Have a plan for Windows 11

Have you heard the news that Windows 11 is coming this October? I don't blame you if you think "why so soon?" because Windows 10 is only six years old. Some of you may have just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in January 2020.

The good news is that the impending arrival of Windows 11 will not immediately invalidate your Windows 10 personal computer (PC) by turning it into a pumpkin like Cinderella's carriage after the stroke of midnight. Rather, Windows 10 is slated to lose Microsoft's extended support on Oct. 14, 2025, which is a good four years away.

Although four years away, like the scouting motto, being prepared and having a plan is good for financial budgeting purposes at the least. Setting expectations and understanding the requirements for a smooth upgrade should increase the likelihood of having access to your "digital footprints" (documents, pictures, videos, etc.) of your life in the digital world and also be prepared if you have to upgrade sooner than later.

You can expect I'll have more articles about Windows 10 to Windows 11 upgrade path options and tips as one article is barely enough to cover all grounds.

By way of reminder, this column had been adamant about not using Windows 7 beyond Jan. 14, 2020. Even though nothing obvious may have happened on Jan. 15, 2020, you started taking on enormous amounts of risk for being victimized on the internet, aka the cloud, if you kept using Windows 7. We will continue to take the same approach when discussing Windows 10 so you'll have information and options at your disposal.

Until Windows 11 becomes available to the general public later this year, the information we are learning is constantly changing. However, one thing we currently know is a design-focus on hardening (aka strengthening) the PC's "security" by requiring a security "hardware" component present only in more recent PCs.

Without geeking out too much, the reliance of the PC's security function on a hardware security component was "optional," thus more older PCs could upgrade to Windows 10. But now that the existence of the hardware security component is a "requirement" in Windows 11, older hardware lacking this security component will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

Rather than keeping the determination of whether one's hardware is up-to-snuff to install or upgrade to Windows 11, Microsoft will have a program you can run that will make that determination and in the near future you should be able to find it on Microsoft's official Windows 11 website at www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11. Word of caution: only run the official "compatibility checker" found on the Microsoft website; never click on a link in an email, even an email claiming to be from Microsoft – instead go to the official website. As of this writing, the official compatibility checker on the above link says "Coming Soon" … just be patient.

Again, we have time, but let's be prepared!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with over 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives while using digital literacy as a tool for seniors to avoid loneliness and social isolation

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Volume 13, Issue 15, Posted 9:55 AM, 08.03.2021