Improved Docking And Snap Layout Experiences

Multi-monitor laptop users rejoice. Microsoft has finally addressed the frustration that is docking and undocking in Windows with an improved experience. It seems crazy that in 2021, Windows 10 still makes a complete mess of the desktop layout when docking and undocking a laptop from a monitor or multiple monitors, but that is indeed the case. In Windows 10, if you have a laptop connected to any number of external monitors, if you undock, all of your open applications will be moved to and resized onto your laptop display. Then, if you reconnect to the external display, you get the wonderful task of moving all of your applications back and resizing them. With Windows 11, the operating system will finally remember where everything was, and put it back automatically.

Snap options on a large display

If you are a user of the current Windows Snap functionality, where you can drag an open window to the side or corner of the display and then snap another application beside it, you will be happy to see the improvements to snap functionality. If you had no idea this existed, because the discoverability of dragging an open application to the side of your display is a non-obvious task, you will be even happier to see that Microsoft has greatly improved the discoverability of Snap by adding it to the maximize button on any open window.

Snap Options on a small display

Hovering over the maximize button will now provide a graphics representation of different options to snap one or more applications to different locations on the display, and the choices will depend on the size and resolution of the display in question so that you don’t end up with a selection that does not leave enough of an open window usable.

You can now easily snap up to four applications open at once and choose how they are arranged with far less difficulty than Windows 10.

Security Changes

Likely one of the most controversial changes to Windows 11 is the requirement for a trusted platform module (TPM) to be active in the system. Microsoft is now requiring TPM 2.0, and this is a major hurdle for a lot of older devices. Microsoft has stated that “Most PCs that have shipped in the last 5 years are capable of running Trusted Platform Module version 2.0” which is a true statement, but for it to be true that only means that over 50% of computers have TPM 2.0. It is a vague statement and is likely driven by laptop sales outpacing desktop sales.

The requirement for TPM 2.0 does allow Microsoft to enable security features that they had previously supported, but never enabled by default such as Virtualization-Based Security (VBS). VBS can be implemented without a TPM, but it is highly recommended to have one, and in an age of phishing, malware, and ransomware, it makes sense to want to enable all of the security features that you can. The communication of this change was not very clear though, and this single requirement is going to impede the rapid adoption of the new OS.

Windows 11 is also very stringent on its CPU requirements. Intel processors basically have to be 8th generation (Coffee Lake) or newer, with AMD processors needing to be 2nd generation Ryzen (Zen+) or newer. For a full list of the supported processors, you can check out the information on Microsoft’s support page:

Application Support Initial Thoughts
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    How's the space? I noticed the ISO is surprisingly small at 1.1 GB. W10 used to be 4-5.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    My mistake. Faulty mobile browser. The ISO's 5.5 GB.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, October 16, 2021 - link

    Perhaps they’ll copy Apple further and force people to download all the basic components of the OS — like the English dictionary.

    Clever strategy to derail air gapping to avoid the ‘telemetry’.
  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, October 16, 2021 - link

    Apple and Microsoft should just shake hands and create the ultimate OS, Macdows, so modern they select the wallpaper for you, and report you if you change it.

    Jokes aside, Microsoft has made an honest attempt reducing the OS's footprint, even in 11, and the size of updates have been reduced considerably (~40%), owing to the new system that doesn't package the reverse deltas.
  • Meteor2 - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    Good mini-review. It does look very pretty. Win 10 is... "functional", at best.

    Can't believe Control Panel is *still* there. That has has to be an in-joke by now.
  • alpha754293 - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    Can you bypass the TPM requirement completely or do you still need, at LEAST TPM 1.2?
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    Haven't tried this myself, and caution is advised. Apparently, one can bypass TPM entirely, but it's best first to try Microsoft's method of bypassing TPM 2.0 and using 1.2. Also, 11's said to be in quite a shabby state right now, so it might be best to wait for the next update. Backups, too, are wise.
  • GeoffreyA - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    For my part, I would have installed 11 already, but I'm just not looking forward to a degraded taskbar, along with having to turn on Secure Boot.
  • GeoffreyA - Saturday, October 16, 2021 - link

    Apologies for the comments, but thought I'd add this here for the sake of completion. TPM can be bypassed entirely, along with Secure Boot. If one isn't fond of the Registry, the popular Rufus tool can be used to do this as well.
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, October 4, 2021 - link

    Customizability and features being dropped? You don't say? Ever since mobile came around, any semblance of real computing went out the window and it's like nobody even noticed.
    Developers intentionally restrict, hide or block features to make you use the application in the way they want you to use it (also to save precious lines of code on creating a functional settings menu). If you compare the flexibility, usability, configurability, and features of Windows apps to Android apps, it's like 1,000 to 1. Things are being intentionally dumbed down, and it's not for the good. If you're going to dumb something down, then at least include the advanced version for users who want to actually use their computer and don't want arbitrary restrictions.

    I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in Windows 11. Windows 10 is the most insane piece of software I've ever used. I have 134 processes running on cold boot, some of them protected, and virtualized apps I can't manipulate. Several "helper" services designed to run alongside Windows services and help them, the OS is held together with tape. Multiple settings applications. The Microsoft and Xbox stores are some of the worst apps ever, laggy, ugly, poor descriptions and poor configurability, which is strange because they could have just copied the gold standard which is Steam. Candy crush was installed by default. The spying features are quite comprehensive and built in all over the place.

    Meanwhile, the Start menu takes a very long time to open even on my new PC when it should be 50-100ms. The new task manager is absolute junk (there's a way to get the old one with winaero). It's clear to see where their priorities were, and where the resources were spent.

    I had a situation a while back where my calculator application wouldn't open. It just stopped working one day, probably a problem with Windows update or something - because somehow it's not just a simple binary anymore, it's a space calculator from the future. I had to reinstall Windows to get it to work.

    Windows Update restarts your computer automatically while you are not there. There is no setting to disable the restart, just to delay it. I can't even tell you how many times I've woken up in the morning to find all my documents and applications closed because of this. I had to download and install the Policy Editor on Home edition just to turn off automatic restarting.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now