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Introducing a big update to Windows 11 making the everyday easier including…

Windows 11 review: Microsoft’s subtle changes make you ask, update or wait?

Windows 11 is fresh but familiar. Don’t stress if you can’t get the update yet.

Dan Ackerman leads CNET’s coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he’s also a regular TV talking head and the author of “The Tetris Effect” (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. “Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth. the story shines.”.- The New York Times

Expertise I’ve been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook. ever. Credentials Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings

Microsoft made Windows 11 available on Oct. 5 on a rolling basis as a free upgrade to most Windows 10 users. If you have Windows 8, you’ll have to get the free upgrade to Windows 10 first. then download Windows 11. Before you decide whether or not to install the new OS. let’s talk about what we like and don’t like about the upgrade.

An operating system, whether it’s MacOS on your MacBook or Google’s Wear OS on your smartwatch, gets better the more transparent it is to the user. And that user is you, sitting in front of a laptop keyboard or tapping on a phone screen. So sorry, no Spinal Tap “goes to 11” puns here. That’s mostly because Windows 11 feels more like Windows 10.5 than a generational leap.- not that there’s really anything wrong with that.

Maybe the shift from Windows 10 to Windows 11 feels subtle because the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 was so gigantic. Big enough for Microsoft to skip an entire version number, even. That generation was all about righting a ship that had gone somewhat off-course, leaning too far into tablet territory, trying to convince everyone that Windows laptops and tablets were as cool as iPads. They’re not, and that’s OK: I work on a Windows machine, I do plenty of PC gaming on one, but when I flip through news headlines in bed at night, it’s on an iPad.

Windows 10 started out with favorable reviews and has remained in everyone’s good graces precisely because it got out of the way of whatever you were doing instead of trying to force its ideas on you. But more importantly, it was free.- which includes an asterisk to indicate it was generally available as a no-cost upgrade to anyone with a nonancient PC.

Before 2015, Windows upgrades either cost some money, or if you bought a new laptop or desktop, the latest OS just came preinstalled. Apple’s OS X moved to a similar free-to-upgrade model around the same time. Except for system builders, the idea of paying separately for a computer operating system is basically extinct. That’s a big change from when you had to hand over 120 to Microsoft for the privilege of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

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Who can get Windows 11?

The list of compatible PCs is frankly a little narrower than I would have expected. The base requirements are a 64-bit processor, 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, UEFI secure boot and TPM (trusted platform module) 2.0. It’s that last one that gets tricky for some people, especially on cheaper laptops. If you’ve got a CPU older than a seventh-gen Intel Core series (we’re up to 11th-gen now), you might be in trouble. If you want to check, use the Microsoft PC Health Check app. There are workarounds for installing Windows 11 anyway, but proceed with those at your own risk.

Visual cues

If there’s one thing that immediately stands out about Windows 11. it’s this: The start menu and taskbar are now centered on the bottom of the screen, rather than aligned to the left by default. Yes, that’s the single biggest visual and interface change you’re going to see on day one. Sure, there’s plenty more going on underneath, but it feels like this UI shift is there mainly to let you know there’s something new and different going on under the surface.

And there is a good deal going on in Windows 11. For casual or mainstream users, you’re unlikely to notice much of it, though there are some standout upgrades worth noting.

Get some Android in your Windows

One of the big selling points of Chromebooks, which run Google’s ChromeOS, is that most Chromebooks can run just about any Android app, from phone-centric favorites like Instagram to mobile games. That breaks Chromebooks out from being restricted to just Cloud-based apps and frankly adds a lot of functionality to your 300 or so Chromebook.

Microsoft is adding similar functionality to Windows 11. both to compete with Chromebooks and to forge greater bonds between Windows PC users and Android phone users, just as Macs and iPhones are inexorably bound.

But. that feature is not included with the launch version of Windows 11. It’s going to be previewed sometime in the coming months, so I wouldn’t expect it to be added as a fully baked feature until some time in 2022.

That’s a shame, because easy access to Android apps was probably going to be the biggest single practical change in Windows 11 for most people. Sure, there are plenty of other ways to do this. using an app like Bluestacks or even the Your Phone app from Microsoft, but it’s not simple enough for everyday users.

Snap groups and multiple desktops

Easily organizing a bunch of open Windows so you can see and access them when you want.- and hide them when you don’t.- is handy once you get the hang of it. The ability to snap Windows into preset slots on the desktop has been around for a while now, but the new Snap Groups and Snap Layouts offer a few new ways to wrangle your Windows.

By hovering over the “maximize” button on the top right corner of most Windows, you’ll get a pop-up showing a bunch of layout options. Minimize these apps, and you can pop them all back up again in the same exact spots, by hovering over any of the snapped window icons in the task bar.

But. not every app I tried allowed me to snap its window. Web browsers, system tools and many other random programs did, but programs such as Photoshop and Steam did not (hovering over their maximize buttons didn’t offer the snapping options pop-up menu).

If you have a gigantic monitor, use multiple monitors or need several thinly sliced web browser Windows open at once, it can be handy. On a laptop screen, you’re generally not looking at one or maybe two Windows at once.

Multiple desktops are a common MacOS feature, and a good way to keep multiple facets of your digital life organized. For example, you can keep all your work apps.- email programs, browsers, video conference apps.- on one desktop, and all your gaming apps on another. Like on a Mac, you hot-swap between them, it’s really just a change in how your open apps are visualized.

You can actually do that in Windows 10 as well, but it’s a pain. In Windows 11, Desktops have their own taskbar icon by default, and creating and organizing multiple desktops is even easier than on a Mac, which is not something you’ll hear very often.

Wither the Widget?

Every gadget-maker loves widgets, defined in consumer tech terms as small icon-like apps that usually sit in a group somewhere on your device’s UI. Usually it’s useful little things like the weather, stock prices, your latest emails or calendar items, or a small newsfeed. Your iPhone and iPad have them, Android devices have them, Macs have them (under the usually hidden Notification Bar on the right side of the screen). Windows used to have built-in widgets, too. They were called Gadgets and died along with Windows 7.

Now they’re back. On the plus side, with its own taskbar button, the new widgets are easy to find. Hit the button and a semi-transparent panel pops out from the left edge of the screen. It has, by default, widgets for weather, your Outlook calendar, photos you may have in OneDrive, a To Do list and a few others. You can customize the list a bit, but there are not too many options for now. Below that is a newsfeed that looks like it’s curated by the same people who do the news curating on the home screen for the Microsoft Edge browser. You can hide stories from any specific outlet by clicking on a menu icon in the news section or hit a “manage your interests” button to customize the feed, but by default, it’s pretty basic. Lots of sports, Fox News and celeb gossip.

Microsoft Teams integration

Do you use Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom, Facetime or Google Hangouts? You’ll be able to get to it and launch it a little faster, because it’s fully integrated into Windows 11 now. I’ve never been invited to a Microsoft Teams meeting, except by people who work for Microsoft.

It’s interesting to note that Windows users can now pop into Facetime meetings with the latest iOS “invite anyone” feature. Clearly there’s a lot of competition for video meeting mindshare (faceshare?).

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Other quality of life improvements

As I’m often referring to system tools, settings menus or other on-screen things in my writing, I take a lot of screen shots. On a Mac, that’s easy.- Shift Command 4. In Windows, well, it’s never been quite that simple. The built-in Snipping tool is, however, slightly less annoying under Windows 11. Now you can take a snip by hitting Windows Shift S, although it copies the screenshot to the clipboard, it doesn’t automatically save the image, you’ll still have to do that manually.

The Edge browser now has a safe Kids Mode that’s easy to access by clicking on your profile in the upper right corner, and can be customized for different age groups.

Auto HDR.- a feature that moved over from the Xbox Series X.- give games that don’t support high dynamic range a boost to lighting, brightness and contrast for a more HDR-like look.

I’m waiting for a revamped version of the Microsoft app store, which will allow for third-party services like game stores and web browsers. The Opera browser is available now, the Epic Games storefront is expected soon. No word on other browsers like Firefox or Chrome, or the popular Steam PC game storefront. Eventual Android app support will come, at least initially, from an Amazon-branded Android app store, rather than from Google Play.

Who should get Windows 11?

Despite my lukewarm embrace of the new Windows OS, there’s no compelling reason to skip it. That’s because, any new PC OS launches in an unfinished state, and the best improvements and most polished versions come later, from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Creators Edition.

I’ve used various preview builds of Windows 11 across multiple PCs for months, along with the final release build, and it’s been fine, almost completely trouble-free, and I’ve never once thought about rolling back to Windows 10.

That said, Microsoft’s gonna Microsoft sometimes. Some long-term Windows irritations have stuck around. When setting up the OS for the first time, there are still plenty data-sharing and ad-personalization checkboxes to uncheck, and the built-in Edge browser still buries the default search engine settings (to switch the default search engine from Bing to, say, Google) several submenus deep. Switching which apps do what by default is also more complex now; you literally have to assign each file type.-.htm.html, etc- one by one. Hopefully this will get streamlined at some point.

If you’re going to buy a new laptop or desktop at pretty much any point after today, it’ll probably come with Windows 11 preinstalled. In that case, you don’t have to make a conscious decision, just go with the flow. If you have a current-gen Windows laptop, tablet or desktop, you’ll be able to download and install Windows 11 either now or at some point in the near future. It’s being rolled out slowly, probably to avoid a huge rush of same-day downloading.

As a general rule of thumb, I always suggest that you don’t jump up and be the first person on the block to download a new OS update, whether it’s for your laptop, phone or tablet. Issues will inevitably pop up, if only because of the tremendous breadth of hardware configurations and accessories, from printers to mice to VR headsets, that need to work right.

That said, testing for Windows 11 has been extensive, and the main issues so far have been with how icons are displayed, some menu weirdness and occasional File Explorer problems.

My final word on the subject, for now: If you want to try and download/install Windows 11 on day one, go for it. If you want to wait a few weeks (or a few months), that’s fine, too.

Introducing a big update to Windows 11 making the everyday easier including bringing the new AI-powered Bing to the taskbar

It’s an exciting time in technology, not just for our industry but for the world. The Windows PC has never been more relevant in our daily lives, and this is increasingly the case as we approach the next wave of computing led by the mass adoption of AI. Today’s major update to Windows 11, that I am pumped to introduce, meets this new age of AI and reinvents and improves the way people get things done on their PCs.

Launched just over a year ago, Windows 11 gave the PC a modern refresh and all new experiences that enable each of us to connect, participate, and be seen and heard. Since the launch, Windows 11 users continue to be more engaged than Windows 10 users and our US consumer customer satisfaction is higher than any version of Windows ever.

In the last three weeks, we also launched the new AI-powered Bing into preview for more than 1 million people in 169 countries, and expanded the new Bing to the Bing and Edge mobile apps as well as introduced it into Skype. It is a new era in Search, Chat and Creation and with the new Bing and Edge you now have your own copilot for the web.

Today, we take the next major step forward adding to the incredible breadth and ease of use of the Windows PC by implementing a typable Windows search box and the amazing capability of the new AI-powered Bing directly into the taskbar. Putting all your search needs for Windows in one easy to find location.

The search box is one of the most widely used features on Windows, with over half a billion users every month, and now with the typable Windows search box and the new AI-powered Bing front and center to this experience you will be empowered to find the answers you’re looking for, faster than ever before.

We’ve been inspired by people’s stories of how they are using the new Bing. For example, a first-generation grad student from a developing country shared how the new Bing gives him access to information and resources that were previously inaccessible and difficult to find. Stories like these energize and inspire us. With the new Bing in the Windows taskbar, you will be more empowered to harness the world’s information.

For me personally, this technology is having incredible impact on how my kids, and I communicate with my dad, their grandfather, in Greek. It’s important for us to stay connected to where we’re from, including speaking the language, and with the new Bing chat experience we can learn and practice writing and speaking in Greek with my dad. It’s inspiring and changing the way we communicate and connect in ways we never imagined.

Soon hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users can get access to this incredible new technology to search, chat, answer questions and generate content from right on their Windows taskbar.

If you’re in the Bing preview, all you’ll need to do is install today’s Windows 11 update to access the new search box. To join the new Bing preview sign up on the waitlist.

We can’t wait to see how the new Bing in Windows inspires you.

Additional new Windows 11 features in the update, designed to make your everyday easier

We’re also excited to introduce a host of new features from across the team that will make your everyday easier on Windows 11. For example, you will be able to link your iPhone mobile device directly to your Windows 11 PC using a new preview of Phone Link for iOS. Additionally, you’ll notice improved touch experiences, full screen widgets, and quick access to the Windows 365 app. Windows 11 also includes new AI features in Start, as well as ongoing updates to make the operating system more accessible and sustainable and delivering on our continued commitment to quality and ease of use across the system and applications. We look forward to hearing your feedback on these new updates.

Introducing Phone Link for iOS in preview

Today, we share the next step on our journey to remove barriers for those of you who have iPhones with the introduction of Phone Link for iOS. With Phone Link for iOS you’ll never have to worry about missing that important call or text while you are concentrating on your Windows 11 PC.

This builds on our continued efforts to bring you closer to what’s more important, like easier access to the photos on your iPhone with iCloud integration in the Photos app. Launching first as a preview to Windows Insiders, you can learn more about getting started with the preview of Phone Link for iOS by visiting the Windows Insider Blog.

Android phone users get an even richer experience

Phone Link capabilities have been available to Android users for quite some time and we’re happy to share that we’re making the connection even stronger between an Android device and a Windows PC. With hundreds of thousands of reviews in the Microsoft Store, we are energized to hear that people are enjoying having instant access to everything they love on their phone on their Windows PC.

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For those of you with a Samsung phone, we’ve made it easier to activate your phone’s personal hotspot with a single click from within the Wi-Fi network list on your PC. And with the Recent Websites feature, Samsung users can also now easily transfer their browser sessions from their smartphone to their Windows PC, allowing them to continue browsing effortlessly—a great way to stay in your flow.

Broadcast your best self, right when you need to with advanced AI

Whether you are taking a conference call in a busy lobby, giving the pitch of your life to an investor halfway around the world, or meeting your newest family member, we all can relate to wanting to look and sound our best so we can connect in the most meaningful way possible.

Last year we launched Windows Studio Effects 1. Enabled by advanced AI, this collection of audio and video effects enables you to customize your audio and video for any situation you are in.

Effects like eye contact, background blur, automatic framing and voice FOCUS, available to use with your built-in camera and mic, enhance your video calling experience. With this update, we are making it even easier to find and adjust your Windows Studio Effects settings directly from the taskbar in quick settings. Now you can instantly adjust background blur, eye contact and automatic framing, and apply them to your favorite communications applications, with seamless integration into Microsoft Teams. Our partners are continuing to deliver exciting new devices that light up these features, like the previously announced Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 2 360 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X13s. Check out other new device announcements that our partners including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and our gaming partners made at CES.

Connect in more ways with a simple click

When we launched Windows 11, we included integration with Microsoft Teams through the Chat feature available from your desktop on the taskbar, making it easier for you to make the connections you seek. With this update, the Chat signature experience has been fully revamped to make it easier to preview your video and jump straight into a call or share a call link through any app with those you care about most. You can also get faster, easier access to all of your conversations, with the ability to navigate between conversations in Chat—all in one window.

Providing help is easier than ever with the redesigned Quick Assist app

Are you on the receiving end of the technical assistance call—from your brother whose computer “just stopped working,” your neighbor who can’t login to an important app, or your parent who just can’t find that thing they saved yesterday? For those of you who provide technical assistance to family and friends, we know how challenging it can be to help.

You can open Quick Assist right from the Start menu and get connected more quickly than before, and even take advantage of the new capability to switch between screen sharing and full control during a session to give or get help the way you want. And you’ll love this, there’s a new laser pointer you can use to highlight an icon, menu, or anything else on screen so that you can help guide people through the learning process.

of the news and information you care about is just a swipe away

Sometimes you just want to quickly see the latest headlines, get the score of the big game, check your stocks, the weather, or even your schedule—but you don’t want to have to juggle multiple devices. With Widgets, you don’t have to; news and information you want is within reach and without disruption.

We are excited to introduce the expansion of Widgets to include Phone Link, Xbox Game Pass, and partners like Meta and Spotify, so it has never been easier to stay up to date on the things that matter. By simply clicking the weather icon in your taskbar or swiping from the left, Widgets delivers important information at a glance. With the launch of new Widgets, we are creating a better experience for you, and new ways for developers to reach Windows customers. Get more information on developer tools to get started.

Enhancing your touch experience

Sometimes we need a break from our desks and want to use our PCs in a more casual setting like sitting back and relaxing on the couch to watch a movie. In times like those, when your keyboard and mouse get left behind, you want to maximize your screen experience and make it more responsive to your touch.

Windows customers love the easy way they can quickly and intuitively navigate their Windows touchscreen devices without a mouse and keyboard. Recent enhancements like touch controls for Snap to get your Windows perfectly arranged with just a touch, and new touch gestures that allow you to easily open and close Start, Widgets and quick settings, have made getting things done on touch devices effortless. Now, you can maximize screen real estate and flexibility when using your device without a keyboard with the collapsed taskbar. When you detach your screen, the taskbar instantly slides away. Need to open another app or check your Widgets pane? Simply swipe up to expand it for easy navigation.

Screen recording in Snipping Tool

A picture might paint a thousand words, but a video can tell a story. For all the teachers, creators, students, marketers…you get the picture video. Easily capture what you are doing with a new built-in screen recorder in Snipping Tool.

We’re continuing to expand the capabilities of this fan-favorite app, so now you can easily capture, save and share your Snipping Tool creations – all right in the app. To use the screen recorder functionality, you can search and launch Snipping Tool through Search on the taskbar and select record. Your screen captures are now automatically saved to a default folder, so you won’t have to worry about losing them. Want to snip something quickly? Here’s a keyboard shortcut: Windows key Shift key S.

Tabs make navigating Notepad easier than ever

For developers out there who love a quick way to capture lines of code for easy reuse, Windows 11’s Notepad app is here for you.

We are enhancing Notepad, bringing tabs to the app experience. Notepad tabs will provide a quick and easy way to keep your data organized and enable you to switch between notes so you can create ready-to-compile code without formatting issues. Simply open the Notepad app and click the icon to create a new tab.

New accessibility features include Braille display support and enhanced voice access in key apps

We believe the world is a better place when everyone can participate, so we are continuing to make Windows 11 the most accessible version of Windows yet. We’re pleased to deliver enhancements to Narrator that extend support for more Braille displays, which includes three new Designed for Surface displays from HumanWare. Now switching between Narrator and other screen readers while using your Braille display is a seamless experience. This crucial functionality means Narrator can effortlessly interact with accessible accessories, ensuring people who are blind are able to use Windows with ease.

We’re also bringing voice access functionality out of preview and delivering a more flexible and enhanced solution when using voice on Windows 11. You can use voice access with your favorite Microsoft apps across Windows 11, from working on a Word document to managing files in File Explorer. Whether you’re connecting, collaborating or creating, you can easily use your Windows device to do more, with or without a keyboard and mouse. Here’s a full list of voice commands.

New energy recommendations make it easier for you to control your environmental impact

Windows wants to empower people to more easily take action to reduce their carbon footprint on our journey to invest in sustainable technology. With new toggles and recommendations directly in your system settings, you can more easily understand your choices and take action to adjust your settings so you can make the best choice for your personal PC usage and for the environment.

Harness the power of AI to find the files you need recommended in your Start menu

For those of you who use Windows in a business setting, we are helping you get to what you need more quickly and easily—whether that be a file you need in an instant, or your Cloud PC so you can work the way you want.

Available on Windows 11 Pro devices and higher that are Azure Active Directory (AAD) joined, we are personalizing your experience by delivering AI-powered recommended content within your Start menu. Simply click to open the Start menu and find related content to help you prepare for upcoming meetings, quickly access files you’re collaborating on, and more.

You’ll also find even more to love in File Explorer—from our fastest ever file search to recommended local and Cloud files, right where you need them.

Access your Cloud PC with the new Windows 365 app

For quick access to your Cloud PC, we have made the Windows 365 app generally available in the Microsoft Store. With the Windows 365 app, you can go from your desktop straight to your Cloud PC, which provides you with a personalized experience tailored to your settings, profile and work style. It also reduces friction for IT administrators who can enable employees with a single sign-on experience. You can download it now at https://aka.ms/Windows365app.

How to take advantage of all these new features

Windows is delighted to deliver on our promise to bring exciting new experiences to Windows 11 more frequently in our continuing commitment to innovate in ways that matter to you. With this update, we are bringing the power of the new AI-powered Bing and additional new features to make staying connected—whether it be to the people or information you care about—easier, for everyone. These new experiences will start to become available today, via Windows Update and new apps available via Microsoft Store updates 2. Users with eligible devices running Windows 11, version 22H2 who are interested in experiencing these new features now, can choose to do so by opening Windows Update settings (Settings Windows Update) and selecting Check for updates 3. We anticipate full availability of the new features delivered via Windows Update in the March 2023 monthly security update release (find more information for commercial customers).

We’re pumped about this update and believe there’s never been a better time to experience the magic of the Windows PC than right now; learn more here.

2 Click ‘Get updates’ in Microsoft Store Library – and search your favorite titles or explore our new curated collection of mobile apps and games.

3 Device reboot required to enable new features. New feature availability may vary by market.

iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.

New Windows 11 Build 22621.1776 – Moment 3 Update is Available in the Release Preview Channel

Android is a trademark of Google LLC.

Editor’s note – March 3, 2023 – Text above has been edited for additional clarity on functionality of the snipping tool shortcut.

Windows 11 Home vs. Pro: Which Is Best for You?

Windows 11 is available in two different versions: Home and Pro. What are the differences, and which is better for you?

Readers like you help support MUO. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read

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First Look at Windows 11. 22H2 Major Update

Windows 11 is now available for everyone to buy. It’s the latest major version of Windows and the first one in 6 years. And there’s a lot to love about it. Not only are we getting an all-new UI, UX, and lots of changes, but we’re also getting several new features, even if not a lot of them will make their way to the operating system on day one.

Just like Windows 10, and as has been typical of Windows for several years, Windows 11 will come in different editions—Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro. But what are the differences between both editions, and more importantly, which should you get?

Why Are There Different Windows 11 Editions?

Windows has offered different editions for a good part of its existence as an operating system. The reason for that is pretty simple. While a one-size-fits-all OS without extra editions is definitely something that’s doable (and, in fact, was done for a decent amount of time), it’s better to maintain different versions of Windows because not everyone needs every feature, and not every computer supports every feature.

Looking back at the Windows XP days, we had two main versions—Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. Most other editions pretty much just branched off of those two. Then, Windows Vista, and then Windows 7, made things a little more complicated by introducing several versions—Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Enterprise, Business, and Ultimate, with a differing feature set between all of them.

It’s safe to say that it was kind of a mess, but for a rough summary, Starter was normally destined for lower-end PCs, Home Basic and Home Premium were meant to cover home PC needs, Enterprise and Business were destined for PCs in a business environment, and Ultimate included everything from every edition.

Things were further condensed in Windows 10, as Microsoft offers either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro to consumers. Those are not the only ones, as there’s also a handful of other editions and differences, such as Windows 10 in S mode, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, Education, and Enterprise, as well as a few more. But for the most part, Home and Pro are the only two editions most users should be aware of.

Windows 10 Home is the version that ships with most average computers, while Windows 10 Pro contains a handful of additional features and ships with more expensive or business-focused systems. We’ll go into those in a little bit deeper detail later on. Windows 11 carries on with this same exact version structure—there’s Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro—and for the most part, the differences between them are very similar to the differences between both Windows versions.

What Is the Difference Between Windows 11 Home and Pro?

Microsoft compares both versions on the Microsoft website, and one glance at this webpage will tell you a lot about the differences between each version. And for the most part, Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro are more similar than you think.

Windows 11 Home comes with all the features and creature comforts you can expect from Windows 11, including Windows Hello, Secure Boot, Windows Security, parental controls, device encryption, and more.

Even features like WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) are available on the Home version of the operating system, and features like Android app support (which is coming in a future Windows 11 update) should be available for the Home version as well.

Windows 11 Pro has everything the Home version has, while also adding a few additional features, mostly serving professional environments. One of the most notable ones is BitLocker, which is a full volume encryption tool that can encrypt your drive volume using 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption and your computer’s TPM. There’s also a full suite of business management and deployment tools, including Azure integration and features like assigned access, dynamic provisioning, kiosk mode setup, Hyper-V, Windows Sandbox, full Windows Remote Desktop support, and more.

There are also a few differences that the Microsoft site doesn’t make immediately clear. For starters, while Windows 11 Home doesn’t support local accounts anymore and requires you to link your Microsoft account (Windows 10 Home did support this, but it was removed with Windows 11 Home). Windows 11 Pro, meanwhile, does support local accounts without needing to link your Microsoft account to it.

There are also a few differences regarding hardware limitations. Both feature the same minimum requirements, including 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 1 GHz dual-core CPU from AMD/Intel/Qualcomm, TPM 2.0, and a DirectX 12-compatible GPU.

However, Windows 11 Home only supports up to 64 CPU cores and 128 GB of RAM. It also doesn’t support systems with two CPUs. That’s already plenty, but if you need more than that for whatever reason, Windows 11 Pro supports dual CPU systems with 64 cores each (for a total of 128 cores) and up to 2 TB of RAM.

Which One Should I Use?

We’ve now laid down everything about both versions of Windows 11, and up until this point, a lot of you might say that Windows 11 Pro is the most logical option. After all, there’s basically no downside to using Windows 11 Pro over Home. The requirements are the same, and even though your PC might not actually be used in a business environment or has crazy specifications, you can still benefit from features like BitLocker or the ability to create local accounts. But hold the boat for a minute, because we haven’t talked pricing yet.

Currently, Windows 11 is being offered as a free upgrade from Windows 10. A Windows 10 Pro license, which will upgrade to Windows 11 on an eligible PC, will set you back 199. By comparison, a Windows 10 Home license costs 139. The Home edition is considerably cheaper than the Pro. If you decide to buy Home and end up wanting to buy Pro down the line, upgrading your operating system from Home to Pro is also an option that’s available, but it will set you back 99 on the Microsoft Store, so that’s even more expensive than buying a Pro license in the first place.

In the end, though, it’ll all come down to your specific use case and needs. For the most part, though, the vast majority of users will probably be served well by Windows 11 Home. If you do need a specific Pro feature, like BitLocker, you’ll probably want to go for Pro instead, but think about whether that’s worth the extra 60 (or the extra 99 if you go for an update down the road).

Windows 11 Home is Probably Good Enough

We just laid down several differences between Home and Pro. While Pro has everything the Home version has and more, the average user will be served just fine by Windows 11 Home. All programs work the same, and aside from BitLocker and a few business features, it’ll function identically. If you do need Pro for whatever reason, though, it has identical system requirements, local account support, and a few extra features.

Windows 11 Pro vs Pro N: Which Should You Install?

Fix Windows 11 OS errors with Fortect: This tool repairs common computer errors by replacing the problematic system files with the initial working versions. It also keeps you away from system errors, BSoDs, and repairs damages made by malware and viruses. Fix PC issues and remove viruses damage now in 3 easy steps:

The operating system is a key element of the computer, so you should choose it with care. Microsoft has always been trying to make Windows more secure, and the versions discussed here are no exception.

The latest version of the software comes with many security features that make it one of the most secure operating systems available.

Despite the mounds of criticism that have been heaped on Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 11, its adoption rate is actually increasing quickly. Even more interesting, many users are switching to other versions, notably the Pro version.

Both Pro and Pro N are the two most prominent versions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. They are both professional editions of Windows, but they have some distinct differences that make one better than the other for certain uses.

We have an in-depth comparison of Windows 11 vs Windows 10 so be sure to check that out if you are yet to make the switch.

So, let’s find out, of the two, Windows 11 Pro vs Pro N, which is better?

What is N version of Windows 11?

N version of Windows 11 is a special edition of Windows. It is designed to meet the requirements set out by the European Commission’s anti-competitive law.

The N version also includes other features in other Windows versions, but there is no such thing as Windows Media Player. However, these features can be downloaded from the internet for free after the installation of the operating system.

What’s the difference between Windows 11 Pro and Pro N?

The Pro and Pro N are both versions of Windows that can be installed on your PC. They share the same code base, but they have different features and licensing options.

Pro is the professional version of Windows 11. It’s designed for business users, and it includes more features than the standard version of Windows 11. It’s for people who need to do more than just get things done at work.

This version delivers a range of new features and enhancements that will make you more productive, help you connect with others more effectively, and make you feel safer and more secure online.

When it comes to Pro N, it is similar to Windows 11 but without media-related technologies. Media-related technologies are those that enable digital media and entertainment experiences on Windows devices.

For example, if you want to play music or watch videos on your device, you need the appropriate codecs installed.

Security

Pro offers better security with enhanced protection against cyberattacks by using the Microsoft Defender antivirus software.

This can be used to protect your devices from harmful viruses, malware, spyware, and other types of malicious programs that can affect your computer’s performance.

In addition, the Cloud management feature comes with multiple layers of protection which comes as a big plus for business owners who deal with sensitive and confidential information all the time. For Pro N, the security features are pretty much similar to those of Pro.

Performance

Pro provides improved performance by offering better multitasking capabilities along with faster boot times and shutdowns.

The OS also allows you to easily switch between apps without any issues or delays in between tasks. You can easily access virtual desktops especially if you work with multiple monitors or Windows at once.

Some PC issues are hard to tackle, especially when it comes to missing or corrupted system files and repositories of your Windows. Be sure to use a dedicated tool, such as Fortect, which will scan and replace your broken files with their fresh versions from its repository.

It’s hard not to feel impressed by Pro N. The operating system runs smoothly and consistently, with little in the way of performance issues or bugs. Booting is done quickly, and applications open almost instantly.

Gamers are the obvious winners with this feature as they get to enjoy less lagging while playing and experience a faster response time.

Productivity

The Pro version is a productivity-focused operating system that allows users to get the most out of their devices. It’s ideal for businesses and individuals who want to run multiple applications at the same time while also having access to advanced security features.

With the Pro version, you can use multiple apps simultaneously without having to close them down manually every time you want to work on something else.

You can even use multiple desktops to keep all your workspace organized so that you don’t get distracted while working on something important.

Pro N wasn’t designed with productivity in mind given the absence of some of the productivity-focused features. While they may be missing, you can certainly install productivity apps to boost your performance.

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Is Windows 10 pro N good for gaming?

Windows 10 Pro N is a great platform for gaming. It has all the advantages of Microsoft’s latest operating system, plus some extra features that can improve your PC experience and make it easier to game. And the same applies to Windows 11 Pro vs Pro N for gaming.

The main reason why you’d want to use Windows 10 Pro N is because of Game DVR, which allows you to record game highlights.

Another great thing about this version of Windows 10 is that it allows you to create virtual machines on your computer. This means that if you want to use multiple operating systems on one computer, then you can easily do so.

A controversial reason is that since most apps do not come pre-installed in the N version, the computer does not consume too much CPU because of too many programs, and hence its performance is enhanced.

This makes playing games smooth and enjoyable. On the downside, users complain about some games that are not able to run properly because they require certain features not included in this edition of Windows 10.

Windows 11 Pro vs Pro n vs Education

Microsoft features an Education OS that is tailored for use in education environments. It is designed to meet the needs of both students and teachers.

Given that the three versions all serve different purposes for select audiences, the absence or presence of some features may not be considered a hit or a miss.

That being said, the Pro version is definitely the superior version of the three because of its enhanced features. If you need more advanced features like remote desktop or encryption, then it is a no-brainer.

For the education version, a few features are stripped down from Windows 11 and a few restrictions but with an impeccable list of tools for education.

It’s essentially the same thing as the Pro version, except it includes additional security features specifically aimed at schools and universities. You can also play some games on the Education version, so it is not entirely all work and no play.

A tabular comparison below showcases some of the common features in all versions.

Windows 11 Pro Windows 11 Pro N Windows Education
Microsoft Store
Remote Desktop
Limited functionality
Cortana
Webcam

Windows versions are not the only OS we have the scoop on. You can also find our detailed comparison of Windows 11 and Linux to find out if either is a match for you.

Be sure to let us know which of the versions you find appealing in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below.

Still experiencing issues?

If the above suggestions have not solved your problem, your computer may experience more severe Windows troubles. We suggest choosing an all-in-one solution like Fortect to fix problems efficiently. After installation, just click the ViewFix button and then press Start Repair.

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Goltilar

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