9 Major Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 11 Now

There’s something to be said for staying up to date. Windows 11 is the first major update of the leading desktop operating system in seven years. When you upgrade to Windows 11, you get the latest in technology and interface design. You also get capabilities and features that are only available in the newest version of the software. Even the included apps get spiffier versions! The underlying system code also makes advances that will leave you in the dust if you stick with older software.

Making a big change in operating systems, however, is not for everyone, and I’ve made my reservations about Windows 11 clear in previous articles. Do not worry, though, as you have until 2025 to stick with Windows 10 if you want. In the meantime, here are some compelling reasons you might want to make the switch sooner.


1. A More Consistent Interface

Windows 11 interface

PC users no longer need to hang their heads when friends show them their slick macOS and Chrome OS user interfaces. Windows 11 is every bit as slick, aside from the occasional old-school Control Panel dialog box. The rounded window corners, compact Taskbar, and touch-friendly (sorry, Apple) design is easy on the eyes. It just looks nicer. Let’s not forget the understated and pleasing new system sounds, too.


2. Improved Included Apps

Video Editor in Windows 11

The included apps in Windows 11 are better than those in Windows 10. An all-new Media Player app makes watching videos and listening to music and podcasts a better experience. Windows 11 users will also get Clipchamp (rolling out soon), a simple template-based PWA video editor suitable for small business making videos for marketing and advertising. The Windows 11 Clock app deserves special mention because of its useful new Focus Sessions feature that helps you concentrate on projects. The Photos app also includes surprisingly capable video editing, with some features not even found in Clipchamp. The Notepad, Paint, and Calculator apps have all been updated as well.


Snipping Tool in Windows 11

Taking screenshots in Windows 11 continues to improve, with many good options. Microsoft has updated the clunky old Snipping Tool (accessible with Windows Key-Shift-S), which competes with the similarly named and superior Snip & Sketch app. The Snipping Tool lets you select rectangular or freehand areas, program windows, or the whole desktop. It then opens a mini-editor for cropping and markup. The screenshot tool also has a delay timer and built-in options for saving and sharing. You can still use the tried-and-true PrtSc key to save a screen image file to the clipboard or to OneDrive.


4. Snap Layouts for an Organized Desktop

Snap Layouts in Windows 11

In Windows, you have always been able to arrange windows on the desktop just the way you want them. Just when I thought it was not possible to improve the already great capabilities in Windows 10 — which lets you snap a window to the side to fill exactly half the screen or to a corner for an exact quarter of screen real estate — Microsoft comes up with another window layout trick called Snap Layouts. When you hover the cursor over the maximize icon at the top right of any window, you get multiple layout choices in a thumbnail view. You can even save a layout for a group of apps you want to reuse later in a single taskbar icon.


Windows 11 Widgets

Windows 10 has a nifty News and Interests panel that pops up on hover over its Taskbar icon, but Windows 11’s Widgets are more customizable. And coming soon, Windows 11 will support third-party information widgets. Many of the first-party widgets are extremely useful: News, Weather, Sports, Traffic, Family safety, Stock prices, Outlook calendar, To Do, and OneDrive photos. Your news feed is customizable by topics and sources. Microsoft has also previewed a new feature for the Widget panel that lets you view it in full-screen mode.


Twice as Resistant to Malware

Security Settings in Windows 11

According to PCMag’s lead security analyst, Neil J. Rubenking, Windows 11 is ultra-secure. Much of that is thanks to its requirement of a secure processor called a Trusted Platform Module. (Despite the increased security, this new requirement nevertheless raised the hackles of many a Windows commentator, since it meant some older PCs would not be able to run the new OS.) Rubenking notes that, according to Microsoft, “secured-core PCs are twice as resistant to malware infection. ”


7. Improved Multiple Desktops and Monitor Docking

Multiple Desktops in Windows 11

New docking behaviors in Windows 11 make using a large external monitor a more efficient experience. The OS now remembers window locations on the connected monitor and minimizes them when you disconnect, rather than littering the smaller screen with app windows. New for multiple Desktops is the ability to use different wallpapers on each one and a redesigned desktop switching interface.

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8. Run Android Apps on Your PC

Android Apps on Windows 11

Being able to run Android Apps directly on your Windows 11 PC was a hot topic with the launch of Windows 11. Still, the capability has some limitations. You can only install apps via the Amazon AppStore or by sideloading them, not via the largest source of Android apps, Google Play. PCMag’s Jason Cohen has put together a tutorial on how to run Android apps in Windows 11. You need an Amazon Account, and the supported apps are limited. Far more useful to me is Phone Link, which lets you see and run any apps on a nearby Android phone.


9. Gaming Performance and HDR Improvements

Xbox App on Windows 11

Windows 11 gets two improvements when it comes to using high dynamic range (HDR) color on your compatible display. You can toggle it on or off via the Windows Game Bar, and a new Auto HDR feature will save you even that trouble. Another gaming improvement comes by way of the new DirectStorage feature, which lets games load directly into video memory, bypassing the CPU for much faster game loading times.


Do More With Windows 11

To get the most out of the new operating system, read our Best Tips and Tricks for Using Windows 11. In addition, keep up with all the latest news and coverage on our Windows 11 home page.

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