The updates to Windows 11 from previous systems is a hot topic (and controversial) since the announcement of the new development. If it is important for consumers, much more for companies that must know if they will be able to update their equipment, will have to stay on Windows 10 or allocate additional budgets for hardware purchases.
In addition to its delivery for pre-installations on new OEM computers, Microsoft will offer Windows 11 free of charge to upgrade existing computers with a valid license from previous systems, under a program similar to that offered in the Windows 10 release. However, upgrades to Windows 11 are not going to be so easy before him increased minimum requirements established by Microsoft.
If the increase in RAM memory or storage space is totally reasonable and necessary in these times and the vast majority of current computers have much higher levels, the blockage for some series of processors; the obligation to have a graphic section that supports DirectX 12; a UEFI BIOS with secure boot and especially the need for a TPM chip to increase security, are more demanding and controversial.
Upgrades to Windows 11 on Business PCs
In a recent question and answer (AMA) round, Microsoft has discussed this section in relation to existing business PCs. And we have no good news: Microsoft will be inflexible with the hardware requirements and if they are not met, neither consumers nor businesses will be able to upgrade the equipment:
“We know that it is not good that some users will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11, but we must remember the reason why we have made this decision, and it is to keep the devices more productive, safe and protected, even in this new work stage […] It will not be possible to bypass Windows 11 hardware requirements, these will be mandatory. We will make sure of this because we want your devices to be protected. “
Microsoft also talked about the mechanism used to update business PCs: “You will be able to use endpoint and update compliance to see if Windows 11 is eligible for a given device. Whether you are using our first party analytics solutions or the scripts that we will provide you, you will see that those devices are not eligible and explanations of the reasons ».
For individual client computers, Microsoft published an application called ‘PC status check‘(PC Health Check) allowed you to check if a specific computer was ready to upgrade to Windows 11. The tool is temporarily disabled, but there are other tools They can be used to easily verify whether a particular piece of equipment can be upgraded.
Another round of responses was dedicated to responding to situations where IT administrators could use Group Policy to avoid hangs on upgrading to Windows 11. According to Microsoft, administrators will not be able to use these policies to unlock delivery on business PCs. “We are going to prevent you from upgrading your device to a higher support state, as we really want to make sure your devices remain compatible and secure.”., they say from Microsoft in line with the general strategy.
Other topics covered at the AMA include the ability to roll back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, the speed at which patches will be released, documentation of known issues, and safeguards and transparency. The video is interesting since it is the first time that Microsoft has responded to the most controversial questions raised before the announcement of Windows 11. And the possibility of updating equipment has been the one that has caused the most controversy.
Alternatives to Windows 11
Microsoft will offer Windows 11 free of charge to update previous systems to unsupported versions such as Windows 7. The problem is the aforementioned, that the provider has set minimum hardware requirements that will leave out tens of millions of current, consumer and business computers. Of course, there are other alternatives to explore:
Windows 10. The most ‘natural’ alternative if your computer hardware does not meet the requirements is to stay on Windows 10. Microsoft will offer official technical support for this version until October 14, 2025. There will be enough time to squeeze out current hardware without the need to invest in a new equipment. Also, Windows 10 support until the end of 2025 is considered “minimal.” It is not the first time that Microsoft has extended deadlines for business needs.
Linux. The eternal alternative, without reaching the market share that its potential deserves. On the computer desk because in the rest of the segments it sweeps or is very well positioned. On paper, the hardware of any computer running Windows 7/8/10 is capable of running current GNU / Linux distributions, and it’s a great option if you don’t have UEFI, Secure Boot, or the TPM that Windows 11 requires. Its installation is just as simple as Windows and you can even install it together with Windows if you want to take advantage of both.
Chrome OS / Chromium OS. Google’s operating system for personal computers has definitely made its way to the desktop. If the requirements of Windows 11 force you to change equipment, the best experience from Google will be obtained with the Chromebooks, laptops that have not stopped raising their level of performance and their ability to run applications, native to Chrome OS, Web, Linux, Android and even Windows.
macOS. For If you are not convinced by the above options and you had to purchase a new computer with Windows 11. In this scenario, Macs are another option to explore. Its users are among the most loyal of any platform and it maintains a market share of between 8 and 10% among all personal computers sold. The move to ARM has been a success and new releases are on the way.
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