Microsoft has needlessly complicated the ‘Should I upgrade to Windows 11’ question: Millions of Windows 10 PCs will soon face an uncertain future?

Windows 10 PCs Upgrading To Windows 11 Incompatible Update Linux Distro Hopping Best OS
It is not just Should I, but also, Can I upgrade to Windows 11. Pic credit: Matti Mattila/Flickr

Windows 11 is already here, and Microsoft is officially offering the same, for free, to qualifying and compatible Windows 10 PCs. However, the company already supports Windows 10 and will continue to do so for the next four years.

There will be millions of computer users who are currently pondering the question: Should I upgrade to Windows 11. But there is a considerably large number of PC owners who are dreading the forced retirement of Windows 10 in 2025.

Microsoft will forcibly retire its most popular OS, at least partially, in late 2025:

Windows 10 is running well. However, the upgrade statistics for Windows 10 to Windows 11 will be entirely different.

The upgrade process from Windows 7 (or Windows 8/8.1) began grudgingly, and slowly. Still, millions of satisfied Windows 7 users, and those uncomfortable with Windows 8, gradually shifted to Windows 10.

Today, Windows 10 is the most popular Windows Operating System. In fact, it leads the market share. Nonetheless, there are thousands of PCs users adamantly sticking to Windows 7, and even Windows XP.

Just like Microsoft forcibly ended Windows 7, it will end Windows 10’s run. The company has even decided on the date: October 14, 2025.

If history is any indication, Microsoft would officially stop sending any routine feature and security updates. However, it could offer a paid Extended Security Updates program, specifically to businesses.

Windows 11 could face a little less resistance than Windows 10. In other words, PC owners could be a little more welcoming to the latest OS from Microsoft.

Windows 11 has a lot more going for it. It has a brand-new Microsoft Store which offers multiple new apps. The platform supports Linux and Android apps with full GUI and Graphics Acceleration.

But, due to the stringent system requirements, when Windows 10 reaches its End of Support, there will be millions of PCs facing an uncertain future.

Should Windows 10 PC owners upgrade to Windows 11?

Windows 10 PC owners have a lot going for them. The OS will receive about three Cumulative Feature Updates until it retires in October 2025. Thereafter it may get a paid subscription to Security Updates.

However, a very uncertain future awaits PCs running Windows 10. Despite packing decent or even powerful hardware, the majority of these capable PCs won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

As 2025 nears, the owners of those perfectly functional PCs, some less than five years old, will have to take one of the following paths:

  1. Continue running Windows 10, an unsupported OS
  2. Dispose of the unsupported hardware
  3. Install a non-Microsoft Operating System, such as Linux
  4. Ignore Microsoft’s warnings and upgrade to Windows 11

Incidentally, Microsoft has officially offered ways to install the OS on officially unsupported hardware. However, the company also has ominous warnings for such PC owners:

“This PC doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements for running Windows 11 – these requirements help ensure a more reliable and higher quality experience. Installing Windows 11 on this PC is not recommended and may result in incompatibility issues. If you proceed with installing Windows 11, your PC will no longer be supported and won’t be entitled to receive updates. Damages to your PC due to lack of compatibility aren’t covered under the manufacturer warranty.”

Dumping functional, but unsupported hardware, because it cannot run Windows 11, isn’t right. But neither is sticking with Windows 10.

Simply put, Microsoft could drive up the adoption of Linux Distros. Hence, it could be wise to go “Linux Distro hopping”, a term popular among first-time Linux users who routinely test new Linux Distributions.

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