On October 5, 2021, Microsoft released Windows 11 to the general public. The most recent version of Microsoft’s operating system is known as “21H2,” however there have been a number of smaller improvements, with more important updates scheduled for the future.
The most recent edition of Windows 11 is what you need if you want to update your existing operating system to the most recent version.
Understanding Windows 11 Version Numbers
Microsoft offers two categories of updates:
- Windows gets important new features and enhancements in feature updates, which are the major annual releases.
Quality updates are incremental updates that provide security and bug fixes.
The updates that came before the one that is designated as “cumulative” are included. Therefore, you are not need to install the ones that came before first.
Major feature version numbers are divided into two sections; the first section indicates the release year, and the second section indicates whether the release took place in the first or second half of that year. So, for instance, the second half of 2020 would have seen the publication of version 20H2.
The full year and month are labeled on quality updates. Therefore, the January 2022 delivery of the 2022-01 quality update would have occurred. It is possible for a month to see several quality changes. Every Knowledgebase (KB) number assigned to an update is different. For instance, KB5010690 is the name of the 2022-01 Windows 11 release.
Separate updates called as Security Intelligence Updates are released for Microsoft Defender, the built-in antivirus program. Similar to how Microsoft Edge has its own distinct updating path, so does Microsoft Office.
The Latest Version of Windows Is Windows 11, Version 21H2
The most recent version of Windows 11 at the time of writing is 21H2. The most recent Quality cumulative update is 2022-05 KB 5013943.
A New User Interface (UI)
The UI of Windows 11 has been entirely redesigned. The Start Menu layout present in earlier iterations of Windows, such as Windows 7 and 10, has been reimagined in this new version of the user interface. Even the traces of the “Metro” tile system that were present in Windows 8 and 8.1 have been fully eliminated. Now, the Taskbar is centered, evoking memories of Apple’s macOS and iOS for the iPad. If you choose, it can be positioned to the left. Additionally, the menu’s topmost item is now the Search Bar.
As Microsoft retires its Siri-rival Cortana, the voice assistant is noticeably absent from Windows 11. While Siri was well-liked on the iPhone and iPad, Windows users haven’t been as enthusiastic about voice assistant features.
The redesigned Action Center logically integrates notifications and controls for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other widely used features. In favor of the simpler Settings app, Microsoft is likewise gradually phasing out the Control Panel.
The Windows Subsystem for Android
Without a smartphone, Windows 11 now has the option to download and run Android apps through the Amazon store. In terms of Windows 11, this feature is technically not yet operational, but it is usable in the beta version. This initial implementation has undergone testing, and while it largely functions, there is still room for improvement.
Windows Subsystem for Linux
This capability allows you to run Linux software on Windows 11, just like the Android solution above. You will need to activate and install this component under Windows features; unlike the Android feature, it is already included in the main release.
New Windows System Security Standards
Windows 11 dumps a lot of outdated code, which may lead to security flaws. Higher hardware security standards are also necessary for Windows 11 operation. You cannot install it without a TPM (Trusted Platform Module), specifically.
Only 8th-generation Intel or Ryzen 3000-series AMD CPUs are capable of supporting this TPM requirement, which renders previous CPUs incompatible.
Improved Gaming Performance and Xbox Integration
Windows 11 now features a fully integrated Xbox app and Xbox Game Pass subscription service from Microsoft. Windows 11 also guarantees to have the best video game support. It is the most effective Windows operating system for running 12th-generation Intel CPUs and offers the finest support for many technologies, including GPU-based storage acceleration.
Windows 11 Comes in Different Editions
Multiple editions of Windows 11 are available:
- Pro Education
- Professional Workstations
- Mixed Reality; Windows Server
The majority of Windows users only care about the Home and Pro editions. It’s crucial to realize that you can only update or upgrade your Windows version to another version of the same edition. Therefore, customers of Windows 10 Enterprise can only upgrade to Windows 11 Enterprise. You need to buy a Windows license for that edition in order to switch your current version of Windows.
Understanding Release Channels
We specifically refer to the primary release “channel” when discussing the most recent iteration of Windows 11. Updates that have been thoroughly examined and approved for use by all Windows users are delivered through this route.
Any user has access to future releases of Windows and all of their features through the Windows Insider channel. Insiders can offer insight and comments on these new features, assisting Microsoft in making them better before they are made public. Since there is always a danger of instability and data loss, we don’t advise using the Insider channel on your mission-critical main computer.
The Dev (Developer) channel provides Windows 11 updates independent of any upcoming Windows releases. Users involved in the development of Windows software are the target audience for this channel.
The version numbers mentioned here are only relevant while you are on one of these channels; once you switch to another, you are no longer on the same build cycle as the primary Windows build.
How to Check What Version of Windows 11 You Have?
It is simple to check the Windows version. All you have to do is click Start > Settings > System > About.
Next, look next to “version” in the Windows Specifications section. You can see that this is version 21H2 in the provided example. Many users and newspapers anticipated that Windows 11 would receive its first significant update in the first half of 2022, but as of the time of writing, version 22H1 has not been released. The upcoming version that is anticipated is 22H2, also known as Sun Valley.
How to Update to the Latest Version of Windows 11
All you need to do to start an update is go to Start Menu Button > Settings App > Windows Update, regardless of whether you are using Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Either you’ll see pending changes or know you’re current. Select Check for Updates to either automatically check for updates or to manually check for updates. Windows will handle everything else.
If you are a Windows 10 user who wants to upgrade to Windows 11 but is unable to do so, visit the Windows 11 download page and select the appropriate installation strategy. We advise using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant before using the Media Creation tool or burning a downloaded ISO file on a disc to update a different PC. Windows 10 license keys can be used to activate Windows 11 if you have them.
Where Can You Buy Windows 11?
As previously stated, if you now use Windows 10, you can upgrade for free to Windows 11 as long as your computer satisfies the system requirements. However, you will have to pay a license fee if, for instance, you need a Windows 11 license for a custom-built computer.
Directly from the Microsoft Store, you may purchase Windows 11. You’ll get a digital entitlement connected to your Microsoft Account. Additionally, you can get Windows 11 from independent merchants, either as a physical copy with disks or a pre-loaded flash drive or only a license key. Anyone can download and set up Windows 11 without a key, as was mentioned in the preceding section. You can later activate your copy by connecting your Microsoft Account or by inputting the purchased key.
There are third-party dealers who resell volume licensing keys where you may obtain significantly inexpensive keys, but you should be warned that doing so may be dangerous and may even be against the conditions of the license.