Ask Paul: July 2 (Premium)

America celebrates Independence Day this weekend, so let’s get the holiday weekend started early with another epic round of reader questions.
Windows 11 system requirements
yb asks:

The more Microsoft restricts CPU requirements the less market share Win11 would attain. Most businesses, such as ours would only buy new PC/laptops only when we need to - we do not really want to have two visibly different versions of Windows [support and training of staff]. From what I can see, the adoption rate for win 11 would be really slow- maybe 25% in two years? and then it will be time for the next version of windows?

So, I have the same concerns. Obviously, Microsoft needs to strike some balance between allowing free upgrades to existing customers and spurring new PC sales. And while most would probably agree that finding that balance is hard, Microsoft seems to be doing a phenomenally bad job of it. Regardless, I think you’re right: The stringent Windows 11 system requirements will only harm Windows 11 adoption because the customers who needed new PCs last year because of the pandemic already have them, and now we’re going to settle into a more normal PC buying cycle.

Do you have a rough idea of the market share of Intel CPU generations from previous sales figures? when do you think that win 11 would reach a 50% market rate- worst and best case scenario? It is a hard question I know[smile].

I don’t, and I would love to know that. I have speculated that 7th-generation Core CPUs are likely the biggest generation within those that should be able to upgrade to Windows 11, but that’s not based on any hard numbers, just anecdotal information.

Regarding the speed of adoption, Microsoft won’t be silly enough to make some “one billion”-type claim for Windows 11. And I think it will be happy to see a more measured (and reality-based) usage share uptick over time, with Windows 10 fading only gradually during its last four years of support. It’s reasonable to assume we’ll see ~200 million new Windows 11-based PCs each year from 2022 going forward and then we can add whatever number from the Windows 10 upgrades.

But how many Windows 10 upgrades, and when? We could only speculate. If the past is any guide, there will be a big number immediately when upgrades are allowed followed by slow growth after that with the occasional spikes from corporate upgrades over time. In short, I have no idea.
Teams vs. Skype in Windows 11
will asks:

One item with Windows 11 that is odd to me is the integration of Teams into the Windows client, and not Skype. I am curious why Microsoft thinks Teams is a better experience for home users vs Skype?

This is the wrong question. To Microsoft, Teams is the embodiment of, and the growth engine for, Microsoft 365, and the Teams brand is already so successful and positive for the company that replacing Skype is no longer even a question. To that end, Windows 11 will include Teams integration in th...

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