Microsoft Windows 11

Frequently Asked Questions

Last update: 28 June 2021

Microsoft has announced the next version of the Windows operating system for desktop and laptop computers, namely Windows 11

Anyone who has ever upgraded the operating system on their existing computer before will understand the upgrade process can be fraught where software and peripheral compatibility is always an important consideration. New computers will be supplied with the Windows 11 operating system on day one of Windows 11 availability, however we recommend a considered approach when it comes to upgrading your existing desktop or laptop computer which is probably already running the Windows 10 operating system quite nicely.

Microsoft is saying "later this year" which is not terribly precise, at the moment they are talking about upgrading from Windows 10 rather than when it will be available on a new computer, but it won't matter because you will be able to buy a new computer with Windows 10 at any time and still upgrade to Windows 11 if you really, really want to!

Windows 11 will not be as compatible with older computers as pretty much every previous version of Windows has been. For example, we currently run an 11-year-old desktop computer we built in 2010 as a showroom computer and it is more than fast enough to run current software, in fact the performance level still exceeds that which might be found in a low cost desktop or laptop from the major chain stores.

This time around, Microsoft is focussed on computer security, and not before time, where we are thinking even a perfectly good 5-year-old computer won't necessarily run the new operating system

Yes. The Windows 10 operating system will be current until at least the 14th of October 2025 so there is no need to upgrade any desktop or laptop computer until then. We have seen every version of Windows be useful for at least 12 months beyond the nominal support expiry date.

So if most computer purchased in the last four years will run Windows 11, then that implies a useful working life of your Windows 10 computer of at least 10 years which is how it should be. You may want to upgrade to Windows 11 earlier, but we doubt that you will need to

Not immediately. Our position with regard to upgrading existing computers has always been the same. Sit tight and see what happens around you. Businesses tend to hold off a lot longer than home users but our advice is still the same.

It is quite likely you won't get a choice as we saw with Microsoft's approach to Windows 10 where millions of computer users around the world woke up one morning to find their computer had upgraded itself, by itself, and they were then presented with an unfamiliar software envirnoment which was not helpful from a productivity point of view but very exciting for those who like shiny new things!

So the question may be Can I stop my computer from upgrading to Windows 11 and that is a whole different topic

Is my computer compatible with Windows 11?

Newer computers, yes, older computers, maybe not. It looks like Microsoft has set a minimum processor level for Windows 11 for both Intel & AMD processors, where Windows 10 runs on pretty much anything.

The major requirement is known as TPM or Trusted Platform Module (version 2.0 or later) which is a security component built-in to pretty much all recent computers. We will be using a 5-year rule of thumb with regard to upgrade questions where we expect that all computers we have sold in the past 5 years will support Windows 11 but those supplied prior to that may not.

It is our view that it is no big deal even if your computer cannot run Windows 11, provided it is doing what you need it to do, carry on.

How much does Windows 11 cost?

The software component of the upgrade is free. If the upgrade via Windows Update goes well and you are happy with the way your computer works afterwards then it is definitely free.

If something does not play nicely and Windows 11 does not install correctly then we can provide technical support. It may be a simple as configuring your computer so that it is ready for the upgrade for (say) $50, or we may do a fresh install and configure all of your existing programs and data to work as they do now for (say) $200. The length of a piece of string comes to mind.....