Windows 11 is Coming--Is Your Computer Ready?

Jim Wynne

I installed the release version from the Windows Insider program this morning, and there's not a lot to report. The upgrade installation went quickly and without a hitch, and so far most of the changes I'm seeing involve cosmetics and moving things around.


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At some point, the global supply chain for technological hardware is going to have an impact on how rigorous Microsoft is going to be about supporting older versions of Windows. Our company is having difficulty in getting business laptops for regular users, and more advanced server hardware for "current" OS.

Personally: I maintain a clear separation for hardware and OS for business and pleasure. I let my employer roll out modern OS per their strategy (I have a minor role in this); for myself I avoid bleeding edge. I have stuck with Microsoft since the days of DOS, although decades ago I proved to myself that I could install and maintain non-Microsoft OS. I was using FreeBSD... I lost interest in this because Windows "had the apps". I am aware that on this front, availability has improved significantly.

I have both a different budget, different scope, and a different philosophy than businesses. My investment in personal machines follows 2 paths: Desktop system built for as much future-proofing as possible. Generally this is:
  • large power supply (to support "peripherals", keep reading)
  • standalone graphics card with plenty of memory (lots of apps and web-based content relies on this)
  • "maximize" RAM (not always important, but some apps are bad about use of RAM)
  • Separate drives, with at least an SSD for system/critical apps and HDD for storage and less critical apps. I don't RAID, but I do regular backups so separate (usually partitioned) HDD make backups straightforward for me.
  • Invest in the "largest" available architecture for 95%+ of commercial apps. A decade ago this was 64-bit, and I haven't regretted this decision.
  • Choose a motherboard that hasn't made brutal compromises. (lack of expansion, compromises on communication/interface ports)
Generally, I'd prefer to keep a desktop system running for 10+ years. My general approach has meant that my systems cost ~30% more than what I would pay by playing things closer to the edge, but I'm not recycling entire systems every 3 years. It's more like every 5 years for a video card and every 8 years for a HDD replacement. Cybersecurity is a different issue, there is no point in maintaining a system that jeopardizing this but I exercise human controls on top of whatever my computerized system is doing.

If I had to adapt to a variety of diverse clients, I'd probably worry more about staying up to date with the most current "Office" applications, but for my purposes I'm not concerned with this. If I really cared, I'd probably opt for a dual-boot desktop system (or one that I could configure for dual-boot), but per my own level of concern if I had to have the most modern OS for a client it's much more likely that I'd just invest in a new laptop specific for the job.

Jim Wynne

No, thanks. I think I'm not gonna change Windows 7 on anything now
Support for Windows 7 ended in January of 2020 which means, among other things, that there are no more security updates for it. Running an unsupported version of Windows is not a good idea.


Starting to get Involved
This secure boot & TPM is a pain because of the hardware and software both if some thing happen. you may lose you file access.
I have clone a sata hdd to ssd and then the encryption turned on by the client.
After cloning only I knew that was on.
Typical end user dont know what it does but they think turning on would secure the system.
But to the technical it is a pain.
And then encryption and decryption will take typically one day for you to get back access to the file depending on the file size and number of folders.

For a typical system that was 10 years old, Windows 11 is not viable you will see that warning in the Windows update setting.
Even if you can upgrade it make sure the manufacturer have signed drivers approved if not you have chase them down to comply with the drivers that is compatible.

Jim Wynne

After having used Windows 11 for a few weeks, there's not a lot to report. As I suggested in an earlier post, the changes are largely cosmetic, but somethings have been changed or moved around. You can no longer resize or move the task bar. The task bar can be resized, but it you have do a registry edit to do it. The default position of the task bar is bottom center, although it can be shifted to the left. Context menus have changed, but maintain prior functions.

I've had no issues with drivers; all of my hardware (two printers, mouse, keyboard, etc.) is working as expected. It appears that if your stuff is working in Windows 10 it should be OK in 11.

For myself, I see no reason to revert to Windows 10 now that 11 is installed, but others may want to weigh the value of the changes against the bother of upgrading.
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