Windows 11

Windows 11

For the past few weeks I have been getting texts from my clients...

"Windows is telling me I have to upgrade to Windows 11!"

"Should I upgrade to Windows 11?"

The short answer:

"No!"

The longer answer:

Not at this time.

It is March 2022. Windows 11 was released in October 2021 and Windows 10 will be supported until October 2025. This means that Windows 11 is less than a year old and Windows 10 will keep being support for four and a half years.

In our testing Windows 11 is OK. There are some issues. None have been catastrophic, but there have been issues which are both subtle and annoying.

One particularly upsetting trend that Microsoft is either requiring a Microsoft account or making it difficult to setup a new Windows 11 computer without a Microsoft account (see article https://www.bklynit.net/onedrive-confusion/ to learn more about how messed up Microsoft account are).

Windows 11 Home requires a Microsoft account. Windows 11 Professional makes it difficult to setup a computer with a local (Non-Microsoft account). On a recent client project to associate a number of systems with a local domain controller. To do this we needed to register with a Microsoft account, create a local admin account, remove the AzureAD association and then join it to a local domain.  This required login and logging off and rebooting several times. Fortunately, it was a small number of systems and the additional workload was manageable.

Not the end of the world and annoying.

Additionally, we are seeing reports that Microsoft is experimenting with putting advertisements in Windows. The most recent report was that it was "a mistake", the ads that showed up in Windows Explorer were supposed to be disabled.

The reaction from the tech community has been swift and critical. Even if the ads showed up in error it is very disturbing. It means that Microsoft has coded Windows 11 to show ads. Adding code to an already bloated operating system. Additions which no user (I know) wants.

To the idea of ads in my operating system, I say, "Yuck."

Best case scenario is that Microsoft is classy and realizes that configuring their business model to rely on invading your privacy to boost their bottom line is not cool and removes all the code and mechanisms to push advertisements to users.

The worst case scenario is that Microsoft goes all in on collecting user data in order to make more money. In that scenario all Windows systems will require an online account to use and advertising will permeate Windows operating system and the user experience.

The more realistic scenario will be some middle ground:

  • Business/Professional: Will not require Microsoft account. Will not advertise.
  • Personal/Home: Will require Microsoft account. Will not advertise (Probably).
  • Microsoft releases a free version of Personal/Home which requires a free Microsoft account and will advertise.

Upgrading to Windows 11

Given that Windows 10 will be supported for another 4.5 years there is no rush to upgrade to Windows 11, but Windows 11 is coming and it is an eventuality. So how should you plan to upgrade and more importantly when should you plan to retire Windows 10 computers?

Conclusion

There are some cool new features in Windows 11. It is pretty. It can run Android apps. It adds a bunch of "new" user interface tools--new that they are now built in to windows, not new in that they have been available is slightly different forms for years. All of this is neat, but neat does not compelling upgrade make.

Our recommendation is to not rush into transitioning to Windows 11 especially if you rely on your computer for business purposes.