All about Windows 11 compatibility and switching

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All about Windows 11 software and accessory compatibility, promises of better and fewer updates and our view on whether Windows 11 is worth switching.

See all the coverage of Windows 11

Software and accessory compatibility

Underneath the changed desktop lies much the same core technology that’s in Windows 10.

Windows 11 uses the same drivers so most, if not all, accessories that work with Win10 will be OK on Win11.

Same goes for software. The majority of software will run on both Windows 10 and 11. 

Better updates

Microsoft promises that Windows 11 security and bug fix updates will be smaller and installed quietly in the background.

No mention of improved reliability of those updates, which too often cause trouble. With update hassles in mind, we hope customers will get the choice to update when they specifically ask for it.

One major update a year …

The good news is that Windows 11 will only have one major update in the second half of each year, not the two we endure for Windows 10. 

… and that update will last longer.

Those major updates will be supported for two years (Home and Pro) or three years (Enterprise and Education).  That means you can go for well over a year without any major changes to Windows 11, only security and bug fixes.

The Windows 11 compatibility tool is off to a shaky start. Let’s hope Windows 11 itself has better quality control than that app.

Is Windows 11 worth the change?

We’ve been using Windows 11 for some time and can’t see anything that would entice a switch to Windows 11.

If Windows 11 comes with a new computer, that’s OK but there’s nothing compelling that makes an upgrade from Windows 10 worth the time or trouble.  Even Microsoft is pressed to explain why Windows 11 is better than Win10 with this bland and almost meaningless drivel:

“Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.”

Source: Microsoft FAQ about Windows 11

The menu of windows positioning options is good, though way overdue.

Android app access might be useful but we’re very cautious about how it’ll work in practice. Compatibility, security and working with the Amazon store are all open questions. It seems Microsoft is also cautious about this feature and it won’t be fully available in the initial Windows 11 public release.

Voice typing will be interesting for some folks who prefer talking to typing.  However, Office 365 already has Dictation that works in Windows 10 so it’s not necessary for most people to switch to Windows 11.

The interface has been dumbed down (sorry ‘simplified’) meaning that options for more experienced users have been removed.

The main purpose of Windows 11 seems to be pushing Microsoft’s corporate needs, not bettering the work and lives of their customers. Win11 serves Microsoft’s desire to get more people using Bing search, Edge browser and Microsoft 365 services.

The relatively high hardware standards also discourage a change to Win11.

No need to hurry

Windows 11 will be out later this year with updates from Windows 10 in early 2022. Doubtless there’ll be much hoopla and encouragement to change.

Windows 11 will be offered (not forced) to Windows 10 users

You don’t have to switch to Windows 11.   Even if you do, there’s a 10-day grace period when you can roll back to Windows 10.

Windows 10 will continue to run and will be supported until 2025.  There’s plenty of time to let other people be the Windows 11 guinea pigs. 

That’s assuming your computer is fully compatible.

Most likely, people will change to Windows 11 when they get a new computer.

See all the coverage of Windows 11

Can your computer run Windows 11 properly or at all?
New and new-ish stuff in Windows 11
What’s going, going and gone from Windows 11

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