How do I get Windows 11?
Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you'll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install. CNETWindows 11: Price, compatibility, release date and features for Microsoft's big new update
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Windows 11 is coming to new and existing PCs later this year, and it brings a lot of changes. It looks significantly different from Windows 10, and it adds a bunch of new features. But that’s not all that’s changed. Windows 11 has much higher system requirements than previous versions, too. There are a few PCs that won’t be supported by the new OS, but what about peripherals? If you’re worried about whether your printer will work with Windows 11, you shouldn’t have to. Most peripherals and accessories that work today should continue to work with the new OS.
First off, your biggest concern should be whether your PC meets the minimum requirements to run Windows 11. There are a few big changes, such as the need for a 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. A few devices will be excluded based on those changes alone.
In addition to checking the list of requirements, Microsoft has a PC Health Check app that can help you make sure you’re ready to run Windows 11. One hurdle that may be tougher to clear is TPM support, which some users have been having trouble with when they run the app. If your PC meets the requirements, you should be good to go.
Despite all those changes though, Windows 11 is built on the same foundation as Windows 10. Most of the same capabilities are there, and external devices should work all the same. Microsoft says that, as long as your device supports Windows 10 and meets the Windows 11 minimum requirements, it should work. There aren’t any minimum requirements for printers, so if it works right now, it should continue to work in Windows 11.
There are many different devices out there, so there’s always a chance that something won’t work quite the same. But if you’re coming from Windows 10 and things work, you can probably expect them to keep working in Windows 11.
If you’re going into Windows 11 by buying a new laptop, something you may have to consider is the ports. Some laptops today don’t include a USB Type-A port, but they do have Thunderbolt 4. That means you can get a Thunderbolt dock, which you can then use to connect your printer. If your printer is wireless, that shouldn’t be an issue either way.
If you’re still using an older version of Windows, things may be a little more complicated. The best thing to do in this case is to check your manufacturer’s website and see if Windows 10 drivers are available. If the printer works with Windows 10, it’ll likely work with Windows 11 as well, so you can use that as an indicator. Most printers should still be supported if they worked in Windows 7 or 8.1, but some older ones might not.
Another thing to keep in mind is you can always go back to Windows 10 if your printer doesn’t work with Windows 11. The upgrade process is just like taking a feature update for Windows 10, and you can easily roll back the changes. You have ten days after the upgrade to go back to Windows 10 while keeping all your files. If it’s been longer than ten days, you can download a Windows 10 ISO and do a clean install. This will require you to backup your data to external storage since you will be removing everything from your PC.
That’s not ideal, but it’s a good idea to plan the upgrade so the 10-day period allows you to test everything you might need. That way, you can find any compatibility issues and go back to Windows 10 if it works better for you. Windows 10 will continue to be supported until October 14th, 2025, so there’s nothing stopping you from using it for a good while longer. By the time you need to get Windows 11, you might have a new printer that works with it anyway.
That’s essentially all you need to know about using your printer with Windows 11. The gist of it is if you’re using your printer with Windows 10, it should work just fine with Windows 11, too. Your mileage may vary slightly, but you can always go back to Windows 10 if something isn’t right. If you’re coming from an older version of Windows though, you’ll want to check with your printer manufacturer.
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27 June, 2021 - 06:23pm
The biggest news of last week was Microsoft's announcement of Windows 11 — and, more relevant to us, the fact that the new OS will run Android apps. However, there is one major catch: The app store Microsoft plans to use is Amazon's. While sideloading apps will apparently be possible, we don't know what sort of restrictions or difficulties that might impose. So for this week's poll, we'd like to know: Do you think Microsoft is making the right choice using Amazon's Appstore on Windows 11?
I'm of two minds here because there is a clear consumer benefit in terms of competition. Yes, Amazon's Appstore doesn't have as good of a selection, and the company's recent practices are sketchy at best. In terms of tech giant conglomerates, Amazon's about as far down on the "evil" scale a company can go before it starts stealing candy from babies or starting fights in bars. But, Amazon's Appstore is also one of the very few third-party ones for Android that has managed to be successful at any level, and an uptick in customers via a Microsoft partnership could be the kick in the pants it needs to really compete with Google and provide us with a solid second choice.
Of course, a Microsoft Engineer says we should be able to sideload apps, but that's not necessarily an easy workaround for Microsoft's choice of store. Chromebooks are a good example for comparison here. Yes, technically you can sideload Android apps on them, but it's a huge pain in the ass, and there's no proof yet that Microsoft will make things easy for us, either.
Microsoft could likely have gone with the Play Store just as easily — after all, the company highlighted how closely it worked with Google for the Surface Duo dumpster fire — but Google's terms for such a deal would almost certainly have been more difficult for Microsoft to accept. Historically, Google's Play Store licensing imposes things like pre-installed apps, Google service integrations, and Google Search as the default search engine (though GMS licensing terms are usually confidential and vary by manufacturer and market). And when it comes to desktop services, search, and personal computing, Microsoft and Google are direct competitors.
Lastly, Microsoft has a software storefront already: the Microsoft Store. In fact, that's how you'll get your Android apps on Windows 11, but Microsoft still isn't fully in charge. As the screenshot above shows, it's just a front-end for the Amazon Appstore. If the company wanted to, Microsoft could have just done its own thing from end-to-end.
There's a lot to balance here as you consider the question, but what do you think of Microsoft's choice of Android app store for Windows 11, and do you think Amazon's Appstore is the right one?