Windows 11, how to switch now or should you even bother?

Windows 11 is now available to the public but in a very slow and gradual way. Here’s how to get Windows 11, upgrade precautions and, perhaps more important, whether it’s worth bothering to change from Windows 10.

Office Watch’s opinion on Windows 11

Our advice – wait, there’s no need to rush into Windows 11.

We’ve used Windows 11 for some months now and we’re UNDERwhelmed to say the least.

The new Start Menu is a step backward with a poor design and less features than in Win10. The Emoji Panel, astonishingly, has been made worse in Windows 11.

Rounded ‘soft’ corners and a different ‘Mica’ look seem to overly excite Microsoft and their fan boys but aren’t any practical use.

The window position changes are good (hover over the maximize/resize button top-right of a window) but hardly worth the trouble of upgrading to Windows 11. See All about the on-screen changes in Windows 11

On top of all that, the increased hardware security for Windows 11, in particular TPM 2 plus high-end CPU requirements. Those needs are a good move but will stop many computers from Win11 upgrade, even some newly purchased machines.  There is a way to bypass the TPM 2 and CPU checks for a Win10 to Win11 upgrade, see below.

Windows 11 isn’t bad, but there’s nothing compelling in Windows 11 either.  Nothing to justify the time and trouble of switching over (assuming your computer is even compatible).

Don’t get caught up in the hype.  Look out for meaningless phrases like this (real) one “Windows 11 is here and ready to bring you closer to what you love” and instead watch for anything substantial in Win11 that sounds useful to you.

There’ll be a campaign that implies that ‘everyone’ is using Windows 11 and you’re somehow being left behind.  Don’t believe it.  Plenty of people will be using Windows 10 for at least the next four years (mainstream support for Win10 ends in October 2025).

See all the coverage of Windows 11

How Windows 11 is being released

In a word – slowly.

Microsoft itself doesn’t expect all compatible Windows 10 devices will be offered a Windows 11 upgrade until the middle of next year (2022).

It’ll be available on new compatible computers from now on. Get Windows 11 if it’s offered on a new computer.

Windows 10 machines will be offered Windows 11 gradually over many months but there are conditions:

  • Must have compatible hardware with …
  • Windows 10 version 2004 or later
  • also installed the 14 Sept 2021 servicing update or later

If you’ve been updating Windows 10 reasonably regularly (at least each month or two) there’ll be no trouble with the version or update requirements.

First with the Win11 choice will be new devices. Microsoft will keep track on the deployment and any problems before offering the upgrade to others.

When Microsoft decides your computer is ready this message will appear in Settings | Windows Update

Source: Microsoft

You do NOT have to upgrade to Windows 11 right away or at all. Just ignore the update offer, click the ‘Stay on Windows 10 for now’ link or do nothing.

If you want to change over to Windows 11 before it’s offered, Microsoft says you can download the installation media from here (that link isn’t working at publish time).

Windows 11 upgrade tips

Windows 10 to Windows 11 upgrade should leave all your documents and programs in place.

That said, you never know what can happen with a major operating system change.  ALWAYS get a full backup of your computer files, settings and programs.  Make sure you have product keys etc for all your software, in case it has to be reinstalled.

Most Windows 10 software will be compatible with Windows 11. Recent Microsoft Office work with Win11, naturally.

Rollback to Windows 10

For ten days after upgrading to Windows 11, you’ll have the choice of switching back to Windows 10.

Bypassing the Windows 11 requirement for TPM and CPU

According to Microsoft this registry key will bypass the TPM 2.0 and CPU checks for a Windows 11 upgrade.

Value: 1

Note: TPM 1.2 is still required.

This trick will be very useful for Windows 10 virtual machines you want to switch to Windows 11.

See all the coverage of Windows 11

Will your Microsoft Office will work on Windows 11?
Can your computer run Windows 11 properly or at all?
All about Windows 11 compatibility and switching

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