If you have a Windows 10 license, Windows 11 is a free update for you. At least as far as the financial one is concerned. Looking at it soberly, Windows 10 users pay anyway: They have to forego a number of functions that they know from their previous operating system, but that Windows 11 will no longer offer.
The losses are more extensive than you are used to from the main versions within Windows 10.
Microsoft has noticeably further developed the design of Windows 11 compared to Windows 10. One focus here is the combination of the taskbar and start menu, which Microsoft has given a much tidier appearance.
In return, however, some functions have to give way. An example of this is the Start menu, which only contains app icons in Windows 11. For this, pinned apps and websites have to give way. They share this fate with folders that you created in the start menu in the past and with the live tiles that pepped up the start menu since Windows 8. They are replaced by the new widgets, more on that in a moment.The start menu moves to the middle in Windows 11.
The new, clear design style is also leading to changes in the system tray. Here the contacts and some symbols in the system tray disappear. Applications can no longer make their own additions to the taskbar. At the same time, the bar in Windows 11 is fixed at the bottom of the display. In earlier Windows versions it could alternatively be placed on the other edges of the screen.
All changes at a glance
When Windows 10 appeared, the Cortana digital assistant was still one of the highlight features. Over the years, Microsoft has taken it back further and with Windows 11, the function is no longer even one of the functions that Microsoft activates by default. Cortana is neither configured during installation nor pinned to the taskbar.
Up until now, anyone who uses multiple Windows PCs has been able to synchronize their desktop background images using a Microsoft account. This function is a thing of the past with Windows 11. With the timeline, a second function that has made working on multiple Windows PCs easier in the past will disappear in the next operating system.
Microsoft is sending the completely outdated browser Internet Explorer 11 to retire for good. This step is more than overdue. With Edge and the current Edge based on Chromium, a successor and a successor have already appeared. The latter is then the standard browser in Windows 11. It also contains an “Internet Explorer mode”, which could be particularly useful in companies.
Microsoft has removed the status information from the lock screen. Under Windows 10, selected apps could display current information here, for example the number of new e-mails in the inbox, appointments and the weather. The new widgets in Windows 11 partially replace this overview. In order to see them you have to be logged in in the future.
With the S mode, the installation of applications can be severely restricted under Windows 10. If it is active, Windows 10 gets its apps exclusively from the Microsoft Store. From a technical point of view, the S mode is a limited version of Windows 10 Professional.
In Windows 11, however, the S mode is only available in the home version. It is therefore still unclear whether there will be an upgrade path to Windows 11 for users of Windows 10 in S mode. The problem should only affect a small number of users, but it is still annoying for you.
If you use a Windows tablet or convertible, you can use the tablet mode under Windows 10. There it can be activated via the notification center and then ensures, for example, that applications start automatically in full screen. Tablet mode is no longer available in Windows 11 in favor of new functions that take effect when a keyboard is docked and removed.