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
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  • dullard - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    Those people that value vertical real estate always turn around and by short-screen monitors. They are called wide-screen, but really just have the top vertical pixels chopped off and they charge more for that service.
  • dullard - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    *buy* not *by*
  • emgarf - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    No Start menu icon groups or folders. For those of us with a multi-use PC (in my case it's schematic design and printed circuit board layout, video and audio production, photography, gaming), removing those Start menu organizational features would have a real impact.

    Windows 10 doesn't force people to use those organizing methods - it's idiocy to remove them as a choice.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    Any choice consumers had in 10 is being sandblasted off. You'll use 11 the way redmond wants you to.
  • Meteor2 - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    Seems a year too early to me. Given where we are in the x86 product cycle and the chip shortages, combined with the maximum cpu age restrictions, releasing something that has a main purpose of driving new device sales right now seems premature.

    Plus, moving the start button out of the bottom left corner. That's going to hurt.
  • GeoffreyA - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    I wonder which genius at Redmond thought of that.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - link

    "Tablet Mode is now gone as well, so if you liked to use Windows 10 in its more touch-friendly mode, you will likely be disappointed."

    So is MS just giving up on tablets, giving surface users the middle finger? Why even bother with the metro/modern/whateverTF they call it interface change if they just go and abandon tablet mode?
  • GraXXoR - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    I cloned my SSD and installed Windows 11 update... Apartfrom CFOSpeed network data shaping tool (which has been of limited utility beyond monitoring internet connections and download speeds) I have found no issues.

    5900x and 3080RTX on gigabyte X570 Aorus Master...

    No issues to report. Installed the latest MB bios with TPM2 support. Enabled it. Set the update to run. went to bed. checked my computer the next morning and it was installed.

    Plays nicely with grub and my Mint 20.2 installation which I was concerned with what with TPM 2 and all. Interface is more consistent and seemingly refined than W10 and when you remove the "increase spacing" touch bollocks setting, everything is fine.

    One noted improvement is with my 42:9 UW monitor. My Samsung Odyssey G9 now plays well with G-Sync (something was borked under W10) and the new full screen tiling feature is a godsend on this ridiculous aspect ratio'd beast. And it seems to play nicely with my secondary monitor


    The menu is stuck at the bottom which is silly at this aspect ratio and I miss the clock on my secondary monitor's start bar.

    I also miss the more functional start menu which has become little more than a glorified right click menu... But TBH, I usually use windows plus search to launch my software anyway.

    All in all a drama free update. Will keep my old W10 clone just in case something pops up.
    The only reazson I still have this is for games that use anti cheat and have no linux support.
  • alpha754293 - Monday, October 11, 2021 - link

    I would love to be able to try it out, but if TPM 1.2 is a minimum, HARDWARE requirement, then it'll be a while before I will be able to give Win11 a shot.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - link

    Sounds like Win11 is DOA.

    Wake me up when Microsoft lets users customize the UI and prioritizes responsiveness with minimal input lag. They have 182,000 employees and can't grasp the most common sense of basic concepts!

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