Curtain Opens on Windows 11

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Time Flies

It seems like yesterday we were hearing complaints about having to upgrade to Windows 10. That was more than six years ago. You may not have noticed, but Microsoft has already started rolling out the next generation of their popular Windows Operating System, Windows 11.

New Windows Design

More than a New Look

As you can see, it comes with a slight redesign of the taskbar and Start menu. Microsoft says that this time around they wanted to build something that felt “familiar.” At the moment, the design is the main difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 that Microsoft is talking about; however, there are some Windows 10 features that are being removed. Here are some deprecations or complete removals that stand out:

  • Cortana will no longer be on the taskbar
  • Tablet mode
  • Internet Explorer
  • Live Tiles on the Start menu

The removal of Internet Explorer (IE) may be the biggest functionality issue that creates problems. There are still many sites that only function when accessed with IE. Microsoft realizes this and have created a mode in Microsoft Edge that should allow for those sites to be viewed. To enable Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge, Microsoft has given steps here.

Microsoft Edge

What about me?

The rollout of Windows 11 will continue through 2022. If you would like to see if you can upgrade to Windows 11 now, check by going to Settings then Windows Update. You can also download and run the PC Health Check app to see if your PC is eligible for the upgrade. For now the upgrade is free. You may remember there came a time when you could no longer upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 for free. As of now, there’s no set end date to when you can upgrade without a cost.

Windows 11 Devices

There is also a grace period after installing Windows 11 where you can go back to Windows 10. You have 10 days where you can move back to Windows 10 while keeping all of your files and data. After the 10 days, you will need to back up your data and do a “clean install” to move back to Windows 10.

Now to answer the question most people are thinking: “Do I have to?” The answer to that is, “not yet.” If you would like to avoid upgrading, you have time before it becomes a security risk. Microsoft says they will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. That does not mean your Windows 10 computer will suddenly stop working on that day. On that date they will cease to push out updates and security patches to Windows 10 which will make systems running it more vulnerable to attack.

There is no set deadline, other than that date in 2025, that will tell you when you should upgrade to Windows 11. It really depends on your situation. One thing you can count on, in about seven years, be ready to do it all again once Microsoft starts rolling out Windows 12.

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