Windows 11 Debate


Windows 11 Debate Thread:

Is Windows 11’s system requirements really, truly about security, or about driving new PC sales (license revenue for MS).

I’ll kick off by saying:

Windows 11 worked absolutely fine on my Thinkpad T470, with a 7th generation, I5-7300u. It has top notch, hardened security built-in too (TPM 2.0 etc). I say, Windows 11 is inherently just a huge marketing ploy to drive PC sales.

Just to scare people into thinking, they’ll need new PCs in a few years.

If this is all true, this is one of the worst thing’s Microsoft’s ever pulled.



Comments (36)

36 responses to “Windows 11 Debate”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    FWIW, I wrote about this topic here:

  2. sherlockholmes

    I ordered a Mac Mini yesterday.

    • wright_is

      I've switched to openSUSE on my Ryzen and will be looking to see what Apple does with their new hardware announcements next month or November.

    • usman

      You'll be in the same boat, that hardware will likely be cut off after 5-7 years.

      • curtisspendlove

        Just like windows, it runs the supported version of macOS for quite a long time. I’ve found Maxs to be far better long-term investments than Windows PCs.

  3. usman

    I am not going to defend Microsoft's requirements, but Windows 10 will still run on existing hardware. I'm seeing people say they're jumping to Apple or other platforms, but your existing Windows 10 install license is still supported for 5 more years.

    On the Apple side, Macs don't usually get support for more than 5-7 years. I can understand moving to Linux, but to Mac, you have the same issue with OS support that you're complaining about Windows 11

  4. scj123

    It seems to me that Microsoft announced the requirements for Windows 11 and everybody on here with a perfectly good 7th gen Intel chip and a working copy of Windows 10 removed it and put Linix on their PC. Have I missed the asnnouncement about Windows 10 stopping on the WIndows 11 release day?

    • wright_is

      No, you just missed that some of us got hacked off with the way Microsoft are doing things these days - not just Windows 11, that was just the final straw.

    • christophercollins

      LOL. Don't worry, they talk that Linux talk every version. They didn't go anywhere.

      • hrlngrv

        If one can give credence to StatCounter figures, Windows share of DESKTOP machines' OSes wen from 87% when Windows 10 was initially released at the end of July 2015 to about 76% as of August 2021. Over that time, OSX/macOS share has effectively doubled, Linux has increased 50%, and ChromeOS has increased 10-fold.

        Windows still has commanding share, but it's difficult to argue Windows usage has stagnated in absolute numbers of users and declined in % terms. I figure it's the application software which keeps Windows usage as high as it is, and the new annoyances with every new Windows version which have produced the decline. Alternatively, over time, the value of Macs has grown compared to the value of Windows PCs, as well FOSS and commercial options for Linux are slowly catching up with Windows.

  5. madthinus

    Honestly, Don't kill me, but this is about support cost. Making the requirements more modern, they basically enforce silently DCH drivers and class drivers that lifts all boats on the driver side. That makes sense.

  6. phil_adcock

    I loved Vista. I actually bought a copy of Vista (The only version of Windows I ever purchased) to upgrade on my Windows XP Media Center PC....That was the version of XP that came on my Gateway laptop... Anyways I ended up getting to use Windows 7 a while later as a friend of mine who owned a local company splurged and bought the enterprise license for his business. I was only 18 at t the time, he a few year older but talked him into letting me use his key to activate an IOS I found. Worked well for a few years. Got Windows 8 & 8.1 when my old laptop crashed and purchased a new computer. Windows 10 Beta came out shortly after that. I opted to Beta test it just to get my hands on it. I've also downloaded Windows 10 just because I wanted to see what the Hype as about.

    I have Windows 10 and Windows 11 also running in Parallels on my MAc and they actually work better there than they do on my HP laptop. Then again, Macbook Pro hardware is usually more premium then the Windows machine that I purchased.

  7. christophercollins

    Windows 11 has a better thread scheduler.

    The security requirements are a good thing and necessary.

    They can't keep supporting multiple OS's forever.

    Could they have put much of this in Win10. Absolutely. Would that have caused a support burden that slowed development on a better Windows 11... Absoulutely.

    We double standard Microsoft. Be more like Apple. They can do it, why can't you? They do something Apple like... Visual, scheduling, better driver security and then they get bitched at for not acting like 'old' Microsoft. They can't win.

    I'm glad they are doing this. I wish they'd do more of it actually. In a year and change, I have to upgrade all of our machines at work anyway (this is budgeted and planned for, and happens every x years). I'm glad I'll have better security on the new ones.

    Windows 11 is a nice OS... Windows 10 had 5 years left of support. I don't know if a 7th Gen Core will make it five more years, when you look at the advancements coming to chips, the PCI Express 5.0 & 6.0 links. Having PCI-E 4.0 for NVME storage is pretty big too.

    Microsoft is finally not standing still on Windows. Let's be happy. If you want to 'move to Linux' when Win10 loses support in 2025, go for it. If you are an enthusiast, you'll upgrade motherboards and processors by then. If you buy Dell/HP/etc... All of their machines will fully support Win11 security from November on...

    Next up, they need to stop the twice a year updates. Part of Win11 is also streamlined updating and a more modular design. They can slide new features in when they are ready. Like the Android app part. They can literally put that in via a cumulative update.

    Microsoft has my full support on this... Especially with all the cores going into prosumer and enthusiast processors. Better threading is a win for everyone. With games, already having this on XBox is just getting game design ready for future PC performance.

    • christophercollins

      *Windows 10 has support until 2025.

    • hrlngrv

      As long as the 1st account created on new PCs is BY DEFAULT a member of the Administrators group, Windows security CAN'T BE as robust as it SHOULD BE. MSFT has chosen a very odd point on the continuum between greatest security and greatest simplicity. That said, NBD at all for enterprises for which no one outside IT is allowed to use Administrator permissions. This is a problem for nonwork users using Home or Pro SKUs.

  8. lvthunder

    So since Windows 11 is supported for 10 years do they really want to support 6th and 7th gen hardware when they are 15 years old. Also, you have no idea what the roadmap looks like for Windows 11. It's not like the old days where when it was released you never saw a new feature. They might be developing new features that require the stuff that the system requirements say.

    • jimchamplin

      Personally I wish we could return to the days of there being a monolithic release and no random changes that come down the pipe after that. Less reliance on the damn internet is a good thing when it comes to system software.

      • hrlngrv

        | Less reliance on the damn internet is a good thing when it comes to system software.

        Have you figured out how to stuff that genie back into the bottle? Have you heard of anyone else who has any ideas on the subject? Or, perhaps more to the point, which universe are you trying to return to?

  9. navarac

    My vote is for a cynical marketing ploy. I don't personally think that encouraging use of Windows won't be achieved, by making people buy a new machine.

  10. hrlngrv

    At some point MSFT would have needed to raise hardware requirements from where they've been for Windows Vista through Windows 10. Why not with Windows 11?

    I can accept that recent Intel and AMD processors may be more efficient since they have defenses against Spectre/Meltdown built into hardware rather than requiring it in software. OTOH, call me a cynic, but TPM 2.0, UEFI and GPT requirements seem more about making it difficult to dual boot Windows and Linux than providing necessary security. Plus I trust grub more than anything MSFT would provide to handle dual booting securely and correctly.

    • wunderbar

      Dual booting Windows and Linux with TPM and GPT is a non issue. Linux has supported TPM and GPT for a long while.

      • wright_is

        Agreed, my Ryzen PC is now running openSUSE with TPM and GPT enabled, and secure boot.

      • curtisspendlove

        It depends on the Linux distro but most of them have signed keys and make it pretty easy to secure boot with fairly recent kernels.

      • hrlngrv

        I wrote more difficult not impossible. Working with TPM/UEFI/GPT does make installing the Linux distributions which support them more difficult than with legacy boot and MBR.

    • polloloco51

      Agreed! Of Microsoft should nix at minimum, 3rd generation processors and below. Still require, Secure Boot and TPM. That would be reasonable for next generation requirements.

      What makes this, such a mess. Microsoft still doesn't even explicitly state on the official Windows 11 page. 8th generation and newer requirements are required.

      It only shows the general requirements, with a link "with a compatible 64 bit processor".

      Microsoft needs to hire, an outside marketing firm desperately. I can't understand how a multi-billion dollar company, can be so bad at conveying such simple things.

      • hrlngrv

        Given the time duration over which MSFT's public communications have been terrible, it's nearly impossible to argue against the proposition that MSFT perceives poor communication is a benefit to itself. That is, it's no accident; it's intentional. Looking way back, lack of clarity may have served MSFT very well indeed when it was working on Windows 3 at the same time as OS/2, and conning IBM into believing MSFT was giving OS/2 its best shot. IOW, at some critical point in MSFT's corporate cultural development, lying and obfuscation became such an existential imperative that lying and obfuscation were cemented as MSFT's preferred form of outside communications, maybe also its preferred form of interdepartmental communications.

        In some perverse ways, MSFT would be a sociologist's dream case study.

    • navarac

      I can accept ANY hardware improvement requirements, but ONLY IF Microsoft was honest and consistent in it's messaging. Trouble is, they are chasing the populist Apple/Chromebook generation. We know people want "the next best shiny thing" but encouraging people junk perfectly good hardware "just because" is not really acceptable in the current climate of concern for e-waste etc.

      • hrlngrv

        I admit up front that I'm parochial in my perspective on necessary and desired software.

        That disclaimer made, Excel, PC games, and maybe some A/V editing/production software are all that's exclusively Windows with no close alternative under macOS or Linux. Everything Adobe has macOS versions which are the equal of the Windows versions, or so I've read.

        Point: all that old hardware COULD run Linux including variations on Cloud Ready. 4GB RAM and 64GB drive are more than enough to run a browser or serve as a thin client. It doesn't need to go to landfill. FWIW, even 2GB RAM machines could handle many browser tasks, and 1GB RAM machines with optical drives could play thousands of children's games which came out in the 1990s and early 2000s (no idea where that market segment went after my youngest turned 8). No reason not to donate such PCs to childcare centers, preschools, etc.

        All the metals in cases, frames, screws, wiring could be recycled. Dunno what % of the rubber and plastic could be recycled, but even 25% would be a very good thing. Could none of the actual silicon be recycled?

        • navarac

          Most of my old PCs have been donated, having cleaned them up and installing Linux.

  11. red.radar

    I have two thoughts:

    1. Could be related to the Specter and Meltdown breakthroughs and Microsoft realizes that their fate is somewhat tied to x86. This is a way to mitigate hardware faults from causing customer impact in which they share bad PR
    2. My other thought is the Security requirements is a smoke screen to reduce virtualization. Thus making it harder to transition to alternatives. Currently I run Linux 90% of the time and launch a Windows VM with GPU passthrough for my gaming needs. Perhaps its a means to keep beach heads from forming for other alternatives. I really don't think this is it.

  12. erichk

    You could take ideas like this further, as in, the fact that starting with Vista (I think) the graphical shell was hardware accelerated. So was it a ploy for us to buy new graphics cards?

    • polloloco51

      Windows Vista, was actually the complete opposite of 11.

      Took a long time to develop

      Manufacturers, didn't have drivers for hardware

      Had two phases of development

      Was released by the old school Microsoft, with Gates and Ballmer

      Needed a dual core processor and 2GB RAM to run perfectly.

      Windows 11 is being released, when drivers are readily available, and computers as far back as 2011, can run it fine. Given they have proper drivers.

      Windows Vista, didn't have a metal gate preventing users from installing it, on millions of PCs.

      I actually liked Windows Vista. It could have been a great OS, if it was dragged by all the issues and negative fanfare.

      • hrlngrv

        Picky: did MSFT really take a long time to develop Vista, or did MSFT take a long time to figure out Longhorn simply wasn't practical? My recollection is that MSFT developed Vista in a reasonable time once it admitted nothing would come from Longhorn.

      • erichk

        Not to derail the topic or anything, but I liked Vista too, although the UAC should have been less aggressive. Unless someone who is more knowledgeable about that topic can explain why it was like that in the first place.

        • hrlngrv

          I've read that MSFT made Vista UAC as bad as it was to shame 3rd party developers into making better application software.

          My own opinion is that MSFT wants the impossible: enough security so that Windows isn't a complete joke compared to Linux, but also simple so that Windows doesn't drive away users. The core problem with Windows security is that the 1st account created on new machines is a member of the Administrators group by default AND the only account most non-enterprise PC users use all the time. That just doesn't work well, so UAC in Windows is necessarily a PITA.