Windows 11 and What You Need To Know.
This page was originally created in early 2022. Whilst everything here is still relevant, as of Autum 2023, with only 2 years left until the retirement of Windows 10 and with more insight into the future of Windows, we have added a bit of an update. Please scroll down to read the update.
Original Article Early 2022
Despite Microsoft claiming that Windows 10 would be the last version of windows they would ever release and that improvements would happen through twice yearly updates, in late 2021 they released Windows 11.
As a result, this has got many people confused about if their current computer and what they should do.
The short answer is that you do not need to do anything. Windows 10 will be supported by Microsoft until at least October of 2025. However, this is not the end of the story especially when considering buying a new or refurbished computer.
Microsoft has really shaken things up when it comes to the minimum specification of computer it will run on, and to complicate things they keep referring to these specifications and ‘current’, indicating that they may change.
To put it simply, Windows 11 will only OFFICIALLY run on computers with hardware developed since 2018 though there are many exceptions and even some computers that were new in 2021 do not make the grade. Also, without an internet connection it is impossible to complete the initial setup as it requires you to sign into a Microsoft account.
Both of these extremely unpopular issues can be gotten around by modifying the installation of Windows 11, but they may not be necessary as Windows 12 is currently rumoured to be released long before support for Windows 10 ends. Potentially meaning Windows 11 could be skipped just like the other unpopular Windows versions have been skippable, like Vista and 8.
Microsoft do warn that bypassing these issues leads to reduced system security, and there is some evidence to support this, though what it really means is that your security won’t be marginally enhanced by the security features the newer, Windows 11 compatible hardware, has to offer. Given that it is our opinion that the biggest security threat to a computer is the person using it, missing out on this additional security is minimal compared to the environmental damage done by replacing a perfectly decent computer.
In summary, whilst we cannot predict the future, buying or maintaining a computer that is not listed as Windows 11 compatible is not something that should be of concern for the foreseeable future
Autumn 2023 Update
We had hoped that Windows 12 (expected release 2024) would be more compatible with older hardware than Windows 11, but the latest rumours suggest this will not be the case as Windows 12 is supposedly going to be "AI powered". We're not sure what that means but we think that it is going to require even more powerful computers than the average user's computer.
Since the advertised scheduled end of updates for Windows 10 is only around 2 years away we have decided all our new stock of both new and refurbished computers will be Windows 11 compatible and will be running Windows 11 by default. Windows 10 can be installed on most refurbished computers but is nolonger available for new ones. We have taken this decision as we want our customers to have many years of trouble free operation and this step will reduce the work and inconvenience to our customers further down the line.
Given that 2 years will pass in the blink of an eye we believe it is time our customers prepare for the end of Windows 10.
Firstly not all computers are compatible with Windows 11. Microsoft have listed a strict set of requirements to run Windows 11 and most computers that meet these requirements have either automatically upgraded to Windows 11 or the upgrade has been offered to the user. More recently however, Microsoft have issued instructions to manually upgrade computers that are a little older and dont fully meet their strict requirements despite stating that they do not recommend following these instructions.
Given the contradiction of Microsoft's position we have extensively investigated the reliability of computers that are not fully compatible being upgraded and are now able to determine which older computer can be safely upgraded. If you are wanting to upgrade or just to know if your computer can be upgraded then there is a simple check we can do without any risk to your current setup. That way you will have plenty of time to plan for the upgrade or replace your computer if needed.
Please note that this advice is based on information available to us as of September 2023 and may change without warning.