New OS vs New Computer
In a recent article I read by our own Jim Hiller, The Truth Behind Windows 11, he asks a compelling question about Windows 11 and asks readers for their thoughts. In reading some of the comments it reminded me of the dozens and dozens of articles I recently read, many containing the negativity surrounding the release of Windows 11.
A long time ago Bill Gates and the team of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were working on similar projects. To make a long story short, Apple decided to make and sell computers that contained their operating systems. Microsoft on the other hand decided to make and sell an operating system that was designed to fit in computers built by others.
Two Big Differences
Creating an operating system vs a computer plus an operating system was a big difference. Microsoft was not constrained by computer or hardware designs or improvements. They only had to worry about building and improving their OS. Another part of this difference was Microsoft traditionally charged users for newer updates to their OS. So, if you purchased Win 98, XP, or subsequent versions like Vista, Win 7, and Win 8, you paid a price. Over the last 36 years, Microsoft has only released nine major versions of its software prior to Windows 11. All but the 8.1 release and Windows 10 cost consumers money to upgrade.
Longevity — Windows 10 was first released as a test version in 2014 and it was touted as the “last upgrade” you would need to buy. Many of us thought (because we were told) that it was also the last version that would be released and only updates would be added for free. It seemed like a great deal then and remains one now. If you consider that Win 7 was rightfully one of the most loved versions of Windows and was released in 2007 discounting the horrible mistake of version 8, Microsoft has not charged for a new OS since 2007 and with support for Win 10 not ending until 2025 that effectively makes at least 16 years of free support.
This list of course does not cover the impressive iPad series of tablets. Nor is it in any way a comparison of Apple and Microsoft systems. But every one of these releases included the purchase of a computer and donating or throwing the old one away.
What To Do If You Don’t Want Windows 11
First, instead of worrying about something that won’t happen for four more years, I would keep my Windows 10 computer, particularly if you were unfortunate enough to purchase a new PC with an older processor. I would continue to use Win 10 for the duration of MS support and probably beyond, particularly if third-party patch support is added by companies like 0patch.
Next, I would investigate the almost endless possibilities of switching your OS to something else. As I mentioned before, excluding Surface, MS only sells Operating Systems, removes the MS OS, and installs another system. It really is that simple. There are over 400 working distros of Linux operating systems. Not interested? Switch to an Android OS or Google OS.
Did Microsoft pull a “bait and switch”? NO, they did not. If they made you pay for Win 10, then yes but they gave it away free. They are also giving you Win 11 free, and I have not heard of any upcoming charges after that.
If you do install a new OS, you might have to relearn some new commands in Linux, Google, or Android but probably not, you most likely have an iPhone, and the latter two closely resemble them. Linux, on the other hand, has several systems that mimic the Windows OS including Win 7 and 10 and without a doubt a soon-to-be Win 11 look alike. There really are no negatives here — only possibilities.