Is Windows 11 the last version of Windows?.
The public release date for Microsoft Windows 11 is October 5, 2021. This latest version is known as “21H2”, but there have been several minor updates to Microsoft’s latest operating system, with major updates planned for the future.
If you want to update your current operating system to the latest version, the latest version of Windows 11 is the way to go.
Understanding Windows 11 Version Numbers
Microsoft releases two types of updates:
Feature updates are large annual releases that bring important new features and additions to Windows. Quality updates are incremental updates that include bug fixes and security updates.
Updates marked as “cumulative” contain all the updates that came before them. This way you don’t have to install every previous version first.
Major feature version numbers consist of two parts: the first part represents the year of release, and the second part describes which half of that year the release was released. For example, version 20H2 was supposed to be released in the second half of 2020.
Quality updates are marked with the whole year and month. Therefore, the 2022-01 quality update should have been released in January 2022. Several quality updates can be released in the same month. Each update has a unique Knowledge Base (KB) number. For example, Windows 11 release 2022-01 is known as KB5010690.
The built-in Microsoft Defender Antivirus suite receives separate updates known as Security Intelligence updates. Similarly, the Microsoft Edge web browser and Microsoft Office have separate update paths.
The Latest Version of Windows Is Windows 11, Version 21H2
At the time of writing, the latest current version of Windows 11 is 21H2. Latest cumulative quality update: 2022-05 KB 5013943.
New user interface (UI)
Windows 11 has a completely redesigned user interface. This new version of the Windows interface reimagines the Start menu customization that was used in previous versions of Windows such as Windows 7 and 10. The Metro tile system that existed in Windows 8 and 8.1 is completely gone, even the remnants that existed in Windows 10. The taskbar is now centered like in Apple macOS and iOS for iPad. However, if desired, it can be aligned to the left. The search bar is now also at the very top of the menu.
Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant is noticeably absent from Windows 11 as the company is phasing out rival Siri. Although Siri has become popular on iPhone and iPad, Windows users are not very interested in voice assistant features.
The new Notification Center neatly integrates notifications and controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other common features. Microsoft is also phasing out the Control Panel in favor of a more streamlined Settings app.
Windows Subsystem for Android
Windows 11 offers the ability to install and run Android apps from the Amazon Store on Windows without using a smartphone. This isn’t technically a working feature in Windows 11 General Availability yet, but it’s available as a beta feature. We’ve tested this early implementation, and while it more or less works, it’s not perfect yet.
Windows Subsystem for Linux
Like the Android solution above, this feature allows you to run Linux software on Windows 11. Unlike the Android feature, this is already part of the mainstream release; you will need to activate and install this component in Windows Components.
New Windows System Security Standards
Windows 11 throws out a lot of legacy code that can introduce security vulnerabilities. In addition, working with Windows 11 requires a higher level of hardware security. In particular, it requires a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) or you won’t be able to install it.
This TPM requirement breaks compatibility with older CPUs and can only be installed on 8th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.
Improved Gaming Performance and Xbox Integration
Microsoft has fully integrated the Xbox app and Xbox Game Pass service into Windows 11. In addition, Windows 11 promises better support for video games. It’s the best Windows OS to run with 12th Gen Intel processors and the best support for technologies like GPU-based storage acceleration.
Windows 11 Comes in Different Editions
Windows 11 comes in several editions:
Home.Pro.Education.Enterprise.Pro Education.Pro for Workstations. Mixed RealityWindows Server
Most Windows users are only interested in the Home and Pro versions. It’s important to understand that you can only upgrade or upgrade your version of Windows to a different version of the same edition. So, for example, Windows 10 Enterprise users can only upgrade to Windows 11 Enterprise. To change the version of Windows you have, you must purchase a Windows license for that version.
Understanding Release Channels
When we talk about the latest version of Windows 11, we’re clearly referring to the major release “channel”. This is an update channel that receives updates that have been thoroughly tested and approved for every Windows user.
The Windows Insider Channel offers all users access to future versions of Windows and the features that will be included in those versions. Insiders can provide information and feedback on these new features to help Microsoft improve them before release. We do not recommend using the Insider Channel on your mission-critical primary computer, as there is always the potential for instability and data loss.
The Dev channel offers Windows 11 updates without being linked to any future Windows updates. This channel is for advanced Windows software development users.
Once you switch to one of these channels, you will no longer be on the same path as the main build of Windows, so the version numbers discussed here do not apply.
How to Check What Version of Windows You Have
Checking the version of Windows is very simple. Just click the Start button > Settings > System > About.
Then check under “Windows Specifications” next to “version”. In the example here, you can see that this is version 21H2. Many users and publications expected the first major Windows 11 update to happen in the first half of 2022, but at the time of writing, the 22H1 version is nowhere to be seen. Instead, the next expected version will be 22H2 codenamed Sun Valley.
How to Update to the Latest Version of Windows
Whether you’re using Windows 10 or you’re already a Windows 11 user, all you have to do to initiate an update is go to the Start menu > Settings app > Windows Update.
You’ll either see pending updates or what you’re up to date with. Choose whether to install updates immediately or manually check for updates by selecting Check for updates. Windows will do the rest.
If you are a Windows 10 user and want to upgrade to Windows 11 and the update is not showing up for you, go to the Windows 11 download page and choose the best installation method. We suggest trying the Windows 11 Setup Assistant first, but if you want to upgrade another PC, you can use the media creation tool or burn the downloaded ISO file to a disc. If you have a Windows 10 license key, you can use it to activate Windows 11.
Where Can You Buy Windows 11?
As mentioned above, if you are a Windows 10 user, you can get a free upgrade to Windows 11 if your PC meets the minimum requirements. However, if, for example, you assembled a computer from components and you need a Windows 11 license for it, you will have to pay for the license.
You can buy Windows 11 directly from the Microsoft Store, where you’ll receive a digital entitlement associated with your Microsoft account. You can also buy Windows 11 from third-party sellers, either as a physical copy that includes discs or a preloaded flash drive, or simply as a license key. In the previous section, anyone can download and install Windows 11 without a key. You can later activate your copy by linking your Microsoft account or by entering a purchased key.
It is possible to obtain keys at a significant discount from third party vendors who resell volume keys, but be aware that this can be risky and may violate license terms.
Should You Get The Latest Version of Windows?
At the time of writing, Microsoft has announced that it considers Windows 11 ready for general use almost a year after its release. This means that anyone looking for a stable performance good enough for business or mission-critical computers can now consider upgrading.
Is Windows 11 the last version of Windows?
Is Windows 11 the last version of Windows?