Windows 11 has been making waves since its introduction by Microsoft in 2021, and you’re probably eager to weigh the pros and cons of upgrading your current system or buying a new computer with pre-installed Windows 11 on it.
As you dive into the world of Microsoft’s latest workstation OS, it’s essential to consider both the exciting new features and the potential drawbacks that come with this update.
You’ll surely appreciate the innovative design changes, like the visually appealing centered Taskbar and the new Snap layouts which aim to enhance your multitasking, the enhanced security controls etc.
However, it’s worth noting that the system requirements for Windows 11 are a bit more demanding, leaving some older PCs unable to make the switch.
Understanding these key aspects will help you make an informed decision about whether or not Windows 11 is right for your needs.
Let’s discuss in more details the pros and cons of Windows 11 below:
Advantages of Windows 11
1) No end-of-support compared to Windows 10
Most people are well aware of how many cyber threats are out in the world. But what people are typically less aware of is how important operating system updates are to their system’s security.
It’s true that specialized programs like EDR (EndPoint Detection and Response) or anti-virus systems can help to protect against specific cyber threats. But they’re a bit akin to adding locks to the doors and windows of a house.
Locks will work great if your house is secured in every other way. But they’re not going to do much if you have a gaping hole in your wall.
And, likewise, security programs aren’t very effective if your operating system is out of support from the vendor. In this case, that means potential issues with the operating system’s security updates.
Hackers are constantly finding new ways to break into the various operating systems, while tech companies are moving equally quickly to patch those vulnerabilities.
Sometimes companies supply a patch in response to hackers’ attacks. Other times the company will discover security issues before the bad guys.
But whatever the motivation, these updates and patches are a fundamental resource for anyone who wants to keep their computer secure. However, companies can’t be expected to release patches forever.
Microsoft is ending support for Windows 10 in 2025. This means that Windows 10 will no longer have any more updates once that deadline arrives.
But Windows 11 is Microsoft’s newest operating system. As such there’s no announced end-point for support and patches.
When you’re using Windows 11 you can be certain that your computer will remain patched against any new threats. And, likewise, you can receive support from Microsoft for any problem that might arise on your system.
2) Better Security Features Compared to Windows 10
Access to patches isn’t the only reason why Windows 11 is more secure than Windows 10.
Microsoft took its security policy to the next level for Windows 11. The security model of Windows 11 was augmented by a massive data set of security threats detected in the past years. This included 30 billion email threats and authentication issues.
Microsoft has also improved the Windows 11 security model with its Trusted Platform Module and UEFI Secure Boot hardware requirements.
By doing so Microsoft has been able to leverage the underlying hardware to protect computers before Windows 11 even boots up.
3) Can Run Android Apps
Apple created a remarkable level of cross-platform support between iOS and OSX. But Microsoft has its own twist on the idea of pairing mobile and desktop-based operating systems together.
Windows 11 doesn’t just communicate with your phone – it can run your phone’s Android apps.
Windows 11 has a special subsystem that essentially runs the same form of Android that’s found on your phone or tablet. And that means you can run mobile apps written for Android right on your Windows 11 computer.
This provides a number of benefits. From letting you easily sync data between your computer and phone to playing mobile games on your desktop’s larger screen. And this feature is available even if you don’t have an Android phone or tablet.
4) Several Gaming Improvements
Support for Android games is only the tip of the iceberg for gaming on Windows 11. The platform brings with it a number of major gaming advancements over Windows 10.
One of the most important of these involves Windows 11’s communication with your computer’s underlying hardware.
The new DirectStorage system lets some SSD disks that are based on NVMe with PCIe 3.0 and above, transfer data directly to the graphics card. This process essentially removes hardware middlemen such as the CPU which would otherwise slow the process down.
And if your monitor supports HDR then Windows 11 will automatically boost the colors in games run with DirectX 11.
Gaming is so well integrated into the Windows 11 experience that the operating system even has a special gaming tab to optimize your system for gaming.
5) AI Powered Bing Chat Bot
Microsoft’s taskbar search box was one of the most popular features in Windows 10. But the company has pushed its capabilities even further in Windows 11 with the introduction of advanced artificial intelligence.
The Windows 11 search box is now integrated with Microsoft’s Bing chat. This means that you can access one of the world’s most powerful artificial intelligence systems right from the Windows 11 taskbar.
The GPT4-powered Bing Chat bot makes searching for answers to your questions as easy as talking with a friendly electronic assistant.
Disadvantages of Windows 11
1) Requires Recent Hardware Specs
You’ve seen a lot of impressive features so far. But, unfortunately, adding all of those features means that your computer has a lot more to deal with.
This also means that the hardware requirements needed to actually run Windows 11 are considerably higher than what you needed to run Windows 10.
The minimum specs for Windows 11 have essentially doubled when compared to Windows 10. For example, to run the 64-bit version of Windows 10 you only need 2GB RAM and 32 GB on your hard drive.
But the minimum for the 64-bit build of Windows 11 is 4GB RAM and 64 GB hard drive space.
Doubling the required minimal specs can sound like a daunting prospect at first. But it’s important to keep in mind that those specs are still relatively low when compared to what you probably already have in your machine.
And if you don’t have enough RAM or hard drive space then you can usually upgrade without needing to replace the rest of your computer.
Even someone without much technical expertise can usually replace the RAM in a desktop system. But things get more tricky with the final change in requirements – the CPU.
Windows 10 didn’t really have a firm CPU requirement other than a basic x86/64 architecture. A slow CPU would struggle with basic tasks on Windows 10, but it’d still run.
Even the older, lower-powered, Intel Atom processors are compatible with Windows 10.
But to run Windows 11 you’ll need a processor that’s at least 8th generation (for Intel CPU) and Ryzen AMD models numbered 29xx, 31xx, 53xx or newer.
That generally means a processor released after 2017. 2017 might seem like a long time ago. But keep in mind that it takes a while for companies selling pre-configured hardware to catch up to the latest cutting-edge processors.
So machines were built using 7th-generation CPUs far later than 2017. The CPU requirements are even more of an issue since CPUs are far more difficult to upgrade than RAM or your hard drive.
Another hardware requirement for Win11 is UEFI firmware which is Secure Boot capable and also TPM 2.0 module to support the security features mentioned before.
2) Windows 11 “right click menu” not as good as Windows 10
Most people who’ve grown up with Windows are as used to right-clicking as they are to writing with a pen or pencil.
It’s so intuitive that people tend to do it almost unconsciously. And that’s why a lot of Windows 11 users are far from happy about how the new operating system handles right-clicking.
Microsoft has essentially tried to fix a problem that doesn’t exist by attempting to make an already intuitive system even easier to use.
The menu now incorporates graphical elements so that new users can better understand what all of the options do. However, it’s unclear whether there was any confusion that needed to be cleared up in the first place.
And the new menu system often adds additional lag between right-clicking and seeing the menu appear.
Microsoft has stated that they’re aware of the problem with the Windows 11 right-click menu and are working to rectify it. And it’s true that the menu has become significantly less laggy since Windows 11 first launched.
However, even with those improvements, many people feel that right-clicking is still subpar when compared to any other version of Windows.
3) Task Menu and Taskbar not Liked by Many People
Many people feel that the Windows 11 taskbar and menu are essentially just change for the sake of change.
As with right-clicking, most use the Windows menu as a reflex action. They don’t consciously think about moving their mouse over to the Windows icon and bringing up the menu.
They’ll instead just think about launching something from the menu and instinctively bring it up.
Working with the taskbar and menu is more muscle memory than thought-out action. And that’s why changing the location and behavior of the menu came as an unwelcome surprise.
The good news is that Windows 11 also offers a high level of customization. So you can, for example, choose to change the taskbar positioning. And 3rd party programs can also force the start menu into a style mimicking what’s found with other versions of Windows.
But at the same time, needing to resort to that level of tinkering just to turn an element of a newly purchased operating system into something mimicking the old has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.