Windows 11, new features and backward compatibility with older hardware

A few days ago Windows 11 was officially presented and with it some controversy was unleashed regarding its compatibility problems with relatively old hardware.

The new Windows 11 offers us very useful and necessary improvements, since Windows 10 dragged errors in the basis of its design that required a radical change. On the one hand it was necessary to redo the system for improved compatibility with touch devices, now we have a better interface for it and has also unified the design without dragged sections of Windows 7. On the other hand we have improvements oriented to games and police impositions of security as TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot.

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Changes in the design

Windows 11 offers us a quite important design change, now all its windows are rounded, they offer us better tactile feedback and the design with simpler elements is now less cluttered and with simpler icons. The start menu also changes completely and eliminates the “Tiles” the dynamic squares that are dragged from Windows 8, this menu can be configured with the shortcuts of the most common apps.

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The most important points in the new design can be summarized as follows:

  • The bottom bar cannot be changed from the bottom position.
  • The icons in the bottom bar can be centered or moved to the left.
  • The search is automatically activated if you type on the desktop.
  • Virtual desktops can be differentiated.
  • Connecting multiple screens distributes windows dynamically.
  • The new Snap system allows us to easily sort the geometry of open windows.
  • Configurable Widgets are added, Teams is integrated.
  • New Windows Store that allows other stores and install apps with their unencrypted files (exe, ini, mods…).

Android Integration

Another of the surprising points of this new Windows 11 is the incorporation of the Android system to run Android apps directly. Thanks to the collaboration with Intel and its experience with the abandoned Android x86 we will now be able to run APK without problems and also by default in the Microsoft store we will have the Amazon app store.

  • High level Android compatibility thanks to Intel.
  • We can install apps using APKs directly.

Improved Gaming

With Windows 11 we will also see new technologies oriented to games that come imported from the new generation Microsoft Series X/S consoles. Thanks to the integration of the latest version of DirectX 12 Ultimate we have a side we have the Auto HDR system that integrates this brightness enhancement to titles without HDR settings available in its output, also integrates the DirectStorage system to communicate directly the GPU with our NVMe 3.0 or + storage via PCIe connector.

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Check compatibility

With Windows 11 from Microsoft want to improve security by imposing certain measures by default. We have two key points in this version, it is necessary to support TPM 2.0, a hardware that has existed for years, but is not implemented in many devices such as Chinese mini PCs or laptops of all kinds. We will also need to have Secure Boot enabled in the BIOS.

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Once we have checked if our hardware meets the requirements, we must take several points into consideration in order not to be alarmed if we do not meet some requirements.

  • These points are not strictly mandatory, they are the recommended requirements and possibly more lax in the final version.
  • CPU: We have an official list with the supported CPUs, but we can install it in any CPU, simply the recommended ones are those that Microsoft considers that will give us an optimal experience with Windows 11.
  • GPU: We can also use an old dedicated GPU or an integrated GPU that supports DX12 for the best experience.
  • Disk: This point is critical in terms of space in the main partition C: since it requires 100 GB minimum. The rest of partition type and partition system can be easily solved.
  • Secure boot: This feature is intended for OEM equipment manufacturers to enable it by default, it is not mandatory for users who have the system without this option.
  • TPM 2.0: It is a chip dedicated to encrypt and store keys that Microsoft requires OEM manufacturers to improve security, in countries like Russia or China this requirement is inapplicable for example. Microsoft will surely have ISO available without this requirement in the final version or it will simply remain as a security warning.

Enabling TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot

We can activate these systems without problems if our hardware has these options in the BIOS. Normally it does not have to imply any compatibility problem if we have a device with multiple systems or similar.

  • We enter the system BIOS by pressing ESC, F1, F2 or DEL, see manual of our computer.
  • TPM with Intel = Advanced Modes > PCH-FW / Security > Enable TPM 2.0 / TPM Firmware
  • TPM with AMD = Advanced Modes > Security > Trusted Computer > Security device [activate] > AMD fTPM
  • Secure boot = Advanced Modes > Security / Boot > Secure boot [enable]

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As we have seen, the security impositions that Microsoft wants to integrate with Windows 11 are mainly focused on OEM manufacturers of equipment with Windows already pre-installed for the western market. The system of checking these requirements of Windows 11 is so basic that we can skip it with some basics steps.

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yadu rao

I’ve been using Linux and Windows 10 for audio processing for many years now, but DSP and loudspeaker crossover for the last few years. The Windows Subsystem for Windows 10 has always been interesting, but the deal breaker was always this. That there was no (native) access to the audio equipment on the computer. Apparently Windows 11 is changing this. And coming up with a great look of windows which is very interesting.

Mr Bernard Harris

What about software compatibility with older applications?