windows 11

Spoiler Alert: Equate Recommendation: Don’t Do it – Seriously Don’t Here’s why.

Windows 11 arrived on October 5, 2021. Unlike the big Windows 10 upgrade offer that felt impossible to avoid, Microsoft is not encouraging everyone to upgrade this time. Actually, Microsoft is recommending many PC owners not upgrade.

Windows 11 is a free upgrade for Windows 10, just as Windows 10 was a free upgrade for PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8. 

However, for now, at least, Windows 11 isn’t designed for all those PCs. Windows 11 officially supports only very recent hardware: In addition to requiring TPM 2.0 and UEFI with Secure Boot, Windows 11 only supports specific relatively recent CPUs. 

Specifically, PCs with Intel processors must have an Intel 8th generation or newer processor. AMD PCs must be running at least AMD Zen 2. ARM PCs must have Qualcomm 7 or 8 Series hardware. Microsoft refuses to explain precisely why only these CPUs are supported, but theories abound online. 


History advises against upgrading too! 

Microsoft has a history of putting out new versions of Windows that are a nightmare of bugs and horrible UI changes. If you go back several releases, there is a clear pattern.  

  • Windows XP was good
  • Windows Vista was buggy
  • Window 7 Good  
  • Windows 8 Terrible UI (Fixed in 8.1) and buggy  
  • Windows 10 Good  

See the pattern? – The odds are stacked against Windows 11. 


How to Check If Windows 11 Supports Your PC 

Not sure what hardware your PC has and whether it will support Windows 11? Microsoft offers an official “PC Health Check” app that will tell you whether your PC can officially run Windows 11.

If not, the PC Health Check will tell you what the problem is. 

You can download the PC Health Check app from Microsoft’s website. The big blue “Check Now” button will tell you whether your PC can officially run Windows 11. 

However, the tool won’t tell you the whole story: Even if your PC can run Windows 11, you might not want to upgrade yet. And, even if your PC doesn’t officially support Windows 11, you can upgrade anyway. 


Windows 10 Is Supported Until October 2025 

Before we continue, it’s worth noting that Windows 10 will be officially supported for years to come. Microsoft will continue supporting Windows 10 with security updates until at least October 2025, four years after Windows 11’s release. 

If you don’t want to upgrade immediately, you can wait. If your PC can’t run Windows 11—well, there’s a good chance you’ll want a new PC within the next four years, anyway. 

Microsoft isn’t rushing you to upgrade to Windows 11. 

Before we continue, it’s worth noting that Windows 10 will be officially supported for years to come. Microsoft will continue supporting Windows 10 with security updates until at least October 2025, four years after Windows 11’s release. 

If you don’t want to upgrade immediately, you can wait. If your PC can’t run Windows 11—well, there’s a good chance you’ll want a new PC within the next four years, anyway. 

Microsoft isn’t rushing you to upgrade to Windows 11. 


Reasons You Might Not Want Windows 11 (Yet) 

Overall, Windows 11 feels like Windows 10 with a new sheet of paint. Windows 10’s strange weather widget has transformed into a whole Widgets pane, new modern themes and icons. Many apps have been rethought and modernized, including the Settings app, and The Store now includes desktop apps. 

There are a few missing features that may impact specific workflows. For example, Windows 11’s taskbar is missing some features that were found in Windows 10’s. Windows 11’s taskbar is glued to the bottom of your screen, and you can’t drag and drop files and other items to taskbar icons as you could on Windows 10. Suppose either of these features is essential to you.  

In that scenario, you will want to wait to upgrade. Microsoft already appears to be working on drag-and-drop support for the taskbar, so the taskbar may get an update that makes it more capable in six months or a year after release. 

People who have workflows that depend on context menus in File Explorer might also be annoyed. Microsoft has modernized File Explorer’s context menus, and it now takes two clicks to find the old Windows context menus. Applications can add themselves to the new context menu, but most developers haven’t done the work yet.  

If this kind of thing will be a problem for your workflow, you may want to hold off. 

There may be other issues, too. Windows 11 may have odd bugs here and there, or specific hardware devices may not work perfectly with it at launch until drivers are updated. If you have a mission-critical computer that you need to “just work,” you may want to hold off on the upgrade, even if your PC is supported. 


If You Upgrade at Release, You’re an Early Adopter.

Microsoft has said existing PCs may not be upgraded until early 2022, so the standard upgrade process will be slow and gradual even for existing PCs. This will allow Microsoft to gradually test the update and ensure it performs well on PCs like yours before it’s automatically offered to you. 

There’s no need to go out of your way to get the upgrade if you aren’t excited about running Windows 11 yet. If you wait a few months until Windows Update offers your PC the update, you can be sure there’s less breakage. 

If you choose to seek out the update on your PC at Windows 11’s release, you’re an early adopter. 


If Windows 11 Officially Supports Your PC.

However, if you’re excited about running Windows 11, don’t let us stop you! Despite a few missing features (we really want to move our taskbars), it’s overall a well-thought-out operating system. It’s great to see Microsoft taking polish more seriously. It’s also great to see Microsoft finally embracing desktop apps in the Store. 

If Windows 11 officially supports your PC and you’re not too worried about any missing options or potential bugs, feel free to upgrade. 

If Windows 11 Doesn’t Officially Support Your PC 

If Windows 11 doesn’t officially support your PC, you have a more difficult decision to make. Microsoft recommends against installing Windows 11 on computers that have older CPUs it doesn’t officially support. We would also advise against installing Windows 11 on these PCs. 

Sure, it may work, but you will encounter bugs—and Microsoft says it won’t guarantee security updates will be available in the future. Do you really want to find yourself reinstalling Windows 10 in a year when Windows 11 stops offering security updates to your PC? After all, Windows 10 will be officially supported until late 2025. 


So that’s our official recommendation: Don’t do it if you use your PC for work or other tasks and just need it to work. Other than a machine in the equate labs, we will not be installing Windows 11 for at least 6 months  

#

Comments are closed