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Then I would definitely avoid Windows 11 for now. It's not going to be officially released until later this year and will likely have a few issues with drivers and third party support for a few months after that. The other issue is that Windows 11 will not install on a computer without TPM (Trusted Platform Module) support. That requires a fairly recent CPU and mother board with TPM enabled. Even fairly new computers may need a firmware upgrade to enable it.
 

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I've got to wonder what this will do to PC computing. Will it fuel a boom in PC sales? It would have 20 years ago but in 2025 it could spell the end of PC computing as we know it. As PCs become unsupported by Microsoft a lot of people may choose not to replace them, choosing to abandon PCs and use alternate platforms like phones, tablets and gaming consoles. It could also mean a rapid hastening of the end of Windows as a popular operating system as other people decide to switch to alternatives such as Linux.
 

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Windows 11 is a slippery slope. Whatever happened to Windows 10 being the last version of Windows ever? Games can be played with a Google Chromecast, Xbox, Wii and other small form factor devices. Most things that people use a PC for can also be done on a pocket PC, AKA smartphone. Some of today's smartphones are more powerful than most 10 year old PCs. So who needs a new Windows 11 PC when all most people need is a smartphone?
 

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The slippery slope I am referring to is that Microsoft is making a huge number of PCs obsolete in 2025. The main beneficiaries of the move will potentially be Intel, AMD and PC makers. It will create huge numbers of unsupported, insecure PCs, similar to the situation when XP support was discontinued. That was only after extending the XP support cutoff date for an unprecedented length of time. This could be a major public relations debacle for Microsoft, which could lose a significant portion of its business. Microsoft and Intel could quickly become the next IBMs or DECs as consumers and businesses look for alternatives.

Don't think that businesses and their plans won't be affected by this. Big business is notoriously slow to adopt new operating systems from Microsoft. They often continue to use obsolete, insecure systems for years due to the difficulty and cost of upgrading software. There are a much wider variety of choices now than there were when Microsoft discontinued XP and I suspect that businesses will pursue other options and companies when the need to upgrade software and business models arises. Just as mini-computers replaced mainframes and PCs replaced mini-computers in offices; smaller, lower cost, more portable, more energy and more productive devices are now replacing PCs. At the other end of the scale, many businesses require significantly more powerful solutions than can be provided by Microsoft and Intel. That's especially true for companies that provide very large cloud based services. That will also represent a business loss for Microsoft as many companies choose a move to cloud services rather than perform yet another a local hardware and software upgrade.
 

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Issues down the road was given as a possibility for Windows 10 when it was introduced. I have no problem with that. If the hardware doesn't support new features or programs then it's an evolutionary hardware obsolescence. As long as critical security updates are provided then the hardware remains functional for it's current uses.

The Windows 11 upgrade is a completely different beast. Previous Windows upgrades would sometimes not install due to lack of resources but it was usually possible with minor PC hardware upgrades. It also comes with a, less than, 5 year end of life date for Windows 10. For another, it won't install on a lot of today's hardware, some of it relatively new and some which is still being sold but needs a firmware or configuration update to work. The upgrade required to install Windows 11 is major on most PCs since it involves upgrading the motherboard and CPU plus other related components such as RAM. That's a major market disruption compared to the previously announced update model for Windows 10. I wouldn't be surprised if it sparked a class action lawsuit.
 

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I've read some or all of that article previously. The tagline says it all...
Attractive new design overshadowed by regressions and high system requirements.
Sounds a bit like Windows Vista, which I never used except to perform an upgrade to Windows 7. I hope it's better than that.
 

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A rather cynical outlook.
Just ran the MS PC health check app on my PC. It says the processor, a mid range 3-1/2 year old AMD Ryzen, is not supported by Windows 11. That's the newest PC here. I've checked newer CPUs in the same class and none of them provide compelling performance or technology upgrades. A couple of other PCs running Windows 10 have significantly older CPUs. All are well suited to the tasks they perform and don't need to be upgraded. Never mind that all this forced obsolescence comes at a time when there are significant shortages of PC hardware and prices have been rising for the past several years. That's why I am cynical.
 

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The new Windows 11 hardware requirements couldn't come at a worse time. Supply chain issues are causing increased prices and shortages of parts for PC builders. Things like popular CPUs are sometimes difficult to find and more expensive. I recently ordered a new PC case. The one I want is either unavailable, way overpriced from a US vendor or back ordered. I originally found one for a reasonable price but the order status went from "Preparing for shipment" to "We will email you when we have an estimated delivery date" after about a week. Between researching the build and placing the order, another part became unavailable from the preferred vendor and was $25 to $100 more everywhere else.
 

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The Windows 11 upgrade will be rolled out automatically to compatible hardware unless it is actively prevented. A quick search turns up several techniques to prevent or delay automatic Windows updates. That's probably not the best option.

If the PC does not meet certain requirements, then it will not be updated. One requirement is a compatible CPU and GPU. For mainstream PC processors that means an AMD 3000 or Intel 8000 series or later, or another processor with Win11 support and DirectX 12 support. The main obstacle to installing Windows 11 on many PCs is a disabled or missing Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. That is usually implemented in the CPU and supported by the motherboard BIOS. CPUs and motherboards made in the past several years will have TPM support but it may not be enabled. Leaving it disabled will prevent the installation of Windows 11. Note that upgrading the BIOS may enable TPM automatically. If TPM is enabled, turning it off in the BIOS should prevent a Win11 upgrade.

Even worse is that Windows 10 will not be supported after October 14th, 2025 which will leave systems without TPM and other Win11 requirements without a supported Windows operating system. They will still run Windows 10 but may become subjected to security vulnerabilities. They will also run supported versions of Linux.


 

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You mean Linux and Linus Torvalds? It already happened. Smartphones became the next hot item years ago. There are over 7 billion smartphones in the world, about half of which run Android which is based on Linux. There are just over 2 billion PCs in use today. In addition, most other devices with embedded operating systems, everything from thermostats, security cameras, internet routers and smart A/V equipment to the huge internet server farms run by Amazon and Google are based on Linux. iPhones are based on BSD which is a close cousin of Linux. Both are rewrites of Unix, which preceded almost every other operating system in use today. Even Windows 10 and 11 contain a Linux subsystem and Windows 11 will soon have an Android subsystem.

The only question is, will PC hardware and Windows evolve enough to still be in demand ten years from now? MS could easily become the next IBM, a company that has lost most of its core business and is focused mainly on retaining business customers. The main reason PCs are hanging on is due to business, school and gaming PC use. Current supply chain issues combined with demand for work and schooling from home have depleted stocks of affordable PC hardware that runs Windows. Windows 11 could become the next Windows Vista, an operating system that nobody wants, hardware requirements that are too expensive and billions of PCs in existence that cannot run it. The difference this time around is that there are other companies who are big enough and capable of providing viable alternatives.
 
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