Upgrading to Windows 11

Windows 11 has officially arrived! But have no fear, SDM is here to guide you through the confusing information regarding upgrading to Windows 11 to answer some key questions you may have.  

The three main questions are – can I upgrade to Windows 11 on my current computer? Do I need to upgrade to Windows 11? Should I upgrade to Windows 11?

Can I upgrade to Windows 11 on my current computer?

The first step is to go ahead and find out if your computer will run Windows 11. Here is a link to download the PC Health Check App which allows you to scan your computer to see if it is compatible. If it turns out your computer isn’t compatible, it will report the reasons.

When the PC Health Check App is done, you will receive a pop up message that indicates whether your computer is in fact compatible with Windows 11. Alternately, the popup will tell you that your computer is not compatible with Windows 11 and the specific reasons/specifications it is not.

Do I need to upgrade to Windows 11?

The short answer is no, not yet.

Windows 10 will be supported until October of 2025. While that may look like a year you see in a science fiction novel, it’s only 4 years from now. So if you ask again in October of 2025, our short answer will be yes.

Up-to-date Windows 10 users are able to receive a free upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft hasn’t officially announced the timeframe for the free upgrades. It is important to note that eventually upgrading to Windows 11 will not be free.

You may already be seeing prompts about Windows 11 and the PC Health Check App. Look under Updates in Settings. Eventually compatible computers will see the option to upgrade to Windows 11 once again in Updates in Settings. The timing may vary from model to model. Microsoft expects most PCs will be Windows 11 ready between the end of 2021 and into the beginning of 2022. If you know your computer is compatible, you can seek out the download for installing windows 11. Check in Updates under Settings

Should I upgrade to Windows 11?

This is an important question to ask. The answer depends on what impacts you the most. The changes vary widely and so does each individual’s ideas of big changes.

The best way to approach this question is to think about your use of Windows 10. Big or small, what is it that you really love or can’t live without. Are there any aspects of Windows 10 you hate or wouldn’t mind seeing gone.

One change is the ability to have a local user account on the computer. A local user account is one that isn’t tied to a Microsoft account. Local user accounts are not going to be allowed on Windows 11. This means when creating your User account on your computer you will have to use a Microsoft account.

This change can be seen as a negative. Some people are used to using a local account and don’t want to have an account with Microsoft. However, frequent users of Microsoft software could find convenience in having their User account tied to their Microsoft account. People who use Microsoft Office; Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint etc., will already have a Microsoft account.

Another set of changes to Windows 11 are related to the look and feel. For people who are more change averse, this might be a negative. For people who already use multiple kinds of devices, the change may seem refreshing and more up to date.

Windows 11 has an updated version of Teams and better integration. If you use Windows and specifically Teams for your work, this might be a huge positive change.

There will be better integration with Android apps. If you have an Android phone and are familiar with that environment, this could be a great change for you.

How to decide whether to upgrade to Windows 11?

Each change should be looked at with the lens of how it will affect your everyday computer usage. Only you can answer that, but we are happy to sit and talk with you about it. Here is an article about Hiawatha Bray‘s experience. Keep in mind that he is the technology writer for the Boston Globe.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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