Frequently Asked Question

Am I ready for Windows 11? What does it mean for Windows 10?
Last Updated 5 months ago

With WIndows 11 being announced and made available to some customers now is a good time to look at what will be required moving forward. Typically a Windows product has many years of support after it is released however with Windows 10 Microsoft has broken with this tradition leaving many customers with a potentially costly upgrade and no time to plan for it.

The current release of windows 10, 21H1, is end of support on December 13th 2022, thats just over a year from now! Total end of support is Oct 14th 2025. What does this mean?

Going from past releases like this manufacturers will fairly quickly end support for Windows 10, with many providing older drivers for Win10 that may lack features that the drivers for 11 have. Software vendors normally follow quickly. The rapid release may mean this process is slowed.

Microsoft are committing to another 4 years of updates, how this will take shape we don't know, but it does mean there will likely be no more large updates or addition of features. it will also mean the development focus is off Windows 10 so anything deemed non core will likely just be left alone, don't expect any non critical bug fixes at this point of changes to applications built into Windows 10. Indeed we have already seen evidence of some features being turned off!

The long and short of it is for home users, you should be looking towards 11 at some point For business users you should be looking at it sooner rather than later and at least planning how you are going to manage this upgrade, who will get it and familiarising yourself with it.

Windows 11 also comes with a sting in the tail. If your hardware is older than 2018 you are likely going too be in trouble. Windows 10 was pretty lenient on hardware requirements but Windows 11 will insist on 8th Gen Core architecture processors (AMD, more recent than Zen 1) and a device called a TPM. You *should* find both in any machine from about 2018 onwards but before that you'll be looking at 7th Gen processors unless you were a very early adopter and potentially no TPM (These can sometimes be added though). With current processors being 11th generation there is no real upgrade path for older machines. Some 7th gen boards can take 8th gen chips and for home users this is an option, but for commercial users, with no viable single vendor market source of these chips in quantity it would be a logistical nightmare. On top of this price gouging on TPM modules and 8th Gen CPUs has already started.

So how do you find out your CPU type?
Right click the start button, select system and it'll be show in the system window that pops up....

image

This is a 4th Gen core i7 and will NOT run W11 as things stand. The numbers shown after the Ir are important here. They are same for ALL Intel processors. With non core processors these numbers will be part of the model number eg G2030 but Intel explains them all here. Most users will be using Core-i series chips where the last three digits of that number identify the chip and the first one or two, the generation, eg 4770 as above is a 4th Gen. 7940 would be a 7th gen, 9440 would be a 9th gen and 11700, 11th Gen.

Because of the effects of COVID19, the issues with the Ever Given and what has been, frankly, a disastrous 18 months in the IT channel there are a LOT of pre 7th gen used machines in the channel, however everything between 8th gen and 10th gen went early on and stocks were depleted. The odds of a god deal on used machines aren't good AND some less scrupulous traders are omitting the full processor spec or plain misleading people over which chip is needed.

new stock shortages are already biting and processor shortages were an issue before COVID started causing issues.

There is still potential the CPU generation requirement may be relaxed but it would not be prudent to assume this.

So in conclusion....

Home users, unless you want Windows 11 the natural upgrade cycle will likely take care of you. If you do want Windows 11 you are looking at a new machine in reality as used systems of the right spec aren't common at this time and don't offer much of a saving.

For business, you should be planning now and making preparations for the purchases you may need to make. It would be a good time now, to take stock of your IT assets and plan your way forward. Previews
are available so if you have a capable system it would be a good time to start to familiarise yourself with it and sport any issues now with time to spare before they become a serious problem. The used market will become flooded with machines that are not going to be up to spec so bear this in mind when looking.

MS Roadmap : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/windows-10-home-and-pro
MS Supported Processors List : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-11-supported-intel-processors
ZD Article on W11 : https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-11-faq-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/
Article on TPM Modules for W11 : https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/do-you-really-need-to-buy-a-tpm-for-windows-11/455136


Richard Inskip 17/08/2021

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