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Windows 11 compatibility checker: Upgrade requirements explained, how to download it and when it’s released

The i 04/10/2021 Alex Finnis

Microsoft is releasing its latest computer operating system, Windows 11, on Tuesday 5 October.

The overhaul will see big updates to Microsoft Teams, Android apps integrated into the desktop and improved widgets, among other changes.

However, not all computers will be able to run the updated system. Here’s how to check whether yours can, and also what to expect from Windows 11.

Can my PC run Windows 11?

Microsoft has released a blog explaining the system requirements for the new operating system.

It says computers will need >1GHz, two-core processors, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, to align with its minimum system requirements for Office and Microsoft Teams.

“Using the principles above, we are confident that devices running on Intel eighth generation processors and AMD Zen 2 as well as Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series will meet our principles around security and reliability and minimum system requirements for Windows 11,” it says.

For security purposes, Windows says all PCs will need to have an embedded TPM 2.0, and support secure boot, as well as VBS and specific VBS capabilities.

TPM stands for Trusted Platform Module. They do things like generate and store encryption keys, and help protect against Malware.

If you are unsure whether your computer can support Windows 11, Microsoft has released a health check, which you can find here.

If your PC is compatible you will get a push notification telling you when you can download the upgrade. Simply click to say you want to and the download will begin.

What are the new features?

Microsoft Teams, the company’s video conferencing program, is being fully integrated into the system, making it easier to host and join virtual meetings. The change comes with more and more people now working from home, because of the pandemic changing people’s work patterns.

There is a new Microsoft Store which allows you to download Android apps to your PC. You will then have access to almost 500,000 apps, from Amazon to Netflix.

Microsoft has also hugely updated its widgets, which now use AI to show you what it thinks you need to see. Windows 11 assesses which widgets will be most useful for the user based on their activity, along with other external data such as the time of day.

These widgets are integrated into a newly-designed taskbar that runs along the bottom of the screen. The panel will slide out from the left to show you things like your calendar, the weather, relevant news and other notifications at a glance.

Users can also create separate desktop areas based on their needs, giving them the opportunity to customise set-ups for work, playing games or completing schoolwork.

Windows 11 has launched a new feature called “snap layouts”, which makes it much easier to arrange multiple windows on your screen, and “snap groups” that lets you open a series of programs at once, in a customisable fashion.


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