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  • Writer's pictureSteven Burstyn

Will I Have to Upgrade to Windows 11 Immediately?

With the announcement of Windows 11, the question then becomes, “Do I have to upgrade immediately?” and, “how long will Microsoft support Windows 10?”

The short answer is that you will not have to upgrade immediately, but you probably should not wait too long. As with the update from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, the upgrade to Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for many Windows 10 users whose computers will support Windows 11.

Officially, Microsoft will end support of Windows 10 on October 14th, 2025. From the time Windows 10 was released on July 29th, 2015, Microsoft was committed to supporting their new operating system, as they have with all of their operating systems, for ten years. While each version of Windows 10 is supported for about 18 months, Microsoft will continue to release semi-annual updates and support at least one operating system version until October 14th, 2025.

However, this does not mean that you should wait until the very end before upgrading to Windows 11. While they will be supporting Windows 10 for the next four years and four months, Microsoft will be putting most of their effort into Windows 11. The updates for Windows 10 might have the latest security updates and the occasional new feature, but if you are looking for the latest and greatest that Microsoft has to offer, your best bet is to upgrade your desktops and laptops within a year of the release of Windows 11.

Die-hard Windows fans and people in the tech world will most likely upgrade as soon as the software is released. We do that not only because we are glutens for punishment, but it is part of our job to get up to speed as soon as possible to support the operating system for our clients. As an average user of Windows, you might not want to be one of the first people who download the new software. As much as Microsoft does to ensure a smooth rollout, there are just too many variables to consider, and new operating systems tend to have issues. Many people like to wait until the first major update before committing to a new operating system, and as a general rule, that seems to be a good one. Of course, we will have to see how things go as the release date approaches.

There are other factors that you need to take into account when deciding if you want to upgrade.

  • Can your hardware handle the new operating system? Microsoft has a tool you can to see if your current computer is compatible with Windows 11. If it isn’t, then you have other decisions you will have to make, such as how long before you decide to buy a new computer?

  • Are you running third-party software that is incompatible with Windows 11? Many times, third-party applications run on older technology, and some companies are slow to upgrade, leaving you on the old version of the operating system until the software can be upgraded. For example, banking and Accounting apps are notorious for being slow to upgrade to new operating systems.

  • Will upgrading impact your workflow? If you have some computers that can be upgraded and some that cannot, you will have to take into account the impact of multiple versions of Windows in your environment. This is not often a problem, except for some people who will find it difficult to keep switching between different versions of Windows.

  • Are your peripherals compatible? Your computer might be compatible with Windows 11, but if you have an older printer, especially a larger printer or a specialty printer like a large format printer, you have to take into account whether there will be the appropriate drivers for the printers. The last thing you want is to upgrade and lose functionality.

You have a while before Windows 11 is released, so you don’t have anything to worry about for now. As we get closer to the release date, we will let you know about any news coming out of Redmond.

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