Microsoft recently announced the release of Windows 11, the latest version of its desktop operating system. This was a surprise as Windows 10 was thought to be the last new version of the Microsoft Windows OS as a standalone piece of software.
Windows 11, released on October 2021, comes with a new, clean, modern, and beautiful feel for enhanced productivity. It also features:
- A new design with a centered Start menu and Taskbar
- A new personalized feed powered by AI
- Snap Groups and Snap Layouts that make it an easier transition from monitor to laptop
- Better virtual desktop support that lets you toggle between multiple desktops at once for gaming, work, school, and personal stuff
- Android app integration through the Microsoft Store via the Amazon Appstore
Despite the new features in the Windows update, many consumers still need to decide whether to switch. This is primarily due to the stricter system requirements for the OS as well as the stability and compatibility aspects. According to Lansweeper's audit of 30 million Windows devices across 60,000 enterprises, 55.6% were not Windows 11-ready. Here's a closer look at why this is the case.
TPM 2.0 is required to run Windows 11
One of the most significant changes in Windows 11 is the requirement for a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0). TPM is a hardware device that stores cryptographic keys and measurements that can be used to verify the integrity of a computer's software and firmware. It improves a computer's resistance to malicious attacks and provides a foundation for security features such as:
- BitLocker drive encryption.
- Data Execution Prevention
- Windows Hello for identity protection
- Secure Boot and Measured Boot
TPMs have been used in PCs for over a decade, but they have been optional until now. According to Microsoft, most PCs shipped in the last five years can run Trusted Platform Module version 2.0. Those whose computers don't have TPM 2.0 will need to modify the registry mid-install or create a Windows 11 USB flash drive that will bypass Windows 11's TPM requirement. Obviously, this is a hassle that many people wouldn't see the need to go through, especially since Windows 10 is working just fine.
A restricted list of compatible CPUs
Besides the TMP restriction that doesn't allow some computers to upgrade to Windows 11, there's also the compatibility issue. Pre-2017 CPUs (Intel 7th gen pre-Kaby Lake and 1st generation AMD Zen CPUs) won't be supported by Windows 11. The restricted list of compatible CPUs means that people with Intel 7th generation and first generation AMD Zen CPUs, which run Windows 10 home flawlessly, won't be able to upgrade to Windows 11.
This can be a significant issue for those who don't want to buy a new device to upgrade their OS. On average, a computer lasts between 3 and 8 years, so the 2017 models still have a few years left of use. Unless these devices pass the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program, upgrading to the new Windows operating system will be impossible.
According to Microsoft, processors that don't meet the design principles around reliability, security, and the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 won't be supported. New Windows 11 devices must use the latest device drivers that have passed the Windows Hardware Hardware Compatibility Program tests or the latest available modern device drivers based on these design principles:
- Declarative (D): Install the driver by using only declarative INF directives
- Componentized (C): Edition-specific, OEM-specific, and optional customizations to the driver are separate from the base driver package.
- Hardware Support App (H): Any user interface (UI) component associated with a Windows Driver must be packaged as a Hardware Support App (HSA) or preinstalled on the OEM device.
Following these design principles, Microsoft made some changes to their list of supported devices to include one Intel 7th generation CPU and newer Intel Core CPUs:
- Xeon W-series
- Intel Core 7820HQ - only select devices like Surface Studio 2
Windows 11 has no 32-bit support
The new OS from Microsoft is the first one not to support 32-bit versions. Until now, all Microsoft Windows versions, from Windows Vista to 10, have launched 32 and 64-bit presentations. Although 64-bits has been the standard since the arrival of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, some people still use the 32-bit version of Windows 10 earlier.
The fact that Windows 11 will only ship 64-bit doesn't mean that 32-bit programs are no longer supported because the new version has a compatibility layer for all those x86 programs still used today. However, it means that users can't install Windows 11 on their 32-bit-only PC.
Many people still use 32-bit, especially on their office or personal computers, because 64-bit Windows demands more resources from the hardware. Windows 11 doesn't offer a workaround for this case, and those users who want to upgrade will need to buy new hardware that supports 64 bits and have the TPM 2.0 security chip. Otherwise, they'll have to stick to Windows 10.
Windows 11 has its fair share of bugs, though Microsoft has quickly fixed the issue. There have been bugs that massively slow SSD speeds, while others would create thousands of empty folders in File Explorer. The new Windows OS also had problems with AMD processors, but Microsoft has since resolved the issue. Suffice it to say Windows 11 will have more bugs than Windows 10.
There's also a problem relating to memory leaks. The new OS could use extra RAM when users open several instances of File Explorer. Windows 11 doesn't release the RAM once the File Explorer is closed, causing the system to slow down.
More PCs Running Windows 7 and 10 Than Windows 11
The lack of support for the aging Intel 7th gen CPUs, coupled with the TPM requirement and no 32-bit support, means that many people won't be able to upgrade to Windows 11. This means that the market share for the new version of Microsoft's OS will remain low, especially compared to Windows XP and 10.
The audit by Lansweeper showed that Windows 7 still has around 4.70% of the market share, while Windows 10 has more than 80.34% of the market share. Windows 11, on the other hand, has a meager 1.44%.
While the adoption rate is rising steadily, upgrading to Windows 11 isn't going as fast as Microsoft hoped, especially within the business setup. A similar thing happened with Windows 7; the upgrade to the next Windows server took many years. XP's successor Windows Vista received an incredibly poor reception early on.
So instead of spending lots of money on switching to alternative platforms like Mac OS X, many enterprises chose to stick with what they knew, further entrenching themselves into the Windows 7 ecosystem. Even today, there are still some companies with XP on their computers.
Windows 7 boasts a range of benefits, including a clean and simple user interface, application compatibility, and performance and user experience improvements. It provided enterprise-level features, like direct access and branch cache. Only recently did Windows 10 Enterprise replace Windows 7 in popularity in the market.
Generally speaking, the latest version of Windows 10 is still the most stable OS, especially for enterprises. It has the benefit of a good history of updates, still runs on modern hardware, and doesn't have new features that can add bugs. And since updates are cumulative, the version contains all the fixes for previous versions of Windows.
If you're looking to upgrade to Windows 11, MyChoiceSoftware can provide you with the best upgrade and installation options. We carry all of the latest versions of Microsoft software for both home and business use, so you can be sure that you are getting the most current versions available. We also offer great value on our products with discounts and coupons, making sure that our customers get the best deals on their software.