Windows 11 was announced back in 2021, with the opportunity to download and install it becoming available back in October. Butdespite the inevitable promises of superior performance and better features, Windows 11 has had a few issues in its short life so far. So is it now time to upgrade to Windows 11? A few months in, we'll take a look at the arguments for and against upgrading. In some cases, the decision may be an easy one. For others, it may not be quite so straightforward...
Reasons To Upgrade to Windows 11
If you are a current Windows 10 user, then upgrading to Windows 11 is free. Provided, of course, your computer meets the minimum system requirements. Arguably most important is whether or not you have TPM 2.0. If you don't you can stop reading, because TPM 2.0 is required in order to upgrade to Windows 11. But let's assume you've chekced, and confirmed your computer does meet the minimum requirements for an upgrade. Here are some reasons why it might be worth doing.
Does Windows 11 run better than Windows 10?
While it isn't cast-iron guaranteed, in principle, Windows 11 optimises many of the background processes that your computer carries out. As a result of this superior system management, your computer should run faster, with fewer of the irritating lags when trying to open programs or boot up from sleep mode, for instance. Microsoft Edge should also run significantly faster. Software updates are expected to be up to 40% smaller as well. And the likes of the afore-mentioned TPM 2.0 will offer superior security and protection.
Windows 11 offers an array of features to help with multitasking, in an effort to improve productivity. Snap layouts help you to group your windows, then save them to the taskbar for easy organisation. And with external monitors, it will remember how everything was set up, and will restore this arrangement if you disconnect then plug back in to the monitor. While this may seem trivial in some respects, the time and frustration saved by not having to set up your screen exactly as you like it, is invaluable.
Is Windows 11 better for gaming?
If you're a keen PC gamer, then it's worth thinking about the impact upgrading to Windows 11 may have on your gaming experience. And there are several potentially beneficial new features.
First and foremost is the built-in Xbox Game Pass. The Game Pass app will now be built-in, instead of ahving to use the awkward and frustrating app that exists on Windows 10. In theory, this will give gamers easier access to, and control of, their Xbox game library. Users who susbscribe to Game Pass Ultimate will also have access to Xbox Cloud Gaming. For anyone who already has Game Pass, these are grat features. And if you don't have Game Pass, it's a very compelling proposition if you are a fan of Xbox games.
As well as Game Pass, Microsoft has introduced performance-enhancing features to Windows 11, specifically designed to make Windows 11 better for gaming. Auto HDR automatically enhances game visuals. Currently, around 1000 games are able to benefit from this.
Last, but by no means least, is DirectStorage. This is a feature that already exists on the Xbox Series X|S, and has now made it's way onto Windows 11. DirectStorage enables fast loading onto the graphics card, without slowing down the CPU. This translates to faster loading times, which is almost invariably a good thing.
When Windows 11 was revealed, Microsoft announced that Android apps would be available to run on the new OS. However, by the time of launch, this feature was shelved, wih the vague promise of release at a later date. At the time of writing, this is a feature that remains available only to members of the Windows Insider program. However, when it does finally become available, Windows 11 users will be able to access a wide range of Android apps via the Amazon store. While not as wide-ranging as the Google Play Store, it will still offer an enormous range of additional apps for users to choose from.
Reasons Not To Upgrade to Windows 11
There are clearly several good reasons to consider upgrading to Windows 11. But there are some reasons why upgrading straight away might not be for you. Let's consider those now.
First, and perhaps most obviously, are the bugs. Windows 10 has been around for years, so the kinks have been pretty well ironed out. With Windows 11 being only a few months old, errors, bugs and instability issues are inevitable. The fact that one of the most vaunted features - the Android apps - still isn't available, tells you that Windows 11 is not quite the finished product.
Bugs that have already been identified include memory leaks and performance-throttling. And while Microsoft generally try to fix these quickly, it doesn't guarantee that other issues won't emerge to replace these ones. So waiting a little while longer, and allowing others to experience all those teething issues, may be a wise choice. Especially if there aren't any killer features that you simply cannot live without.
For some users, they have grown very familiar with Windows 10. How it looks, where everything is located, and ahve it optimised for their needs. Windows 11, while offering plenty of great new features, has removed some older ones, as well as changing how it looks. The taskbar and start menu in the middle of the screen is immediately obvious. While it can be repositioned, the prospect of ahving to move things around because you don't like how things look and feel, is obviously unappealing.
There is an element of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' here. But given that Microsoft have committed to supporting Windows 10 until 2025, there isn't any particular reason to rush.
We might as well finish where we started. As we said at the beginning, Windows 11 isn't actually available for everyone. If your computer doesn't have TPM 2.0, you can't have Windows 11. So if you are someone who recently bought a PC, but for whatever reason it doesn't have TPM 2.0, then your only option for upgrading to Windows 11 is to buy another new computer, this time with TPM 2.0. Now, you may have plenty of money and have no issues with doing this. But if you find yourself with a perfectly working PC, and don't like spending money when you don't have to, then consider waiting until your PC is in need of renewal, before upgrading.
There are legitimate reasons why you might upgrade to Windows 11. And there are equally legitimate reasons to wait a little bit longer. If you want to wait until the next major upgrade to Windows 11, that is scheduled for November 2022.
Ultimately, if you have a pressing need for a new computer, or a new feature that Windows 10 doesn't offer, but Windows 11 does, then an upgrade makes sense. On the other hand, if you are working on a half-decent PC that does everything you need, without any issues, then you may just want to wait a bit longer, before making the leap.