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Thursday, September 2, 2021

Download Windows 11 on October 5*

*If Microsoft allows you to

Today, Microsoft announced that its successor to “the last version of Windows” will be releasing on October 5th. Unfortunately, support for Android apps appears to have been delayed until later, but gaming related features such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage — both lifted from Microsoft’s Xbox hardware — are still exciting upgrades.

As someone with a background in UX design, I’m pretty excited for the visual changes too, although they mostly bring some much needed consistency between the different elements of the OS and a couple of workflow improvements. I honestly think most people won’t notice too many differences besides the now centered Start menu and taskbar.



In my view, the biggest reason why Microsoft decides that it is time for a new big update to Windows is to push hardware sales. Not only do they promote a bunch of laptops and 2-in-1s in the announcement blogpost, they also set certain hardware requirements that your PC must meet in order to receive the update. The TPM 2.0 requirement, but mostly the minimum need for an 8th gen Intel processor, rule out a whole bunch of perfectly fine computers, including some of Microsoft’s own Surface devices.

Some requirements make sense, but the CPU floor seems to be arbitrary. TPM 2.0 has been around for In my view, the biggest reason why Microsoft decides that it is time for a new big update to Windows is to push hardware sales. Not only do they promote a bunch of laptops and 2-in-1s in the announcement blogpost, they also set certain hardware requirements that your PC must meet in order to receive the update. The TPM 2.0 requirement, but mostly the minimum need for an 8th gen Intel processor, rule out a whole bunch of perfectly fine computers, including some of Microsoft’s own Surface devices.

Some requirements make sense, b long enough and mostly seems to be problematic for people with self-built setups. Machines containing higher end 6th or 7th gen Intels should have no apparent reason not to be able to run Windows 11, the architecture is all very similar. Computers, especially in combination with SSD memory are just pretty fast, even when they’re a little older. The need to upgrade is not that urgent anymore, so Microsoft seems to make up a reason.

Of course you don’t have to run to the store to buy a new machine. Windows 10 still works fine and will be supported until at least October 2025. If I’m honest, you won’t even miss out on too many features. However, splitting the userbase in this way seems an odd choice. Especially since you will apparently be able to install Windows 11 manually on unsupported machines, but you’ll likely won’t receive (security) updates.

In comparison, my 2014 iPad pro will receive the update to iPadOS 15. If you have a 2013 MacBook, you can install the newest MacOS. This comparison isn’t exactly fair since Apple only has its own hardware to support but Microsoft certainly has the resources to expand support as well, it just lacks the interest.



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