July 13, 2022

Windows 10 vs 11 and is it Worth Upgrading?

Not sure if you should stick with Windows 10 or upgrade your computer to the new Windows 11? We got your answers!

Chris Samways - one of our Computer Systems Analysts and Team Lead here at Skycomp did a deep dive into the differences between Windows 10 and 11 and who would benefit from upgrading to the new operating system!

The differences between Windows 10 and 11

User Interface (UI) Differences 

Off the bat, the main difference you will notice between the 2 are the taskbar. In Windows 10 the taskbar is located at the bottom of your screen and geared to the left. In Windows 11 you will see that the task bar is now located to the center on the bottom of the screen (you do have the option to change it to the left side if you prefer that!) Another cosmetic difference you'll see is that in Windows 10 all your pop up menus have stiff, sharp corners, while Windows 11 went with the "Mac" look of adding soft rounded edges to all its windows. The rounded windows are definitely more aesthetically pleasing in our opinion.

A new app that Microsoft has added to the taskbar in Windows 11 is the Chat icon. Chat is essentially Microsoft Teams, as it's basically their replacement for Skype. It's important to know that the built in chat only functions when you sign into a personal Microsoft account. This will not work if you sign into a work or school Microsoft account; you will need to download the Microsoft Teams application for that.

Start Menu

The start menu has drastically changed in Windows 11. When opening the start menu in Windows 11 you will be greeted with "pinned" apps. You can now choose which apps you want pinned to the start menu! Unlike Windows 10, you do have to take an extra step to view all your downloaded applications by clicking on "All Apps" in the top right of the start menu. There is still the option to search apps in the start menu, however Microsoft's search feature has drastically improved in Windows 11! It now prioritizes local applications files rather than searching the web like it did previously in Windows 10.

Desktop Features

One of the biggest differences on the actual desktop between 10 and 11 is that in 10, when right clicking on your screen, a drop-down menu will come up showing many options (For example: View, Display Settings, Peronalize, etc). In windows 11 you still have that function, it is just now met with an extra step by right-clicking on your desktop screen and choosing "More Options" and then that will take you to a list of subfolders. 

Security Changes

The goal of Windows 11 is to make a hackers job a lot more difficult! Microsoft has made a lot of changes to hardware and software security. The first being that Microsoft now has a TPM 2.0 chip requirement which will be on your motherboard, and you will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11 without this. It's job is to make it a lot harder for hackers to inject code and malware into your system, compromising your application and computer as a whole. Windows 10 Defender is a decent anti-virus solution but it is still lacking in some areas, and we find a lot of people will go to a third party solutions for added defense. 

The Pros and Cons of Windows 11

A major con in Windows 11 is the constant need to right click on "show more options" when looking at different settings on your taskbar, desktop, applications etc. and navigate through sub folders to find the options you are looking for. It feels like a step back as Windows 10 shows all the options available to you in one pop up. 

Another possible con is the Start Menu. Not being able to see all your apps at once can be a bit of an annoyance, but the same functionality is still here, as Windows 11 pins your apps (Optional), it just isn't given in a list form. Therefore, to view them all, you have to go into another sub folder. This one we would say comes down to personal preference.

The last con that stands out to us is there are certain software requirements needed to upgrade to Windows 11. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to participate in these upgrades. As we mentioned earlier, your computer will need a TPM 2.0 chip. There are some hardware requirements as well. You do need to have an 8th generation Intel processor or an AMD equivalent. Windows is however looking into minimizing those requirements in the future and allow some of the older processors to do the upgrade but as for right now you need the certain requirements above.

As for pros, with the User Interface having a centered taskbar, rounded edges, and softer fonts makes the overall look and feel of Windows 11 great and we think a lot of people for this reason will perfer this over Windows 10! 

The security upgrades in Windows 11 are drastic improvements from Windows 10 as well as better software and hardware. Therfore, will be a much more secure operating system, especially moving forward in the future.

To touch on the last pro for Windows 11 - the new search functionality within the system. It will appear the exact same as Windows 10, but their search algorithm is geared to locally searching for applications rather than giving you web search results like it did in Windows 10. 

Overall Consensus

After comparing both operating systems and going through their pros and cons, we do think Windows 11 is a solid operating system, ecpsecially with it only being released a short 8 months ago. It does have its quirks that need to be sorted out here and there but it does have everything Windows 10 has plus more! With that being said we would recommend it for anyone who is using their computer for home use and has the hardware capable for upgrading! As for businesses, we don't recommend upgrading just yet as Windows 11 has only been out for less than a year so there will be some compatibility issues with certain applications.

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