• John O'Rangers

Windows 11 Is Coming! What You Should Know

Just a brief note on MS Windows. Not sure if you've already heard, but Windows 10 is being replaced with the all-new Windows 11. It is, however, not likely to be painless. Microsoft is actively working with Intel, AMD, ARM, Apple, and other CPU manufacturers to develop a compatibility list of processors.

First, do not panic. The situation is still fluid and likely things will change. What should be noted is that Windows 10 is not going away for a while. Its scheduled end of life is October 14, 2025, so we will have it for 4 more years. So the odds are by that time you'll need a new PC anyways.

Here's what you need to know though. As it stand now, not all CPUs are "officially" Windows 11 compatible. For example, the PC I'm writing this draft on has a week old AMD Ryzen 3 3300X CPU. Wonderful processor, very hard to get because of high demand. As it stands currently, this processor is NOT listed as compatible. Yet strangely enough, its little sister, the 3100, is. My guess is that Microsoft simply hasn't completed testing on it yet, but we'll see. Some early beta testers have confirmed it runs.

This ultimately will be a bit of a controversy. Windows 10 runs on a lot of old computers, albeit painfully. But there will be a lot of machines that just won't run Win11, that's just a fact. This isn't the first time with Windows either. There have been other moments like this, one of which I recall from the early 1990s. Windows 3.1 was the first widely distributed version and came pre-installed on a lot of computers back then.

Unfortunately, that period saw explosive growth in PC ownership, and a huge number of computers sold between 1987-1992 or so came with the Intel i286 CPU. It couldn't run Windows 3.1, which required a an i386 or greater. So there may be some teething pains in the early days of Windows 11, that much I can assure you. The difference now is that Windows 10 will be around for a while. Back then there was no fallback option. It was MS-DOS with the i286 and earlier, and eventually the software packages required Windows, so those DOS machines faded away.

What is important to note is that Windows 11 is reliant on a hardware-based security module called "Trusted Platform Module 2.0", or TPM 2.0 for short. Its an actual hardware module inside your computer that provides security and data authentication. It's part of either your motherboard or your CPU, depending on how it's set up, but it's primarily motherboard related. You need to check with your motherboard manufacturer to find out if it's already built in. If not, you'll have to buy a small little plug in board to install. But that is all dependent on whether your CPU can run Windows 11, so there's a few steps involved.

In my case, this motherboard has "fTPM" installed, and Microsoft is saying that should work. We shall see of course, and I'm certainly a bit cranky over this CPU not being on the present list. But like I said, all of this is still in development. So I'm really not worried about it either way. But if you have a computer that's 7-10 years old, you're likely not going to run Windows 11 on it. There are some reports out of a potential 'unauthorized" way to do it that Microsoft is looking the other way on, but that's just what I hear.

Interesting times!!!

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