After last week’s email about the timing for Windows 11, I’ve had a few emails asking for more details about what’s changing. So, here goes…
What’s changing in Windows 11?
The biggest changes you’ll notice if you switch from Windows 10 to Windows 11 are visual. So they’re not bringing in lots of new features or changing the way you use things this time.
- Your computer is getting a new look, with rounded corners on the edges of windows, softer colours and smoother animations.
- The most obvious change is that the “start” button is moving from the bottom left hand corner (where it’s always been) to the bottom middle. As far as I can see, the start menu is pretty similar once you’ve opened it though.
- Some things that used to be labelled with words and icons are now just icons.
- And there are new “widgets” for weather forecasts, news feeds and that sort of thing on your desktop.
It’s all pretty cosmetic stuff, if I’m honest.
The bigger changes, you might never even notice. Microsoft programmers have been very busy in the background – trying to make PCs more secure, work better for fast 3D gaming and link up better with what you’re doing on other devices through your Microsoft account. They’re also making all sorts of technical changes to the Microsoft Store – the upshot of which is that there’ll be more apps for you to choose from.
All the suggested “Windows 11” PCs on the Microsoft website are laptops. Are desktops “dead”?
I hadn’t actually noticed, but apparently there isn’t a single desktop PC amongst the new machines being touted on Microsoft’s website. And I can’t say I’m that surprised.
Desktops might not be quite dead in the water, but they’re certainly out of fashion. Even my work computer is a laptop now. I use it like a desktop most of the time – I have a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse – it’s just handy to be able to unplug all that lot and take my computer into another room if I want to.
So although you can still get desktop computers (just have a look on the Currys PC World website – there are lots), a laptop has a lot going for it.
What impact will Windows 11 have on Microsoft 365?
This was another question we had from a reader, and I thought I’d pop a quick answer in this email in case anyone else was worried about the same thing.
So Microsoft 365 is a paid service that lets you use apps like Word, Excel and Outlook for emails. Microsoft brought it out around the same time as they launched Windows 10, but they’re actually completely separate things. Your Microsoft 365 subscription is linked to your Microsoft account, not Windows 10 or any particular computer. So as long as you keep the same Microsoft account when you switch to Windows 11, your Microsoft 365 membership won’t be affected at all.
Right – I think that’s everything from me for this week. I hope that’s made a few things a bit clearer.