This has to be one of the top questions surrounding Windows 11 besides hardware compatibility. It is also one of the most common questions when upgrading to any new version of Windows. Will my apps work? It’s a reasonable question and you’re in luck.
The new operating system is part of a continued path toward app compatibility. Not only should all of your apps and software work fine with the new OS, but you gain a little more. We haven’t run into a single Windows 8 or 10 application that doesn’t work with Windows 11. With the exception of tools specifically designed for 8 or 10 (tools designed to mod the operating system, etc), which typically offer a new version for the new OS (or have one coming).
In addition to continued app/software compatibility, Microsoft is working to strengthen the Microsoft Store to promote a larger selection of apps that can be downloaded (both purchasable and free). This is something the company failed at delivering for mobile devices, leading to the demise of Windows phones. However, the company has been doing just fine when it comes to the desktop environment.
To make things even better, Windows 11 brings Android app emulation with it, allowing you to download Android apps via the Amazon Appstore. This is huge and adds more strength to the desktop environment for mobile app access. It isn’t 100% just yet as the company continues to work on delivering the complete experience, but it’s getting there.
It doesn’t stop there though since Google is bringing Google Play Games to Windows as well, allowing you to download some of your favorite Android games naturally using the official app. This specific feature isn’t exclusive to Windows 11 since Google plans to support Windows 10 as well. However, this option won’t be rolling out until sometime next year (the first half of 2021).
As mentioned though, we have yet to run into any app/software compatibility issues. We have done direct upgrades of multiple systems now and everything continued to work fine without any intervention on our end. No having to play with compatibility modes in properties or anything. They simply open like normal and function just fine. Everything from simple applications to more complex options like Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro.
So rest assured, it is safe to upgrade to the new Windows 11 OS if you want. At the same time, if you are perfectly comfortable with Windows 10, there really isn’t a need to upgrade just yet since there isn’t much to gain. It feels more like a refreshed Windows 10 (slightly new design) than anything else. Windows 10 will continue to work fine through October 2025.