When it’s time, you’ll know.
The questions have started rolling in, and I have an answer prepared.
While my most common answer — “It depends” — certainly applies, I’m going to go one step further.
No. No you should not update to Windows 11 yet.
Let me share my reasons.
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Is Windows 11 for me?
Windows 11 has not yet been released, and is not yet ready for general use. The requirements are confusing and likely to change. There’s no compelling reason to upgrade at this time. Windows 11 is not something the average consumer should even be concerned about until its actual release, and even then, it’ll be worth waiting a while longer.
It’s not yet released
The single most important reason not to update to Windows 11 is very simple: IT HASN’T BEEN RELEASED YET.
Yes, there are pre-released beta releases, test versions, and whatnot. Those are not for you. Those are for developers and technologists (and, sadly, over-eager reporters) to try out the technology, give Microsoft feedback, and just generally play around with it.
What’s important to understand about Windows 11 in its current form is that it’ll break, perhaps seriously, perhaps annoyingly, and it’ll change, perhaps a lot, before it’s released.
It’s not done.
And it won’t be until the end of 2021 at the earliest. I’d expect 2022 for general availability.
The requirements are confusing and likely to change
One of the most frustrating aspects of Windows 11’s announcement is the changing system requirements.
To me, Windows 11 really feels more like a Windows 10 feature update, except for this change. Renaming it Windows 11 allows Microsoft to more easily change the minimum requirements to run the system.
Initial results are really confusing. Even machines with TPM (a new requirement — Trusted Platform Module chips) are being told that they can’t run Windows 11. In fact, many machines, even newer ones, are failing the compatibility test.
Yes, there are workarounds for some of the issues. Are those workarounds going to work when Windows 11 releases? Your guess is as good as mine.
More pragmatically, are the requirements going to remain unchanged, given the large number of systems that apparently won’t meet them? It seems possible, if not likely, that the requirements might be “adjusted” based on feedback and publicity.
There’s no compelling reason
Windows 11 feels like a Windows 10 feature update, and there’s nothing terribly compelling about the features listed so far.
And of course, they’re changing the Start menu. Again.
If there were something truly exciting about Windows 11, I might be more interested. Most of the features I’ve seen announced are either borderline boring, or available already via other means.1
Aside: the every other version “curse”
This isn’t a reason, but . . . well, maybe it is.
|Windows Vista||Not so much.|
|Windows 8/8.1||Not so much.|
|Windows 10||On over a billion machines. Very popular.|
It’s as much superstition as it is anything else, and by itself, it’s not a reason to avoid anything.
And yet. There does seem to be a pattern.
Make of it what you will.
If you know, you know
There are people who can, should, and will play with Windows 11. That’s why it’s available now, before it’s done. Those folks will give valuable feedback to Microsoft and expose to the rest of us just what Windows 11 is or will be all about.
Those people know who they are. They know how to stay safe, and they know why they want to play with unreleased software.
If you don’t know — if you have to ask — then Windows 11 is not for you.
Not yet, anyway.
Maybe when it’s done.
Footnotes & References
1: I installed Microsoft Teams, one of the touted Windows 11 features, in Windows 10 while I was writing this article.