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By Abhay V
Microsoft details the processor requirements for Windows 11
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 today and showed off a bunch of improvements, including new UI elements and experiences, the new store app, support for Android apps, and more. The company also posted the minimum system requirements earlier in the day, detailing the specifications that will be required for running the next-generation OS. In addition to those, the firm has also provided processor requirements for setting a baseline of hardware requirements relating to the silicon.
Firstly, for system requirements, there is an interesting bifurcation of hard floor and soft floor specs – specifically for partners, where hard floor specifications are mandatory requirements for the OS, while soft floor specifics will be treated as something that is accepted but not advised. The company is making security safeguards such as TPM 2.0 necessary for users to upgrade from Windows 10. However, it looks like devices sporting support for TPM 1.2 will also be able to receive the update, if the soft floor specifications are to be believed.
Here are the hard floor – or mandatory – requirements for the OS:
And here are the soft floor requirements:
Moving on to processor requirements, the company has provided separate lists for Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm chips. While the list usually grew with every new Windows 10 version – accommodating newer generation chips –, the number of supported CPUs for Windows 11 has shrunk. It is not clear if this is the final list of chips or if the firm will tweak the models as the release of the OS nears.
For Intel, the company has listed Core branded chips starting from the eight-generation, for both laptop and desktops, along with several other Xeon and Pentium chips. Interestingly, these leave out chips in devices such as the Surface Studio 2, which are still being sold. As for AMD, some Ryzen 2000-series CPUs and all Ryzen 3000-series chips and newer are supported, along with a list of Epyc processors for servers. Here, the obvious exclusion is the A-series of chips. Qualcomm’s list is small and includes the Snapdragon 850 SoC and newer, which were aimed at the Windows on ARM PC market. You can head to the dedicated pages to check out the complete list.
These CPU specifications likely only apply to new devices, meaning that older devices such as the Studio 2 that house a TPM 2.0 chip might not be denied the upgrade to Windows 10. It will be interesting to see if there will be any updates to the requirements.
By Abhay V
Microsoft teases a modern File Explorer for Windows 11
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft finally showed off Windows 11 today, sharing a lot of information about the upcoming OS, such as the new UI enhancements, centered taskbar icons, new Microsoft Store and support for Android apps. However, one aspect that did not make it to the presentation, at least directly, was the File Explorer. The company is modernizing most of the user-facing UI elements, so it is safe to assume that File Explorer is also one of them.
While that component of Windows 11 did not get a mention during the main event, a Windows Insider Program YouTube channel video titled “Watch how Windows 11 is being designed” provided a glimpse of what looks like a modern File Explorer. The short clip shows off an updated app with a simplified ribbon-like header, albeit without the dedicated tabs. The header contains a bunch of new icons for common actions such as cut, copy, share, delete, properties, and more, with the far end of the area containing an “options” menu that likely houses more granular settings that have been moved out of the ribbon.
It is not clear in the video whether the app is a mockup since the app window seems to be housed inside another window with a title bar. It is anybody’s guess if this hints at the possibility of multiple instances of the same app running in a window (or tabs in File Explorer). For now, it should be filed under speculation. Other enhancements include better spacing between folders and options to improve the experience on touch screens, acrylic blur, and more.
Currently, not much is known about when it will be shown off. It is possible that the app is still early in development, so it will be interesting to see if it makes it to the Windows 11 Insider Preview that will be made available to Insiders next week.
By Abhay V
Microsoft details the features being deprecated or removed in Windows 11
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 today, sharing with the world the work that is has been doing in the past year to revamp Windows with new UI elements, a new store that supports Android apps, and more. The company also detailed the minimum hardware requirements needed to run the OS, which is expected to be released this holiday. For eligible Windows 10 users, the latest OS will be a free upgrade.
While there is a lot of information about the new features, UI changes, and improvements, the company has also detailed all the features that it will be deprecating or removing from Windows 10 when users upgrade to Windows 11. While the list of deprecated features between major Windows 10 releases was usually small, there are a bunch of significant features that will no longer be worked on or completely removed from Windows 11.
Some of these features are obvious additions, such as the tiles and app folders in the Start menu. With Windows 11 moving to a new layout that consists of just app icons, the OS will not retain any folders made in the Start menu when it upgrades to Windows 11. Another feature that will be removed is the ability to sync wallpapers across devices.
The company is also making S Mode – a version of the OS that prevents the installation of non-Store apps – available only for Windows 11 Home users. Previously, S Mode was essentially a locked-down version of Windows 10 Pro, so it isn’t clear if there will be a path for those running Windows 10 in S Mode to upgrade to Windows 11.
Windows 11 will also prevent users from changing the position of the taskbar, which means that it is locked to the bottom of the screen, unlike with older versions that allowed for moving the taskbar to the top, or the sides.
Here is the complete list of deprecated features:
Additionally, there are a bunch of apps that will no longer be pre-loaded in the OS, which the company says can be installed from the Microsoft Store. This includes the OneNote for Windows 10 app, which is the UWP-based version of OneNote. Skype is also being removed in favor of Teams in Windows 11.
Here are the four apps that will be removed:
With the official launch of Windows 11 still a few months away, it is not clear if there will be any additions or changes to these lists.
Remote Desktop Connection Manager launches on official Sysinternals download site
by Chris Dupres
In a move that will make systems administrators everywhere rejoice, Microsoft has made good on a promise made in February to bring the Remote Desktop Connection Manager, or rdcman, into the actively supported Sysinternals suite of applications.
If you are not aware, rdcman is a must have for administrators dealing with a lot of different remote connections, especially if they require different sets of connections or connection properties. Google even used it for their Cloud IAP secure remote access infrastructure to get access to Windows Virtual Machines in their Google Cloud Platform until they had to release their own tool.
Rdcman, as important as it has been, has not gotten very active development over the years and has languished as a barely supported application. So when Mark Russinovich promised that it would join Sysinternals that was a big deal to the systems administration community. Today that has become reality with version 2.81 available for download with all the other critical support tools necessary to running Windows at scale.
Source: Microsoft via Daniele Francioni
Microsoft will offer Windows 11 as a free upgrade to Windows 10 users
by Anmol Mehrotra
Earlier today, Microsoft announced Windows 11 operating system. The new update will bring a visual overhaul along with performance and productivity improvements as well as native support for Android apps.
If you are excited about Windows 11 then we have great news for you. Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 11 update will be free for all Windows 10 users. The caveat, however, is making sure your device meets the minimum system requirements, though you can bypass those for now.
The company further hinted that the Windows 11 update may not be free forever. While Microsoft has not defined the time period in which a user needs to grab the new update, the company notes that it "reserves the right to eventually end support for the free offer." However, the "end date will be no sooner than one year from general availability."
Microsoft also noted that Windows 11 users can "move back to Windows 10 while keeping files and data". After the 10-day period is over, users will need take a backup and do a clean install if they want to move back to Windows 10. Lastly, Microsoft also noted that those who have devices with Windows 10 in S mode can get Windows 11 Home, provided they meet the minimum system requirements. However, if you have a device with Windows 10 Pro in S mode then you will need to move out of S mode and upgrade as there is no Windows 11 Pro in S mode.
If you are using older versions of Windows, then you will need to first move to Windows 10 in order to claim the free Windows 11 upgrade.