Windows 10 would be long-lived, too.
Some in the company billed it as "the last version of Windows"—
one big, stable platform
that would simultaneously placate change-averse users, huge IT shops
that would have kept using Windows XP forever if they had been allowed to, and
who would no longer need to worry about supporting multiple wildly different generations of Windows at once
The problem for Microsoft is that achieving one goal—
the same version of Windows running on almost all PCs—
hasn't necessarily had the results that Microsoft was hoping for
And that's at least part of the reason why,
after a release that treated widespread adoption as its primary goal,
Microsoft is releasing a brand-new version of Windows
that isn't even supported on computers more than 3 or 4 years old
Microsoft has shifted its focus to providing solid versions of its apps on iOS and Android, and
even Microsoft's modern-day phones run a Microsoft-flavored version of Android rather than anything Windows-related.
The new version of Windows is more preoccupied with the places where Windows already is and is likely to stay—risk-averse, money-rich, security-conscious businesses
it's possible to install Windows 11 on pretty much any 64-bit PC that runs Windows 10
if you use some registry hacks, and
it's possible to do a clean install from a USB drive on any computer
that supports Secure Boot and any kind of TPM
(even older TPM 1.2 modules).
Back when it was originally announced, there was hand-wringing
among Linux users in particular
who worried that Secure Boot support would make it more difficult or impossible to run Linux or other operating systems on PCs designed for Windows.
That fear has since proved unfounded—many computers allow you to turn Secure Boot off and use UEFI's legacy boot (also called "CSM") functionality instead.
Major Linux distributions circumvent the issue entirely
by using a Secure Boot "shim" bootloader
so that installing Linux on a Secure Boot PC is indistinguishable from installing it on anything else
Microsoft hasn't spelled this out as clearly as it could,
but the best rationale for the processor requirement is that these chips (mostly) support something called "mode-based execution control," or MBEC.
MBEC provides hardware acceleration for an optional memory integrity feature in Windows (also known as hypervisor-protected code integrity, or HVCI)
that can be enabled on any Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC
but can come with hefty performance penalties for older processors without MBEC support
[ But a conunter-argument is that ] HVCI isn't even enabled by default in Windows 11.
To enable it, open the Windows Security app, navigate to Device security, click Core isolation details, and turn on Memory integrity
Microsoft doesn't appear to have changed anything about how Windows 11 is activated or licensed compared to Windows 10.
Unsupported PCs running Windows 10 can be upgraded to Windows 11 at no charge, and
old Windows 7 and Windows 8 product keys still seem to activate the equivalent editions of Windows 11.
This hasn't technically been "allowed" for years,
but Microsoft doesn't seem interested in disallowing it either. Make of this what you will.
Microsoft isn't abandoning one piece of its "Windows-as-a-service" strategy:
Windows 11 will still receive major "servicing updates" on a regular cadence, and
these updates will include new features and UI tweaks
that are separate from routine security patches.
But while Windows 10 received two major numbered updates a year, Windows 11 will only receive one.
The current release of Windows is Windows 11 21H2
(Windows 10 also has a 21H2, so the distinction is important).
The next release will presumably be 22H2, about a year from now.
Layout changes aside, the overall experience of using the taskbar isn't dramatically different than it was before,
but it does include a handful of weird removals and feature regressions.
While the buttons can be left-aligned to recreate the old default look of the taskbar,
the taskbar itself can no longer be docked to the top or sides of the screen.
Files can't be dragged down to a taskbar icon to be opened by the app you select.
You can no longer ungroup taskbar icons and
now need to rely on hovering over each taskbar icon to differentiate between multiple open windows in the same app.
The taskbar also no longer offers to show the time, date, and system tray icons on all monitors in a multi-monitor setup,
even when running a full-screen app like a game or video player on the primary monitor.
The taskbar context menu has also been pared down
Snap treats monitors and tablets that are flipped into portrait mode differently than landscape-oriented displays
Exactly what you see here will differ depending on
the size of monitor you're using and
On a 13-inch 1080p laptop screen set to 125 percent scaling, I only see four Snap options.
But on my 27-inch 1440p desktop monitor, I see six—this variation appears to have to do with some combination of resolution plus zoom level, and
it's not tied to any specific resolution or aspect ratio
The neatest little detail I've noticed about the new context menu is that it tries to put the most common commands as close to your mouse pointer as possible
There are still a few ways to access the old context menu,
though they're less convenient than you might like.
One is to click "show more options" at the bottom of the new menu, which brings up the old menu with all first- and third-party shortcuts intact.
Another is to press an oddball "Shift + F10" keyboard combo after left-clicking whatever icon you need to see the context menu for.
And if your keyboard has a dedicated keyboard menu key, you can press it to call up the old context menu, too.
A release like Windows 11,
which at least polishes and unifies the stratum of Windows' UI that most people interact with every day,
is the best we can probably hope for at this point.
this is the first new startup noise Windows has had since Windows Vista
The first few reports about the performance of the new cores were focused around the frequencies, which we can now confirm in our measurements
Apple’s frequency increases here are quite aggressive
given the fact that it’s quite hard to push this performance aspect of a design,
especially when we’re not expecting major performance gains on the part of the new process node.
Giant Caches: Performance CPU L2 to 12MB, SLC to Massive 32MB
at 32MB, the new A15 dwarfs the competition’s implementations,
such as the 3MB SLC on the Snapdragon 888 or
the estimated 6-8MB SLC on the Exynos 2100.
A 12MB L2 is again humongous,
over double compared to the combined L3+L2 (4+1+3x0.5 = 6.5MB) of other designs such as the Snapdragon 888.
It very much appears Apple has invested a lot of SRAM into this year’s SoC generation.
Back in 2013, Apple was notorious for being the first on the market with an Armv8 CPU,
the first 64-bit capable mobile design.
Given that context, I had generally expected this year’s generation to introduce v9 as well,
but however that doesn’t seem to be the case for the A15.
The efficiency cores have had more changes,
alongside some of the memory subsystem TLB changes,
the new E-core now gains an extra integer ALU,
bringing the total up to 4, up from the previous 3.
The core for some time no longer could be called “little” by any means, and it seems to have grown even more this year
Starting off with the performance figures of the A15, we’re seeing increases across the board,
with absolute performance going up from a low of 2.5% to a peak of +37%.
Compared to the Snapdragon 888, there’s quite a stark juxtaposition.
First of all, Apple’s E-cores,
although not quite as powerful as a middle core on Android SoCs,
is still quite respectable and does somewhat come close to at least view them in a similar performance class.
The comparison against the little Cortex-A55 cores is more absurd though,
as the A15’s E-core is 3.5x faster on average,
yet only consuming 32% more power, so energy efficiency is 60% better.
In our initial coverage of Apple’s announcement, we theorised that the company might possibly invested into energy efficiency
rather than performance increases this year,
and I’m glad to see that seemingly this is exactly what has happened,
explaining some of the more conservative (at least for Apple) performance improvements.
It’s still the same SoC and silicon chip in both cases,
just that Apple is disabling one GPU core on the non-Pro models,
possibly for yield reasons?
In the 3DMark Wild Life test, we see
the 5-core A15 leap the A15 by +30%,
while the 4-core showcases a +14% improvement,
so quite close to what we predicted.
The peak performance here is essentially double that of the nearest competitor,
so Apple is likely low-balling things again.
In terms of sustained performance,
the new chips continue to showcase a large difference
in what they achieve with a cold phone versus a heated phone,
interestingly, the 4-core iPhone 13 lands a bit ahead of the 13 Pro here
Both the 13 and 13 Pro throttle quite quickly after a few minutes of load, but generally at different power points.
The 13 Pro with its 5-core GPU throttles down to around 3W,
while the 13 goes to around 3.6W.
What’s been extremely perplexing with Apple’s motherboard designs has been the fact that
since they employed dual-layer “sandwich” PCBs, is that they’re packaging the SoC on the inside of the two soldered boards.
This comes in contrast to other vendors such as Samsung,
who also have adopted the “sandwich” PCB,
but the SoC is located on the outer side of the assembly,
making direct contact with the heat spreader and display mid-frame.
The iPhone 13 Pro showcasing lower sustained power levels may be tied to the new PCB design, and
Apple’s overall iPhone thermal design is definitely amongst the worst out there,
as it doesn’t do a good job of spreading the heat throughout the body of the phone,
achieving a SoC thermal envelope that’s far smaller than the actual device thermal envelope.
The comparison between Android phones and iPhones gets even more complicated
in that even with the same game setting, the iPhones still have slightly higher resolution, and
visual effects that are just outright missing from the Android variant of the game.
The visual fidelity of the game is just much higher on Apple’s devices due to the superior shading and features.