Windows 11 will be available from 5th October 2021

Yes, I know, we thought Microsoft had promised us that there wouldn’t be any more versions of Windows. Windows 10 will go on forever. To infinity and beyond

Windows 11 Fancy Graphic
Windows 11 graphic. Wonder what it means
If you look into it a bit deeper, though, Microsoft never actually said that “Windows 10” would go on forever.

It’s more a question of branding and marketing than anything else. It stands to reason that there would be developments in computing that could not be incorporated into old hardware.

So, what do you do? Microsoft could have said that old computers can run on Windows 10 version ABC, whereas new computers can run on version XYZ. What would be the difference between that and calling version XYZ “Windows 11” instead? Not much, that I can see.

There are two major deciding factors on whether your Windows 10 computer can run Windows 11:

  • The “generation” of its processor. The following are the minimum processors needed from each of the manufacturers:

    Intel generation 8
    AMD Ryzen 2000
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 850

  • The computer has to have a chip called TPM version 2 (Trusted Platform Module).

PC Health Check
The “PC Health Check” tool touted on doesn’t actually exist – yet
If all this sounds a bit too techy for comfort, Microsoft created a software tool so that we can check if our computers are compatible. The bad news is that they made a pig’s ear of it. They have promised us a new tool that actually works but I checked for it today (07/09/2021) and it is slated on one of the Microsoft links listed below as “Coming Soon”.

I wouldn’t get too excited, anyway, because we’ll only be able to get Windows 11 when Microsoft offer it to us as an update. This will be a staggered rollout. They expect to be able to offer it to every compatible computer by the middle of 2022. They also say that newer hardware will be offered it before older kit. That makes sense. It has to be more efficient to do it that way than for them to get bogged down in compatibility problems before sorting out newer installations.

So, what if you are thinking of buying a new computer now. Should you do it?

The first thing to do is to consult the Microsoft links below. These include all the hardware requirements of Windows 11, so that should be seen as the starting point. I have just bitten the bullet and replaced my otherwise perfect five year old Dell XPS 15. I didn’t want to do it yet, but I wanted to give myself the best  chance of getting Windows 11 early. When I made the decision to buy now, I placed my faith in two things – (1) that buying a new Dell XPS 15 is probably safe as it’s more-or-less a flagship product, and (2) that there was a nice big reassuring banner on the Dell web page where I bought it as below:

Windows 11 Not Here Yet
I was re-assured by the text on the Dell website that read “Windows 11 isn’t here yet – but will be coming later this year. Free upgrade to Windows 11 when available”.

And will it be worth the bother of worrying about it?

Have a look at the links below and judge for yourself whether it’s anything to get excited about. Thinking of the average profile of my own computer support clients, my advice would be that it’s probably not something to get overwrought about, but I would definitely not buy a new computer unless I was reasonably confident that it would run Windows 11, and I will almost certainly be recommending my clients to upgrade to it if and when offered by the Windows Update regimen. It is possible, of course, that things don’t go completely smoothly to begin with, so it might be worth waiting a short while if you are not one of life’s natural “early adopters”.

And what do I think of it? Well, I view with a certain cynicism that it looks as if Windows 11 will be trying even harder to get us to use OneDrive, but some of the other features could be a bit of fun. But will it change my life? Not in a personal way, but I hope it gets me loads of work!

Some recommended links: