My 3 year old PC is not running the new version of Windows – Silicon Valley
Three years ago, I bought (and wrote about) an HP All-in-One PC, which I’m using to write this review. I use it every day and am incredibly happy with the machine. Once I upgraded it to a solid state drive (SSD) it was more than fast enough for all I need to do. I love the big touchscreen, and until last week I hadn’t even thought of
replace it with a new machine.
But Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows, which will not work on my machine. It would be an exaggeration to say that the machine will become obsolete, but it will not be able to run the latest version of Windows, and it is possible that there may be new software (or new versions of existing programs) that it cannot. not work.
I learned this when I ran the PC Health Checkup program provided by Microsoft to allow users to check if their machines will be compatible. Mine failed the test because its “processor is not supported”.
It is not uncommon for new operating systems to bypass older machines. The tech world does not stand still and there will always be a time when new software leaves old hardware behind. However, to orphan a three-year-old machine seems a bit much.
Of course, my machine will not be truly orphaned. I can still run Windows 10 and luckily Microsoft will continue to provide security updates and support until 2025. It is not clear if they will add any new features. And despite the possibility that there may be new programs that I will not be able to run, all of the programs that I am currently using will continue to function properly, although, again, there will come a time when even these programs will be able to exit. with features that will require the new operating system.
While this Compatibility Checker gave me what seems like a definitive answer, the actual requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 aren’t that straightforward, according to a blog post by Ed Bott of ZDNet. “You might think it’s a simple, straightforward task to find out if your current PC will run Windows 11,” but, Bott added, “Think again. “
Microsoft can’t quite figure out its upgrade story. And before you take any pity on my plight with a 3-year-old PC that I bought for well under $ 1,000, Bott also pointed out that even those who “went to Microsoft.com and paid close to $ 5,000 for a top-of-the-line Surface PC today, ”wouldn’t be sure their new machine will run the new operating system when it comes out this fall.
If my not-so-old machine and even newer Microsoft PCs can’t run the new operating system, imagine how many other people and businesses are affected as well. It’s not uncommon for consumers, businesses, and (especially) government agencies to hold onto their machines for a decade or more, so as Bott ZDNet colleague David Gerwirtz observed, collectively “we’ll be stuck with it. millions of Windows 10 zombies ”. And Windows 10 users won’t be alone. Gerwirtz analyzed a dataset of visitors to US government websites and noted that over 9.5% of the millions of Windows users who visited these sites were on Windows 8 or earlier. Of these, nearly 30% were on Windows Vista (released in 2007) and a significant number were on even older versions, including 15 people still using Windows 3.1, released in 1992 when the late George HW Bush was still President.
I don’t recommend anyone to use any version of Windows other than Windows 10 or the upcoming Windows 11 because Microsoft no longer provides security updates for older versions. The company ended support for Windows 8.1 in 2018. There was no Windows 9 just like there was no iPhone 9.
So what is Windows 11?
Microsoft says that Windows 11 “provides a calm and creative space where you can pursue your passions through a new experience” although its inability to support millions of relatively new machines may belittle the claim “calm” and engender a negative “passion” in some users. . This promised calm comes from a new look, which makes Windows 11 somewhat resemble the Macintosh operating system with more rounded corners and an overall smoother and more modern look. Microsoft is also adding productivity improvements with new ways to launch programs and organize windows on the screen. The new operating system will be able to run Android phone applications. There will also be improvements in the gaming experience, better energy efficiency for laptops and several other improvements.
While some PC users with newer gear may take advantage of a free update to Windows 11, I think most people will get it on newer PCs starting this holiday season. And, since Microsoft collects money from every new Windows PC sold, that’s good for its bottom line. It could also be a boost for the PC industry if it encourages people to buy new PCs. But, if history is any indicator, it won’t have an immediate impact on business sales. Typically, large companies are slow to switch to new devices and software until they have been fully vetted and the investment pays off, such as when older machines start to fall. down because they are too slow, too unreliable, unable to run essential software, or cannot run the latest security updates.
Larry Magid is a tech journalist and internet security activist.