Intro: What is the Windows 11 update and how does it affect Connected Accounting and ERP users? In this article we look at the latest Windows update and how it changes the experience for users of our desktop version of Connected Accounting and ERP.
Windows 11 is the first major update to its flagship operating system, including the first name change in approximately six years. Windows 11 was made available on October 5 as a free update via a "phased in" approach for eligible devices. This Tech Radar article sums the Windows 11 details and availability nicely.
As application developers on both macOS and PC, here are some new Windows 11 Pro features that we like:
Interface like a Mac: Being long time developers on macOS, it is impossible not to notice the familiar feeling Windows 11 brings for Mac users/developers. Centered Start menu (macOS dock “like”), rounded window corners, and just a much cleaner design all contribute to this look and feel.
Widgets: Widgets have been around for a long time, including in a recent Windows 10 update. With Windows 11, you can now access widgets directly from the Taskbar and personalize them to see whatever you'd like.
Virtual Desktops: Windows 11 will let you set up virtual desktops, which seems to take another similar feature we have enjoyed in macOS. Having the ability to toggle between multiple desktops can be very helpful for different sorts of work tasks and/or separating home use. The wallpaper on each virtual desktop can also be changed.
Parallels VM Install: Speaking of Virtual Desktops and being macOS users and developers, we love the fact that Parallels 17.1 has full support for Windows 11 VM’s. Parallels is one of our most trusted and used applications for development and testing so this support is most welcome. Unfortunately, the new Apple M1 and soon M1X processors offer a little different path with Windows Insider access required and the Windows 11 version that supports Arm processors – it works but future support is not clear.
Windows 11 and Connected Accounting and ERP
Here are a few quick examples of how Connected benefits from the macOS like UI changes in Windows 11:
Start bar vs Dock – That Start menu sure looks familiar. We have always loved the macOS dock introduced many years ago. It looks like someone at Microsoft did as well.
Look at those checkboxes! Sometimes the little things matter, and the colour really helps.
Dialog boxes with rounded edges and updated (softer) sounds are another change users will notice. With upcoming changes to passwords in Connected 10.3, we expect a few messages and Windows “dings” at the login window. Windows 10 left/Windows 11 right.
Final Verdict on Connected Compatibility
From our pre-release and final version testing (all done with Windows 11 Pro) we haven’t found any issues with Connected Desktop working on Windows 11. We caution that it is still new and will likely take over a year before we see an adoption by business users as IT managers and consultants will likely take a cautious approach. However, if you are looking to give your day to day work a minor facelift that applies down to the Connected Accounting and ERP application, Windows 11 Pro may be for you (with the assistance and advice of your IT professional).
As far as software development and support for our flagship Connected Accounting and ERP application, anything that makes our program look better (dare we say more macOS like) is a pleasant improvement for day-to-day use.
Final Thought: We have noted the irony of posting this blog on the same day macOS Monterey is being released. Our full update on macOS Monterey is coming soon.