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Issue #760: February 13-19, 2022

Q: I would appreciate your thoughts and any suggestions about Windows 11. I am working off of a 2020 Dell Inspiron laptop. I keep getting offers to switch from Windows 10 to 11.

– Patrick F.
Odessa, Texas

A:  Well, Patrick, if there is some specific information you are seeking, then I must admit, I didn’t get that out of your question.  On the other hand, if your goal was to write the broadest, most open-to-interpretation question, then I believe you’ve succeeded.  So, I will do as you ask, and provide some “thoughts and suggestions,” not just about Windows 11, but about the merits of upgrading in general.

Let’s take a little trip back into recent, and not-so-recent memory, shall we?  Let’s go back past Windows 10, and past Windows 8, and even past Windows 7, to the time when Windows XP was the dominant operating system.  Everybody had it, and things were relatively peaceful in the kingdom.  XP was relatively stable, and people were familiar enough with it that they pretty much knew what to expect.  Patches came out on a fairly consistent basis, and our systems were kept updated, and people were reasonably happy – as happy as people can get where Microsoft products are concerned, anyway.  Now, do you remember how people reacted when the new Windows 7 was announced?  They cried, and stomped their feet, vowing to never give up the XP to which they had become so attached.  And what happened?  The outcry didn’t change Microsoft’s course, and even though some tried to hold-out, eventually, as Windows 7 gave way to Windows 8, then 8.1, the need to upgrade became more and more compelling.  Yet, even when Microsoft offered Windows 10 as a free upgrade to most of the world, there were holdouts.  You’d probably be surprised at the number of requests that I received from users of Windows 7 throughout the Windows 10 years.  Despite being 3 versions behind, they liked, and wanted to stick with Win 7.  No matter that Microsoft was determined to bury it and stop issuing patches and security updates.

Here we are now, as the Windows 10 era is fading, and Windows 11 is upon us.  What is my opinion?  My opinion in this matter is that my opinion in this matter – doesn’t matter.  Regardless of what I think, history will repeat itself, and either you will willingly upgrade, or sooner or later an upgrade will be forced upon you as you hold out with ever-increasing peril to your privacy and security.  Microsoft will abide by what it calls its “Lifecycle Policy” which they refer to as “Consistent and predictable guidelines for the availability of support through the life of a product.”  It is not just a single policy – it varies by product.  If you’re really interested in learning more, I suggest you start at TinyURL.com/IGTM-0760 and go from there.

You’ll notice that I haven’t actually talked about what’s changed in Windows 11.  That’s because others have already done a fine job of covering that topic, and you can get all the information you could possibly want just by Googling “Windows 11 new features.”  You asked me for my “thoughts and suggestions,” Patrick.  You have my thoughts.  My suggestion is, don’t fight the tide – you can’t win.  Flow with it, and if you’re being offered an upgrade, first make a trip to Google and do some reading so you know what to expect, then just accept it and flow on.  From a user’s perspective, there are a few things visually that have changed, but it’s the same old Windows.  Oh, and for you hold-outs that plan to cling to Windows 10, the End-of-Life date for both the Home and Pro versions is October 14, 2025.


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