Six years after launching Windows 10 and adding scores of features to it later, Microsoft has now come up with its next avatar – Windows 11. It is a free upgrade on the earlier version, provided you are using a licensed copy of Windows 10. But is it worth trying? Or should PC users with few choices other than Microsoft’s operating systems stay put for some time?

We try to list out some of the striking features, which set the new OS apart from its older version.

At first, Windows 11 comes across as a fresh experience, with its redesigned user interface elements, new features and functions. But after days of use, you find it is a classic Windows with some modern-day features added on top for novelty.

Starting with the user interface, the Windows 11 looks different, but you feel at home with it. That is because the Windows’ fundamentals remain largely the same, albeit with some visual changes, including curved corners on open windows instead of pointed ones, a thick taskbar with centre-aligned start-button and apps pinned by default, and new system icons.

Lifting the experience, however, are the smooth transition effects even on displays of modest 60Hz refresh rate, improved snap layouts for desktop apps, optimised light and dark colour themes, and colour accents to highlight important UI elements.

I liked the Windows 11 design, but what I liked even more were the performance gains. Windows 11 boots up and shuts down significantly faster than Windows 10.

Likewise, some of the applications, especially the legacy ones, load quickly. The commonly used legacy apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite seem to be better optimised for this version of Windows.

Importantly, I was surprised to see improvements in power-efficiency with the new OS. I got a couple of extra hours of on-battery time doing similar things when compared with what I got on the same machine with Windows 10 installed.

Windows 11 is good, but I am sticking with Windows 10 for my work laptop for the foreseeable future.

That is because not all Windows 10 features and functions are available on Windows 11. For example, the taskbar. It is docked and locked on the bottom side and cannot be moved to any other side of the display.

I am not sure how many people move the taskbar, but I keep doing it to get more vertical space for Windows on wide aspect ratio screens. Another reason is unwarranted extra steps required for simple things like extracting a WinRAR file – a single right click on the desktop shows a redesigned context menu with ‘show more options’ to see an expanded listing.

The context menu seems to be an afterthought simply because there is no uniformity in design and ‘show more options’ just kills the whole purpose of having the context menu in the first place.

Overall, Windows 11 seems to be a work in progress in its current form. It is marred by bugs, though the list keeps getting smaller with fresh system and stability updates rolling out almost daily. Speaking of updates, the frequency of rollouts is insane at the moment. And like the previous iteration of Windows, some updates require reboot. That said, it is best to wait for Windows 11 to mature before upgrading.

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