46am 82 views

Can my computer run win 11?

To run Windows 11, devices must have an Intel Core processor from at least 2017, or AMD Zen 2 processors from 2019 onward. They'll also need at least 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of hard drive storage. WIREDWindows 11’s Security Push Puts Microsoft on a Collision Course

Should I install Windows 11 Insider?

The Windows Insider Program is open to everyone with a Windows PC and a Microsoft account, meaning you can try Windows 11 for yourself right now. However, this is an early build – some features may be missing, and bugs are likely. As such, we wouldn't recommend installing it on your main PC. techadvisor.comHow to get the Windows 11 beta now

Has Windows 11 been released?

Microsoft has officially announced Windows 11, the next major software update, which will be coming to all compatible PCs later this year. Microsoft has officially announced Windows 11, the next major software update that will be coming to all compatible PCs later this year. gearpatrol.comWindows 11 Is Coming: Here's What You Need to Know

When does Windows 11 come out?

Microsoft's new Windows version is releasing late 2021. Windows 11 debuted last week as Microsoft's next-generation operating system. NDTVWhat Will Windows 11 Bring for Your PC?

Microsoft hopes Windows 11 will reinvigorate the ubiquitous operating system. Don’t hold your breath

Toronto Star 03 July, 2021 - 04:17pm

It’s hard to get excited about Windows. Microsoft’s ubiquitous operating system that powers desktop and laptop computers around the world has, for years now, been like office furniture: necessary, but also terminally boring.

Windows, despite having 1.3 billion users, is strangely irrelevant: somehow everywhere and yet invisible all at once.

At least, it was irrelevant — until the pandemic. As working from home became the go-to solution, the humble Windows-powered computer saw its first major increase in sales and popularity in years.

Now, Microsoft is looking to capitalize on that change with a new version called Windows 11. The company is betting a shiny new version with a slick coat of paint and a simplified design will reaffirm Windows’ usefulness to workers, but also that it and the shiny new iteration might see users and app makers love Windows again.

It is, however, a far-fetched dream. Windows has long since ceased to be a locus of development, design or pleasure. Though Microsoft may hope Windows 11 will somehow reinvigorate the platform, it is unlikely it will do much more than slow the gradual decline of the venerable old platform.

Microsoft’s history with Windows is a textbook case study in what market dominance can do to a company. With the desktop market owned by Windows in the 1990s, the company ballooned in size and scope, becoming wildly successful. That same success and reliance on traditional computers, however, had it fail to see the iPhone revolution on the horizon, dismissing mobile as a mere toy. After missing the portable revolution more than once — first with Windows Mobile, then with Windows Phone, and most recently with its failed Surface Duo — Windows became an afterthought in the minds of most, inescapable due to the prevalence of the software in the workplace but also far from inspiring.

But recently, Microsoft is a changed company. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company’s stock price and bottom line has boomed, and a more open, forward-thinking approach has led to the company’s cloud, Office and gaming divisions to grow significantly.

So now, Microsoft is looking to reimagine what used to be its core product. Windows 11 has an esthetically pleasing new design, without the clutter of more recent iterations; it has simplified some of its more arcane parts making changing settings easier for everyday users; and unlike Apple and Google, it will not charge developers who wish to use Microsoft’s App Store.

Those are sensible changes — but are unlikely to do much to change Windows’ standing.

Perhaps I should put my quite biased cards on the table. I have used Windows since the early 1990s until this year, when I finally gave up on it.

The reason was simple: every interesting, well-designed productivity app was on competing platforms like iOS, Mac or Android. The modern email, calendar, to-do and notes apps I rely on that make my work life so much better only exist elsewhere. There is, without exaggeration, no brilliant, innovative software left on Windows that is not made by Microsoft itself.

The reason there are no good apps for Windows is because software development shifted to the far more lucrative platforms of iOS and Android. If you are trying to make a living making apps, you might strike it rich — or at least make a decent living — selling apps for an iPhone or Samsung hand-held. The same cannot be said for Windows.

Because the iPhone is architecturally similar to the Mac, Apple computers also got the benefit of good apps as a sort of knock-on effect.

Yet Windows has no such virtuous circle from which to benefit. That means despite the dominance of Windows in the corporate desktop world, the momentum of the industry is slowly but surely moving away from Microsoft’s operating system.

That was why I switched: I was tired of waiting for Windows to enter the 21st Century. And that’s why it’s hard to see Windows 11 as the saviour the company wants it to be. While it’s unlikely Fortune 500 companies will switch away from Microsoft any time soon, the future for Windows is murky. As apps and services continue to be built atop the platforms of Apple and Google, who have more robust offerings that can be used on desktop and mobile, what hope is there for Windows to upend its status as a boring, corporate afterthought?

The digital world relies on ecosystems — on giving users easy access to the relevant things they need to get what they want done. But using Windows feels like having one part of your digital life stuck in the past.

When Windows 11 arrives, I will no doubt install it on my old desktop PC, just to see what it is like. I’m sure I will feel a bit of nostalgia, and maybe ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ a bit over the new look.

Much like the operating system itself, however, I don’t think it’s a thing that will last.

Windows 11: Release Date, Requirements, and everything you need to know

msnNOW 03 July, 2021 - 04:17pm

It’s been six years since the launch of Windows 10, and the PC world is preparing for its next major shift. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the arrival of Windows 11, the next big update to the world’s most popular operating system.

With a market share that dwarfs the competition, any new release is sure to leave users wondering whether they should consider upgrading. Before diving into Microsoft's lengthy live stream to seek out answers to your questions, we’ve gathered the most important details right here to help you decide if Windows 11 is right for you. When will the new operating system be available for upgrades? What does it offer that Windows 10 doesn’t? Can your system even run Windows 11? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft and will likely become the next major OS across the board. If you’re unfamiliar with what an operating system is, the important thing to know is that an operating system is what you see when you boot your PC. It is the user interface that lets you do things like run programs, browse the web, and store data. Microsoft has been releasing Windows versions since the mid-1980s and has made it the lead operating system in the world today. As the name implies, Windows 11 is the eleventh major release of the OS and will bring with it a number of major feature and functionality updates.

Windows 11 brings a number of enhancements to Windows users, including a new look, multitasking enhancements, improved gaming performance, Android app support, and more. Aesthetically, it will have a new, frosted glass look, and a reworked start menu, now known as the Dock, optimized for touch input on the latest devices. Users will be able to rearrange windows into new arrangements, like a 4x4 grid, using Snap Layouts that can then be saved into Snap Groups and recalled later. The desktop will also be enhanced with the addition of Windows Widgets, an AI-driven feed of updates based on your interests and daily tasks, including daily calendar updates, traffic, weather, sports, and more.

For productivity, the operating system will now feature native Microsoft Teams integration. Microsoft says this will make it easier to connect with friends and colleagues across devices by adding Teams functionality right into the start menu and taskbar. If you use Windows on a laptop with an external display, Windows 11 will also remember the position of windows on that screen when disconnected and will restore them once it’s plugged back in.

PC gamers will also be able to take advantage of DirectStorage and Auto HDR, which are two features that come with the Xbox Series X. DirectStorage allows the GPU to load files directly from a high-speed SSD to reduce load times in games. Auto HDR uses machine learning to add high dynamic range to games that may not natively support it.

Another neat feature coming with the new OS is support for Android apps. These will be available for download through the Windows Store and should work like normal Windows apps once installed. You’ll also be able to snap them to a set area of your screen using Snap Layouts so they're handy without needing to reach for your phone. It’s important to note that Microsoft is partnering with Amazon, not Google, to deliver this feature. That means that Windows Store Android apps will draw on the Amazon marketplace instead of the Google Play Store, limiting the total selection. It seems possible to install, or side-load apps, outside of the app store. This opens the door to a greater selection for users willing to install Android installation files known as APKs.

Microsoft hasn’t shared an official release date for Windows 11, though Microsoft has confirmed it’s coming during the holiday season. There have been rumors on social media of an October release date, though this hasn’t been confirmed. In a post to the Windows blog, Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, wrote that Windows would be available as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 users “beginning this holiday and continuing into 2022.” The official Windows Twitter account further clarified that “Windows 10 devices in use today will begin [upgrading] in 2022” and will continue "through the first half of that year." So, existing users waiting for a free upgrade to the official release may be left waiting a while.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on the new OS sooner. By signing up for the Windows Insider Program, you can download a preview build and begin enjoying Windows 11 now if your PC meets the minimum system requirements. These builds are considered previews for a reason and often have bugs and missing features that are still being developed, however. Be sure to back up your PC before completing the upgrade.

Windows 11 requires modern hardware to run, but if your PC has a CPU released in the last 3-4 years, you’re probably in luck. Older PCs don’t seem to be so lucky. To provide enhanced security to its users, Microsoft is requiring all PCs to feature a specialized chip called a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM, of at least version 2.0. This chip is found in most modern CPUs and also many motherboards. Computers built before 2017 may not be compatible, however, so it’s important to take a close look at the minimum system requirements before opting into an upgrade. Microsoft has temporarily disabled its PC Health Check tool to update it for the Windows 11 release, but it promises to advise you of any compatibility issues you may be facing ahead of the upgrade.

Don’t have a TPM 2.0 chip? The good news is that you can buy these chips separately from companies like Gigabyte or MSI. The bad news is that since Microsoft’s announcement, the prices on these chips skyrocketed and are mostly out of stock. Like so many pieces of tech in 2021, finding a chip at a reasonable price is likely to be a waiting game.

The minimum system requirements for Windows 11 are:

CPU: 1 GHz, two-core minimum on a supported 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)

RAM: 4 GB

Storage: 64 GB

System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable

TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) v2.0

Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver

Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than nine inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel

Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity.

For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.

Apart from the 1 GHz, dual-core requirement on processors, you’ll want to take a close look at Microsoft’s compatible CPU list to make sure Windows 11 will run on your PC. For AMD Ryzen users, you’ll need at least a Ryzen 3 2300X. For fans of Intel's Core line, you’ll need at least an 8th-gen processor, beginning with the Intel Core i3-8100. Even if you do meet these requirements, you may need to enter the BIOS to enable Secure Boot and TPM protection.

If your computer meets the minimum requirements to run Windows 11, you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program today and download the update today. If you’d rather wait for the official release, which will also be free for eligible Windows 10 users, the only thing to do at this point is wait. Once it’s available, you’ll either be able to download directly through the Windows Update tool or as a standalone download from Microsoft. As we mention above, if you do decide to try the preview version, be sure to back up your computer and prepare to encounter a few bugs in this early release.

Unless you crave the cutting edge, it’s okay to wait on upgrading for now. Windows updates are exciting and it can be tempting to be on the ground floor for any major technology release. Jumping into a preview build isn’t for the faint of heart. Bugs can happen, sometimes big ones that can leave you rolling back to a previous operating system version. More frequently, you’ll find that certain features just aren’t finished yet and the experience isn’t as polished as it will eventually become. You’ll be one of the first to experience those exciting new features but it often demands more patience as they continue to be developed.

That said, if you’re feeling adventurous or wait until Microsoft officially releases Windows 11 to the public, this new OS has a lot of interesting features that are poised to genuinely change your computing experience. Snap Layouts should offer better multitasking support, especially on large or ultrawide monitors. DirectStorage can offer big reductions to load times for gamers. Android app support opens a whole new app ecosystem up to Windows users. Only time will tell if Windows 11 proves to be as popular as Windows 10, but it seems like Microsoft is providing compelling reasons to sign up for the update when the time is right for you.

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Which Android apps do you want to see on Windows 11?

XDA Developers 02 July, 2021 - 06:30am

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Windows 11 is official, and if you’re a Windows Insider, you can test the first preview right now. Unfortunately, one of the big new features, Android app support, isn’t yet available in the first Windows 11 Insider Preview.

Talk about Android app support in Windows has been around for a long time, or more specifically, about six and a half years. In January 2015, Microsoft held its second big Windows 10 event, and that’s where it announced some ambitious new plans to get apps into its Windows Store, now called the Microsoft Store.

Along with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), the Redmond firm announced four bridges. Project Westminster was a way to package hosted web apps as UWP apps, and Project Centennial was a way to package Win32 apps as a way to be distributed through the Store. But Microsoft knew that iOS and Android were where apps were actually being developed, so it had a plan to get those apps onto Windows.

Project Islandwood was a way to recompile Objective-C source code into Windows apps. It never got too popular because it was never very good. Eventually, the iOS bridge went open source, and as you can see on GitHub, there hasn’t been much action in years. Finally, Project Astoria was a way to run Android apps on Windows. Unlike Islandwood, Astoria wasn’t requiring you to recompile your apps. This was straight-up running Android apps on Windows 10.

Project Astoria was killed off before Windows 10 ever launched, unlike the other three bridges. Microsoft’s official reasoning for canceling it was it was just too confusing for developers to have the option between porting their iOS app and their Android app. There were varying reports on the real reason. Some said it was because Android apps ran too well, and that developers wouldn’t bother making Windows apps. Other reports were that it didn’t work well enough.

Nevertheless, it went away before Windows 10 shipped. However, it evolved into the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which then evolved into WSL 2, an actual Linux kernel shipping within Windows 10. That leads us back to today, with Project Latte.

Project Latte was the codename for bringing Android apps to Windows 11. It’s using what Microsoft calls the Windows Subsystem for Android, and on amd64 machines, it’s using Intel Bridge technology to run without any performance issues. On arm64 machines, these apps can just run natively.

There’s been a lot of work done on this, and Microsoft even partnered with Amazon to get its Appstore integrated into the Microsoft Store. You don’t have to use the Store, of course. You can install an APK like you would with any other app.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about Android apps on Windows; again, it’s been six and a half years. Back in the Project Astoria days, it was Windows phones that were able to run Android apps during the preview period, not laptops. Due to the lack of Windows phone apps, that made sense at the time, even without Google services.

But when it comes to Windows 11, I still don’t know what we’re expecting to see here. Sure, as Windows enthusiasts, we’re excited about Windows 11. We’re excited about the prospects of Android apps when Windows has such a long history of not getting the app support it needs, at least in the Store. I’m just not sure that Android apps can get Windows users much that they don’t have. At best, we can hope for more touch-optimized apps.

On Windows, many of us do all of our work through the browser. For me personally, I have about a dozen tabs open at any time, and many of them are things that I could use a native app for, but don’t. These include two email tabs, Twitter, and more. Things that I do use a native app for are Skype, OneNote, Microsoft To Do, and Slack. Chromebooks have proven to us we can do most of our work through the browser. Indeed, Chromebooks added Android support to make up for the rest. But don’t we have native Windows apps to make up for the rest?

I can’t think of much that I’d actually get out of Android apps, but I can think of some. The two that come to mind are Kindle and Comixology, both of which are owned by Amazon. Sure, we have those. Kindle has a web app and a native PC app, and Comixology has a web reader. But when it comes to using either of those on a tablet, the experience is not great.

I’m not concerned with the lack of Google services on Windows. This isn’t an Android device. I don’t need Google Maps or Google Photos for a good experience. I use all of them through their respective web apps. Some apps might not function correctly; for example, Twitter uses Google to deliver notifications, but I’m totally fine with that.

I’d like to know what you’re looking forward to with Android apps in Windows 11. Is there a specific app that you’re looking forward to being able to use on your PC? Is it easier access to future Android apps that you’re looking forward to?

Let us know. What is it about Android apps on Windows 11 that has you excited?

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