Windows 11

Time for Microsoft Windows 11 upgrade?

A word of caution.

Despite the attraction of the recent release of the new Windows 11, and Microsoft’s offering of this for ‘free’, we would suggest that for most of us it is strongly advised that we remain with Windows 10, at least for now, i.e., do not upgrade to Windows 11 - not yet! 

Of course, this advice may not necessarily apply in every case. For example, if you have purchased a brand-new computer with Windows 11 already pre-installed, or if you want to see what Window’s 11 is all about and you’re happy to take the risks, which for the most part should be minimal, this may suit your needs and be just what you wanted.

Nevertheless, for most of us and, in particular, businesses or those of us who already have a computer running well on the predecessor, Windows 10, it is recommended that we all wait for now. How long for? Until at least after Microsoft's first service pack release, estimated later in the year (if then even - our friendly Everything IT Team will be happy to advise).

This recommendation applies in particular to business computers, in most regards this advice equally applies to home computers - useful to recommend similar to your friends and family too.  

This is because at the time of writing (early 2022) the Windows 11 bugs can somethimes significantly outweigh the benefits.

Windows 11 may work perfectly, perhaps far better than Windows 10, or it may not.  It may add performance improvements and extra features, or conversely cause system slowdown, or apps and programs to crash or disappear entirely. Further unexpected problems can occur after a time, problems which may stop things from functioning that used to work before.

There are some reports of Windows 11 causing serious damage stopping computers in their tracks entirely. Including complete and permanent failure (typically to the internal SSD storage drive).

It is certainly not all bad news, there is great evidence that as time progresses Windows 11 may become far better entirely than tried and trusted Windows 10. Just worth knowing that presently the jury is still out. 

So why didn't Microsoft just wait - and fix all the bugs before launching Windows 11?

One of the reasons Microsoft actively encourage Windows 11 upgrades is because the more people that experience problems, the more data Microsoft will receive to help them fix them. In essence, early converts become Microsoft’s guinea pigs in return for receiving the Windows 11 prototype for 'free'.

Eventually all the data gathered enables Microsoft to distribute their first (and subsequent) Windows 'service packs' (fixes), which help address many of the issues identified, saving others from having to experience all these initial teething-troubles. At which point this more stable release of Windows 11 starts to be widely sold for the usual Microsoft Windows license fee (typically included in the computer purchase price).

“But” we hear you cry, "right now I can get my Microsoft upgrade for free!"

While this is partially true, and the same applied back in Windows 10 upgrade days, it’s worth knowing that the Windows 11 license being offered at the moment is 'free to use', but not necessarily persistently free. There may be hidden Microsoft costs for Windows 11 down the line. In fairness this doesn’t happen often, but it’s worth bearing in mind that, as with their previous 'free upgrade' offers if, for example, an operating system re-install is necessary, a license will then have to be purchased.  Otherwise, the computer will be unable to start up again at all.  Microsoft does not make this fully apparent! 'Free now, pay later' may apply!

No 'one size fits all'

Conversely, of course, everyone’s needs are different. You may be happy to take the risk in return for a free-ish early Windows upgrade. The benefits and potential performance increase certainly look extremely promising. 

Overall however, at least for the foreseeable future, we recommend against becoming part of this Microsoft experiment during early rollout stages, at least not without understanding the potential risks and reasons, in particular on your important / business-use machines.

We hope this advice helps, so you can make the best decision to suit your own needs. 

For all or any questions regarding Windows upgrades, feel free to give the friendly Everything IT Team a call on 01225 434343.

« Back to News | Posted on 26/01/2022