back to article Microsoft: Many workers are stuck on old computers and should probably upgrade

Microsoft published a report today that highlights the "problem" of users sticking with ageing devices. It's all in the name of productivity, of course, as the company pointed to a potential gap between staff using old kit compared to those with newer computers as remote working becomes the norm for more employees. The report …

  1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge


    Here's an idea. Use more efficient software.

    My work lappie is now six years old, and my personal machine is coming up for 11. Both work fine, because I'm not using an OS which grows obscenely with every new major version.

    I may be looking for alternatives to GTK 3 based applications soon though.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Or

      Exactly this.

      Microsoft again is using gaslighting and manipulation to persuade businesses to buy better hardware, because they can't implement an operating system that is efficient.

      It's only because they have billions and huge influence that nobody dares to question their propaganda.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Nobody dares ?

        Have you missed all the penguinistas boldly calling to install Linux on practically every Borkzilla article ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nobody dares ?

          It's a small, but rather vocal minority.

          Microsoft exists to make money; everything else is either PR (aka lies) or a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

          anon for obvious reasons.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Nobody dares ?

            >Microsoft exists to make money;

            That's the irony !

            Old machine too crap to run Windows11 Turbo Super Edition?

            Use Microsoft Online for only $$$/month (payable for ever)

            Special offer if all your users switch to Microsoft everything online

            1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

              Re: Nobody dares ?

              An easy fix to to buy a new laptop that will run Windows 11 and plan to buy another one in a couple of years to run Windows 12 ... but if this is a good fix then you might make more money by investing in Microsoft shares instead of buying a new laptop.

        2. cyberdemon Silver badge

          Re: Nobody dares ?

          It is strange how the message doesn't seem to get through though..

          Who wouldn't want a system that does what THEY tell it to, not what someone else does..

          And yes, except for some increasingly rare use cases, it DOES work for everything you need.

          e.g. the most common excuse is gaming: Steam/Proton is so much better these days. There is little/no difference in performance, and I am yet to find a game that doesn't work.

          Desktop environment: KDE has matured in the last few years, you should try it out.

          Full-disk encryption: It's trivially easy to set up these days.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nobody dares ?

            A system that does what you tell it to, after you spend weeks of searching multiple support forums for anyone who encountered the problem of X distro linux not working with Y generic component (keyboard, mouse, joystick, printer, monitor etc.)

            Then factor in the question every Linux user has to answer, do I risk installing the latest OS update patch and breaking something/everything, or do I skip it so productive work can continue and we just pray we don't get hacked because we don't have the latest security patch.

        3. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Nobody dares ?

          I'm not a Penguinista by vocation, I just get to use the stuff because for the work I do its the better platform. Realistically the only reason for using Windows is that "the company made me do it", its something that you put up with rather than choose willingly. Most embedded and hardware development toolsets are based on a customized version of Eclipse which, in a Windows environment, is invariably hosted on Cygwin. Its true that with newer versions of Windows we now have Microsoft scripting support via Powershell and native Linux support but we'd be very unwise to convert to this because the conversion is always one way and there's the perennial likelihood that you'll be left high and dry by a future Microsoft release. The easiest way around this mess is just to carry on doing what you've always been doing and maybe using a secondary computer for the Office stuff. (....another problem with Windows is that USB support is still a bit hit and miss which makes using some JTAG debuggers a crap shoot.)

          I've also noticed that for most Office like tasks a Raspberry Pi seems to the job. Obviously it won't run Office itself -- most Microsoft products are system hogs (always have been (since the 80s), always will be) so you'd need too much system just for a "Hello World". But for routine stuff a Pi4 has more than adequate performance.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: Nobody dares ?

            ' because for the work I do its the better platform' +10 if I could for this statement. 20+ years in, that has always been my mantra!

          2. cyberdemon Silver badge

            Re: Nobody dares ?

            Yeah, WTF is wrong with Windows USB driver support.

            It doesn't support composite devices using more than one driver. You have to use a flaky 3rd party utility called Zadig to switch between modes of a composite device (if say, you have a DFU bootloader on your USB device or you have dual CDC/HID modes to communicate with it...)

            Windows thinks that "one device = one device driver, preferably from the manufacturer" but they haven't quite got their heads round standard USB class drivers yet, never mind composite devices.

            Really pisses me off when blows wants to reinstall the driver every time my mouse changes USB port..

            There's one obvious solution.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Or

        "manipulation to persuade businesses to buy better hardware, because they can't implement an operating system that is efficient."

        Another explanation is that new hardware means new Windows licences.

        The two are far from mutually exclusive. In fact synergistic is probably nearer the mark.

      3. jason_derp

        Re: Or

        "It's only because they have billions and huge influence that nobody dares to question their propaganda."

        Yeah but, billions and a lot of influence go a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy long way.

    2. JetSetJim

      Re: Or

      My personal machine is also about 11 years old, a trusty i5-2500K based jobby.

      Processing power hasn't really gotten all that much greater in the intervening years, what has significantly improved, though, is the efficiency of the chips.

      Compare specs with a new-ish i5-1135G7 and while there is a bit of an uptick in GHz, and there's double the threads supported, the TDP has dropped from 98W to 28W.

      Combining that uplift in efficiency across my whole system and I wonder what power savings I achieve in upgrading, and how long that will take to pay for itself (somewhat more rapidly if I have to change energy tariff soon with the current price hikes!).

      The only significant increase in performance is seen in graphics cards - I have an old Radeon 5770 which was a good one when I bought it, and still does a reasonable job on the games I can run (e.g. CS:GO)

      Overall, there's nothing in my system that screams "upgrade me", but it's a bit annoying that the latest iterations of WinOS (and graphics card drivers) mean that I can't run any new games that I might be interested in.

      Beyond limiting (artificially?) new software products/features to new OS versions, I see no reason that upgrading a reasonably specced machine from the last 10 years will increase most people's productivity (excepting those that hammer C/GPU cores in their work)

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Or

        I've just upgraded from an Ivy Bridge i7-3770 to a Castle Peak Threadripper Pro 3945WX.

        My new computer has 128GB RAM with the ability to upgrade to 512GB, whereas my old one was maxxed out at 32GB. That was the main reason for upgrading.

        It also has 10GB LAN, though right now everything else on the network is 1GB so obviously I don't see any benefit from that.

        The new CPU is about 10x faster, though most of the time, the 3770 was fast enough, and I don't notice the difference in speed. Both are basically instant. There are however some tasks where the difference in speed is very noticeable.

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: Or

          Seems like you're at a different point on the price curve than me :) The Threadripper is ~£1k for the CPU alone. I aim a bit lower down the curve before it starts to spike upwards - the i5-1135G7 is probably around the £200 mark, similar to what I paid for the i5-2500K IIRC

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Or

          Something launched in 2012 would have served perfectly fine for most.

          When you see a AMD Threadripper Pro 3995WX Thinkstation Listed for $18,000 that is totally out of budget for a lot of people. AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 64-Core / 128-Threads 3995WX 4.20GHz (Socket WRX8) Processor - Retail is still £4,999.99*

          My old £900 Nvidia 850m i7-4710MQ laptop is still working perfectly fine and apart from Windows now being a bit slower. I might still an SSD in it or Wifi6 card but apart from that...

          I see no point upgrading so I can then run Windows 11.

          1. Smirnov

            Re: I see no point upgrading so I can then run Windows 11.

            I see no point in upgrading as well and hence I am now running Windows 11 on a number of old PCs, the oldest one sporting an Ivy Bridge E processor. Admittedly, they all have TPMs (1.2 or 2.0), but so far Windows 11 runs perfectly fine and much better than Windows 10 has ever been.

            All I did was to perform a fresh installation from the standard Windows 11 ISO (no hacks, no patches), and all machines have TPM and Bitlocker enabled, and aside from one (a Dell Core-M tablet/convertible) also HVCI (I also did some tests on a Haswell E system and the performance difference between HVCI enabled and disabled was less than 5% for my tasks which include gaming).

            Having an old PC is no reason to give up on Windows 11 just because Microsoft officially "supports" only computers made in the last two years or so. It should be remembered than Microsoft has long ended "support" for older PCs on Windows 10 as well, so sticking with Windows 10 isn't necessarily the better option anyways.

        3. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Or

          Wow... You've got a 1GB LAN? Most people are limited to 1Gb.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Or

        I wonder what power savings I achieve in upgrading, and how long that will take to pay for itself

        The original fit computers at work (interactives, 17 years ago) were Pentiums with 7k2 3½" SATA boot discs, 2x 10k SCSI 320 data drives (in RAID 0 for heaven's sake) and Matrox dual-head graphics. Only 1GB RAM in most of them, some with 2GB. WinXP. Totally overkill to be honest, and when I started here we settled on Core 2 Duo replacements for dead machines (keep the case and PSU) with 2x 2½" SATA drives and some low-end passively cooled graphics card. The idle power consumption came down from about 160W to about 80W, but with electricity prices at the time somewhere around 7p/kWh that amounted to a saving of less than 4½p per working day (7½ hours) so payback was basically, never (worked it out to something like 15 years IIRC).

        More recently we have been using AMD A8 with a single SSD and onboard graphics. Idle consumption is lower again, around 35W from memory, and while electricity is more expensive and (the last batch of) components cheaper, payback is still probably beyond the expected life of the machines.

        And now, of course, AMD has ditched the Bulldozer-based line, so they really don't have any "cheap but good enough" processors and neither does Intel, so component prices when we next buy replacement stock will be much higher.

        Not happy.


    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Or

      Yep. I dropped Windows 10 this year, after dithering for a couple of years. With Windows 11 not being compatible with my Ryzen 1700 (8 cores, 32GB RAM, 3 SSDs). Even though it is much more capable than my work laptop (4 cores, 8GB RAM, 1SSD), it is insufficient for Windows 11, so I chucked Windows in the proverbial bin and stuck Linux on it.

      It runs really nicely, it takes about 8 seconds to boot and another 3 to load the desktop after I have entered my password. Much better than Windows managed on the same hardware.

      The only reason I am currently thinking about a new PC are the spiralling electricity prices - they have shot up from ~24c/kWh to over 34c/kWh since July. A more economical PC would be very welcome, but in performance terms, what I have is more than good enough for the next several years.

    4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Or

      I'm using a somewhat elderly (> 5 y.o.) work supplied laptop with RHEL 8.4 on it. It has 'only' 8GB of memory.

      Up until a short while ago, it coped with standard office type applications fine. But then the company switched it's IM to Slack, and increased the use of conferencing using Webex (and switched to a flatpak version of firefox in one of the system updates). Now, 8GB is too little memory, and during my morning conference call, it starts paging.

      I would be quite happy with a memory upgrade (and an SSD, if they could stretch that far - about £120 max. at the prices I would pay but cheaper for them), but when they allow it (device refreshes are currently on hold), I will have to have a new system.

      But this could be almost completely avoided with more memory efficient software. I would be quite happy keeping my current laptop, even if it is more clunky and not as sleek as the current offerings.

      My personal laptop running Ubuntu, several years older still, with 8GB of memory and an SSD works fine for what I need it for.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Or

      Use more efficient software.

      GOOD! JOB! (nice way to lead off the comments)

      I might add that Micros~1 should WRITE MORE EFFICIENT SOFTWARE

      Oh, the irony of it all...

      getting full use out of your hardware is probably more eco friendly than tossing it for something that can run Windows II, regardless of whether or not the old one gets recycled - in the place this stuff is usually made, they are apparently not too concerned with polluting their environment - seen photos of Beijing air quality? And none of these hardware makers, Micros~1 included, would be very happy if China were to implement the kinds of air quality standards (for example) that we have in the places that CONSUME the things they make, for it would increase their costs SIGNIFICANTLY. So, indirectly, they POLLUTE *OVER* *THERE* instead, then attend conferences to show how much they *CARE* about the environment...

      (and they could AT LEAST do something practical, instead, that does NOT require replacing perfectly good equipment JUST to run their BLOATWARE)

  2. Lon24 Silver badge

    Just enough is enough.

    Replace my company Mondeo with a Ferrari. Well it would help me go faster - yes please. Try to achieve that in London, the UK or anywhere with a 70mph type limit. You just reduced the productivity of the company by having to invest in something that does more than required to do the job. In many cases improving the broadband connection will do far more to enhance the WFH experience.

    Squeezing more value from your assets is what you have to do in a competitive world. Of course if you have cornered a little monopoly in corporate operating systems then that doesn't apply. You can concentrate on producing self-serving numbers that would fail you on Statistics 101.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: Just enough is enough.

      In many cases improving the broadband connection will do far more to enhance the WFH experience.

      Yes. Yes, please! (As long as the employer and/or client will pay.)

      Wait, problem: Their respective VPNs also need an upgrade (client's especially; my current connection is faster than it can handle).

      As for the hardware: One laptop is 3.5 years old and running fine, only slowing down when hit by the weekly McAfee scan. I might as well take vacation on Tuesdays. (I keep forgetting to leave it running Monday nights, but even then the scan still continues until almost noon.) The other one is newer but I'm not the first user and it's part tablet so it's limited.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Just enough is enough.

        I've got a 6 year old laptop decided was getting too slow so I got myself an 8 core monster and then put an SSD in the old one. I could easily go back to it.

        1. Col_Panek

          Re: Just enough is enough.

          Well, that would be fine if you run Linux on it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just enough is enough.

      Biggest speed boost for just about any PC is replace spinning disk with SSD. No need to replace the whole thing. Numerous older PCs reported as too slow just had an SSD chucked in them and now fly.

      Apart from gaming and some niche use cases like rendering or CAD any PC with a CPU from the last decade and sensible amount of RAM should do the job (unless you want to upgrade to Win11 of course) if you install an SSD.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just enough is enough.

        I found springing for an NVMe boot drive made even more difference than the SATA SSD I used on the previous box. NVMe smokes on IO rates. :)

        And just about every box I had for the past decade had a slot, sitting unused because I didn't know any better. :(

        1. ThereBePirates

          Re: Just enough is enough.

          This and replacing the M2 Wifi card with a newer Wifi 6 card boosted speeds up too.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Just enough is enough.

      I do wonder whether there is a case for the old large grey box that can be VNCed to for doing serious grunt work. I've got a dual GPU box which does Wake on Lan that I use for doing AI and other massively computational bits and pieces which I tend to do on sunny days so the PV takes the weight. Its not the sort of thing you want in an office as it gets quite noisy when its running hot but coming from pre PC days I can easily see this as being the sort of thing to be shared around so long as you can keep the miners off it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motivational? Pitiful more like it.

    "More than a third of employees who received new devices since the onset of COVID-19 reported a resulting increase in their productivity,"

    So 2/3 didn't?

    '"The report claims 16 per cent of employees (3,027 UK staffers were surveyed) reckon a new device "would increase their motivation." "

    1 in 6 reckon so?

    This is supposed to be an argument for refresh? As reported, Microsoft is giving companies an argument for delay!

    I'm not against updating, having somehow managed that early in the year. (Everything was available for maybe a month?) But it was for quadrupling the memory, etc., not for Windows 11.

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Motivational? Pitiful more like it.

      72.45% of statistics are made up on the spot!

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    "the same kit they had at the start of the pandemic."

    That was only 18 months ago ... OK: the kit was probably not new then.

    If the employee is doing the same job then why should their PC/laptop need to be replaced with something more powerful ?

    My PC is 9 years old and my laptop 5 years old, both still run well. One runs Debian the other Linux Mint.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: "the same kit they had at the start of the pandemic."

      my 14 year old spare workstation went titsup recently, had to get new motherboard+cpu+ram+power supply (had a case ready to go though). Same hard drive, though (running FreeBSD). Booted immediately like nothing had happened.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "they expect to be given efficient devices, not something that just about gets the job done, or slows them down as a result.""

    So delete PowerPoint.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Then Teams...

      1. Kane Silver badge

        Then Windoze?

        1. Col_Panek

          You need to change your icon. That is not a joke.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Or get their bosses to delete Excel?

  6. TonyJ Silver badge

    What a crock of shit

    Not that I am a cynic at all but clearly this is driven as an excuse to drive sales for new devices that will be supported by Windows 11 (apologies for pointing out the bleeding obvious).

    I've upgraded a handful of friends older devices this last couple of years simply by dropping in an SSD. Even a 2.5" SATA SSD is an order of magnitude faster than spinning rust. Occasionally a bit of extra RAM to help things along and they are pretty much as snappy as a new machine.

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: What a crock of shit

      ^ This.

      My old laptop was starting to flag a little, not because it is getting slower but because our demands of it were growing. 1TB SSD from conventional drive and upgrade memory to 32GB completely transformed it.

      Easily added another 5 years of useful life.

    2. Andy Non

      Re: What a crock of shit

      The wife's 5 year old Windows 10 laptop had been getting slower and slower over recent months. A cynic may put that down to Microsoft deliberately providing bloated updates with exactly that result in mind. However, having now got rid of Windows 10 and installing Linux Mint on it, the laptop now runs like greased lightening. No Windows 11 for us thank you.

    3. Chris G

      Re: What a crock of shit

      It's enough to make one suspect that WinD'ohs has a plan to sell SaaS already installed on Devices as a Service in the future, and are testing the water.

    4. Plest Silver badge

      Re: What a crock of shit

      Yep, put a cheap £40 SSD into an 11 year old iMac, gave it to my sister-in-law early last year and she's still happily tapping along on it!

  7. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Please think of the revenue stream

    "two-thirds of employees with a company laptop were still using the same kit they had at the start of the pandemic. That just won't do."

    We must keep the wheels of the consumer economy profligacy turning. It'll be fine as long as we paint it all green.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Please think of the revenue stream

      But business is so much more different than the start of the pandemic.

      Adding those new letters to the alphabet, and Global Britain switching back to L.S.D. and feet/furlongs/leagues is going to need a lot more processing power

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "nearly nine out of 10 employees would actually take a cut in pay if they could choose their own work device."

    What with ransomware and the like this seems a reasonable prediction. Was that what was meant?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nobody in their right mind would take a pay cut to chose a device they have to use for work and work alone. It will be locked down or damn well should be as it's a work device. Like I'm going to choose a monster gaming rig that I can't install games on? Not that I game much anyway. It's the most ridiculous thing that Microsoft have said and that's saying something with everything else being truly ridiculous.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        I agree with you. I don't know anyone who would do that, unless the computer was so broken they couldn't do their job and they thought they'd be fired for it. I'd like to see the survey that gave us that statistic. The other numbers reported I can accept; Microsoft's just drawing conclusions from it that I wouldn't draw. That is the only number I flatly don't believe is real.

  9. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Modern Slavery

    that nearly nine out of 10 employees would actually take a cut in pay if they could choose their own work device.

    Haha of course. It's like asking workers to partially buy tools for the employer, because poor employer (who likely has to avoid paying taxes, because they can't afford them either) need support of those wealthy workers. Why don't those pesky workers pay their salaries themselves as well?

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Modern Slavery

      For what it’s worth, a lot of mechanics in the US (at franchised car dealerships, independents etc) have to provide their own tools, at considerable expense.

      Not that I would want to give IT industry managers any ideas, of course!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern Slavery

        Yes, but most mechanics aren't hourly employees, but union scale contractors, the same as plumbers or electricians. Contractors ALWAYS have to provide their tools for the job. *I* paid for my computer, not the client.

        But I agree, for an *employee* to be asked to buy "suitable hardware for working from home" is an insult to the intelligence of a *rock* and exhibits all the moral decency of some child molestor flashing a school bus...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Modern Slavery

          Mechanics, even if they are employees, are skilled craftsmenpersons who expect their tools to last a lifetime.

          They aren't just drones expected to turn up a desk to mindlessly press buttons to generate Powerpoints.

  10. doublelayer Silver badge

    How often do they expect replacement

    The report has said that people are using "the same kit they had at the start of the pandemic". Yeah, me too and it's fine. Does Microsoft really think computers should be refreshed every year and a half? Especially as a lot of people got replaced hardware then when businesses bought every laptop on the planet in order to allow working from home without having to clean out all the equipment from the offices.

    Replacing old hardware eventually makes sense, but that's far too fast to do so. IT and finance should work together to make sure users won't be stuck with a machine that's hampering productivity, but if a machine purchased since 2017 is doing that, it is either broken or was a poor purchase choice in the first place (write that down, learn why it was bad, don't buy things like it again). If Microsoft wants a misleading report, they could have made a better point by focusing on the places still using computers from 2008; if you replace the drive with an SSD and use Linux or a clean install of Windows 10, they can be fine, but with their original spinning disk and Windows 10 upgraded from Windows 7 possibly spending some time on Windows 8 in between, they're not so much fun.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: How often do they expect replacement

      They are probably skimping on engineering and don't bother to produce optimised products and they won't to move the cost of that onto a customer.

      Why should they spend money on better software if consumers can be tricked into parting with their money now and then with a new shiny computer?

      This is classic Keynesian thinking.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Replacing old hardware

      Borkzilla does not define "old" the same way you or I do.

      I recently upgraded the hardware of my gaming rig. The last time it got upgraded was in 2010. It was actually working fine for what I play, but I found the attractiveness of the latest RTX 3080 just too juicy to resist.

      Eleven years is a period for which I can accept starting to call a config "old".

      I fully expect this new config to last me well beyond 2030.

      Borkzilla wants me to replace it by the end of 2023.

      Borkzilla can go screw itself.

    3. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: How often do they expect replacement

      Back when I worked as an employee, I got through laptops about one every 18 months, mainly due to them breaking. As a network engineer they spent time resting on various precarious surfaces and used to suffer with battery life, usb adaptors being ripped out of ports (and bending the pins), and occasionally bouncing off said support and bending the machines. Also spending time in building sites didn’t do much for the poor thing either.

      We did mention ruggedised but the cheaper machines did the job.

      But it was never upgraded just because (unless we were having a major refresh)

    4. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: How often do they expect replacement

      In the early days of Wintel each Office update was perhaps every 2 years or so (95, 98, 2000, XP) along with MS Office (3, 4, 95, 97, etc.,). Each Office version was supported by the current, and the previous, OS… Generally meaning hardware was replaced every 2-3 years?

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        Re: How often do they expect replacement

        Back when I was involved in deskside stuff, there were broadly two types of company. Some bought absolute entry-level, and refreshed every three years, others bought high-mid-range, and refreshed every five years.

        As far as I could tell, the two looked to be about equal in terms of cost and utility to the users.


    5. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: How often do they expect replacement

      Well, most manufacturers only include a 1 year warranty with devices for businesses, unless you pay extra to increase it.

      So I reckon they think people should replace their kit yearly. It sounds like it anyway.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How often do they expect replacement

      At previous job nearly everything was done in the cloud - Jira, Confluence, etc, and so the 5 year old laptop that they gave me worked fine. Almost as good as a cheap Chromebook, all we really used was Outlook and a browser.

      The comical part came when they were trying to create a software package to sell to the public, that required much more grunt than their aged fleet of minion computers could handle...

  11. colin79666

    Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP. Having more distractions and an OS that gets in your face instead of letting you actually get work done does nothing to improve productivity,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP

      Oh how much I agree with that statement. Dare I say here on this esteemed forum, that I still use XP on a 15 year old PC (2ghz single core, 2 gigs ram, 240 gig SSD) as my main daily machne. And I have worked from home for 11 years. I have Win10 on a laptop (i7, 8 gigs ram, 240gig SSD) and on a similarly specced 2nd desktop and for most tasks the old XP machine is best, fastest and most productive.

      Why? Because of the user interface. We all know how the UI on W10 sucks, but how many moved from XP to Win10. Perhaps because XP started life in the days of 800x600 CRT's, when running on a 2048x1200 27in screen it works and looks just great. When set to the same resolution on the same monitor, everything on Win10 takes up about 50-100% more screen space, meaning you get far less onscreen and have to do more scrolling and switching between windows. Want a dozen "dos boxes" (consoles) on screen? See how many more you can get on XP than Win10. Even the desktop icons in W10 take up 50% more space (11 vertically compared to 16 in XP). And as for utilities like windows calculator and file manager? Calculator sits neatly in a corner of the screen on XP, on 10 it takes up quarter of the screen. Same with file explorer - not that Win10 file explorer is anyway near as fast, efficient or functional as Xp's. Moving lots of files between folders probably takes 50% longer on W10 because of the abject lack of functionality. Access to NAS drives? Instant on Xp. About 5 seconds to respond on 10. And thats not to mention the number of times a day (tyically 2 -3 ) that Win10 needs to be rebooted becasue part of its network functionality has mysteriously stopped "the network resource is not available". Really, well it's accessible on every other machine in front of me, and no matter how many times I start and stop or disconnect/reconnect the network, the only thing that fixes it is a reboot. All those borderless windows full of great white nothing ness, where you end up clicking on the background window by mistake, or constantly having to scroll up and down to get to the bits you need, because so much of the window space is wasted? How much productivity time does that waste? The scroll bars that appear and disappear, meaning you need 3 or 4 attempts to scroll up and down - not exactly conducive to productivity.

      There are things that are no longer functional in Xp ( a lot of websites, etc) for which I have to use 10, but for emails, spreadsheets, documents, etc., it is just so much more functional and productive than 10. I fully accept the security concerns, and a decent UI on a modern kernel would be much better.

      And for the record, I also have Mint installed as dual boot on the Win10 desktop (and as a VM on the laptop) but the UI on that, while different (not necessarily better) than 10, still does not come close to Xp for usability. However, that is almost certainly where I will be heading in the future. But WINE does need a bit more effort and development from its team to fully replace windows. There are lots of software packages in the engineering world that are only available for windows.

      .....let the flames commence....

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP

        I preferred Win2000 until XP SP3. XP was ready for professional use after SP3.

      2. Hairy Spod

        Re: Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP

        more importantly than that Windows Desktop search in integration with office was epic in those days!

        Click start paste in the reference number, card number, employee number whatever and then in instant you saw every e-mail, spreadsheet and word doc that was relevant to the case.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP

        no flames, just a recommendation: Boot Linux, run XP in a virtualbox VM.

        I think that will work best for ya. Try it, you'll like it!!! Use the same license key, even. And backups of an XP VM should be a BREEZE (export virtual machine - voila!)

        then you will not need NTFS partitions and can make it 100% Ext4. If you got a new hard drive, did a fresh install, and tar-copied your /home it would go fast, then maybe turn the old NTFS partition into a virtual drive for VBox [I think you might get away with a copy utility for this part]. EVEN FASTER!

      4. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: Productivity peaked around Windows 2000 Professional, perhaps XP

        I’ve just realized that when I have to use Windows, it’s mainly XP with the "Classic" (Windows 2000) GUI in a Parallels VM on an iMac. I still occasionally use Windows 10 in a VM on the same iMac, but XP just seems more productive. No, XP is not allowed out on the internet…

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "an OS that gets in your face instead of letting you actually get work done"

      This. And the thing that's most effective at getting in your face is change for change's sake.

      On Linux I can take an hour or so after a new install to tweak things to my chosen standards and then carry on with business as usual. The idea of being not only forced into the vendors One True UI is bad enough but having that changed every few years is appalling. By some judicious choice of Linux distro I can cruise along with underpinnings that reflect nearly 40 years experience of Unix and Unix-like systems and a GUI with a classic look and behaviour that's just subtly evolved over the last 20 years or so. It's driven by what I want to use it for, not a revolving door or UX "experts" or a marketing need to pimp the UI every few years.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        This is why I have Mojave on my Mac

  12. HawkEye40779

    My fav comment was "nearly nine out of 10 employees would actually take a cut in pay if they could choose their own work device.". Who are these idiots ?? Leave my salary well alone, why should I pay for a new device to do their work ? Don't believe any of those stats with rubbish like this, most people I know just like to moan when the computer freezes / hangs etc but I have never heard anyone say they would take a pay cut for a new PC. Maybe it's a UK thing ?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Funny that employees who work through umbrellas are actually expected to buy all equipment out of their own salary... so there is that.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Not in any of the financial institutions where I've worked for the last 5 years (and some a lot longer than that), all of them forbade contractors to connect their personal devices to their internal networks., enforcing appropriate MAC filtering and whatnot, "Do not BYOD" is the motto

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Same here, the company you do the work for supplies the equipment due to data security. In return it is partitioned off on my home network so it can’t talk to my own devices.

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          These are exceptions. Majority of Medium sized businesses would expect their deemed employees to buy their own equipment.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            I really doubt that. Even companies that don't have a secure system where bringing your own device is forbidden tend to supply their employees with computers because it means they don't have to deal with the technical problems of others' equipment. I've seen bring your own phone setups, but rarely a mandatory bring your own computer.

            I've seen several of your posts recently on this topic and this week's poll. You seem to have a very ill opinion of ... well basically everything work-related. I can see how some of that is true, but I think you may be overeager in stating objections to the point that they're sometimes incorrect.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            My experience is long out of date but the general principle was that a freelancer supporting the customer's kit perforce worked on the customer's kit. You wouldn't expect a mechanic to service his own car instead of yours, would you?

    2. 43300 Silver badge

      It's not a UK thing - I've never heard anyone say it either.

      The only comments are 'can I have a new laptop' occasionally (but most know not to bother asking as it's dependent on the replacement cycle), plus the occasional "can I have a Mac" - answer "no". But even the fruity fans don't offer to take a paycut!

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. toejam++

      The big question is "how much" that pay cut would be. I'd shave $10 off my annual salary for a nicer laptop, which puts me in the 9-in-10 group. But more than that, sorry, I'll just switch my KVM back to my personal desktop and do other stuff while that underpowered lump of plastic grinds to a halt because of all the security crap that is installed.

  13. 43300 Silver badge

    The move to laptops is not good for keeping stuff going either - I can nearly always keep desktops working adequately for several years longer than I can with laptops, and desktops need repairing far less often. And the cup of tea knocked over the keyboard problem results in a tenner on a new keyboard if it's a desktop, or a complete write-off for a laptop.

    Of course, a load of these older desktops are going to be rendered obsolete by W11 (yes, we do have to run Windows on all client devices, unfortunately!).

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Laptops are an ergonomic disaster zone so the idea of being productive on one is laughable. They're convenient, they're portable (which can be a disadvantage if they get lost, stolen or broken) but they have a small display, a poor keyboard and less-than-optimal pointing devices. OK for casual use, demonstrations and so on but useless for serious work.

      Laptops used to have docks but because the actual computer bit is so cheap there's hardly and point to bothering with the connector, you're better off just using remote access even if its just across a desk.

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        The still do have docks, although like many things these have degraded! Dell Latitude E-series laptops (and D series before them) had a docking connector on the bottom of the laptop which snapped onto a corresponding connector on the dock. They were nearly impossible to break, whatever the user did, had no firmware or drivers, and worked solidly.

        Now, Dell laptops use the dreaded USB-C (that wonderful universal connector and standard that is jack of all trades and master of none). The Dell USB-c docks are much more of a pain in the arse - they need drivers on the device; they need firmware updates. They may or may not work with non-Dell laptops, and if they do work,that may well be more a case of sort-of-work (with the old docks there was no confusion as non-Dell machines didn't even have the connector). And a replacement for the captive USB-C cable, when someone inevitably breaks the plug, is nearly a third of the cost of the whole dock and power supply.

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Can confirm. Ditched my USB-C dock after it ceased to function the second time. IT had me turn it off and on again, update the firmware, update drivers, install hotfixes...nothing worked.

          I ended up with an external, powered USB3 hub, HDMI and USB-C to DVI cables for my two display screens, and a USB3 GigE dongle. Has been working like a dream for 18 months. Sure, I have to plug four things when I move the laptop, but it works, and that's the main thing.

          1. PM from Hell

            I use new old stock Toshiba Dynadock U3's in both home offices, they support 2 external monitors and have an Ethernet connection as well as a ridiculous number of USB ports. Working with several different clients I've only had one problem connecting a laptop to the dock and that was resolved by a call to their service desk to get the Dell USB dock driver installed so that Displaylink was then available. I think most vendors now use display link to drive their own kit so its an ideal solution for me

      2. TheMeerkat

        I am a developer who is working on company-provided laptops for the last 10 years (different companies). And no, I don’t suffer from ergonomics, as I use proper keyboard and monitor both at work and at home (usually better monitor at home).

        Actually I had a MacBook Pro from work with that stupid keyboard and escape key Apple was criticised for, but I only had to use that keyboard few times mostly during meetings.

    2. 9Rune5

      My wife inherited my Dell Precision 5510 bought in February 2016.

      There is nothing wrong with its CPU. It has 16GB memory and a SSD. It runs beautifully in 4k UHD touchy glory. I felt a bit cramped though and wanted 32GB memory, but there is nothing wrong with my old laptop.

      Except... First the monitor hinge broke. I got on ebay and finally tracked down the part. I nearly bought a part that had the exact same problem, so I know the problem was not unique for us. (and btw: first time replacing the palm rest case took me about two hours I think)

      Oh and "honey, the charger doesn't...charge". So it turns out that Dell, in their infinite wisdom, are running some sort of voodoo on their power bricks. If this voodoo isn't exactly right, the machine slows to a crawl until the battery runs out. I have a new wall wart on order and in the mean time we're sharing my new brick that came with my new Dell.

      I am sure you can manage to keep a laptop in pristine condition better than me, but... At least check the price of a replacement battery before you buy anything. Those things are consumables and rather expensive.

      If you expect/want a computer that lasts for longer; Just get a desktop. But not a Dell as they stopped using standardized parts. That way you can easily swap out the stuff that breaks or the stuff that becomes obsolete along the way. A different OS is not going to change that.

      (that said, there is a company specializing in a laptop design that offers swappable and upgradeable parts -- that might be something worth checking out)

  14. Gerard Krupa


    Microsoft makes excuse for Teams using all your CPU cycles

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: aka

      We all twigged onto Skype consuming all (bandwidth, CPU cycles, RAM). So they switched to Teams.

      Seriously, is MS using their "communications" software to mine Bitcoin?

  15. I code for the bacon

    9 out of 10 employees would actually take a pay cut if they could choose their own device?

    Sounds like a kind of nonsense you see on Dilbert strips. You can even expect some enlightened pointy-haired bosses saying "Let's upgrade the corporate equipment, because the employees are willing to have a cut on their pay to subsidize it" (Microsoft says it, so it must be true...)

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: 9 out of 10 employees would actually take a pay cut if they could choose their own device?

      How does, "Not an f'ing chance, mate!" work for you?

      I have no objection to the tools my company provides. They're not there because I like them, they're for me to work with. If there's a problem with them, I'll talk to my management, but I will most certainly NOT take a pay cut to get better tools.

      (I will however, buy them myself if need be)

  16. BenDwire Silver badge

    A report for the executive suite

    I'm sure most El Reg readers can see this for what it is, but it's not really aimed at us lot. It's for the 'managers' and 'executives' who can use it to justtify the new $hiny to their even more technically clueless bosses.

    I've just deleted the rant I'd written as I was beginning to dribble like a rabbid hound. You really can't argue with stupid ...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I will never upgrade until I can get twice as much as what I can get now at a realistic price. My 8-core 4.1ghz processor might not be supported but I'll be damned if I'm taking small steps. Sure the buses are faster, my memory sits at 2100 (can OC to 2600 if I so wished) and I have SATA 3 with an SSD but what gains am I actually going to make if I upgrade? Will I even notice the difference? Nothing runs slow, games (1080 card), programs, compilers. Even office opens in micro seconds when I have to use the damn thing. It boots in mere seconds in Windows 10 and Debian. Yet here I am obsolete in Microsoft's eyes because I don't have TPM2.0 which in the end will probably be something that borks my machine after an update some time in the future like their auto enabling bitlocker on dell laptops without telling anyone. No Microshaft account and as my mate found out you lose everything.

    No Thanks I'll just more to full on Linux when support runs out. I only continue to use it for work that needs certain things I've already built that I don't have the time to transfer over yet. Hell even Visual Studio loads in 5-8 seconds. What will I get with an upgrade? 3-6 seconds? Anyway, mini rant over...

    1. toejam++

      You might see a reduction in electricity usage if you upgrade to a newer machine with comparable speed. I finally upgraded after eight years and my new rig runs quieter, cooler, and with 25% less power. After selling off my old rig, the power savings should make this a free upgrade after about 2 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I already have a decent switched-mode power supply. Already thought of that one.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a new device "would increase their motivation."


    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: a new device "would increase their motivation."

      I think somebody didn't know how to spell "frustration". It's the only logical explanation.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My current work laptop is six years old and eligible for a refresh at work. However it runs Office well enough and allows me to remote onto a VM in a data centre where I do most of my real work. Why change it if it is good enough?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Why change it if it is good enough?"

      Because Microsoft want to sell you a new Windows licence.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Here's what our IT told me when I asked this question:

      1. Dell won't support it any longer

      2. We're moving to Windows X and Dell doesn't support that on your machine

      I have an old machine from work -- a Core2 Duo, and with a SSD and Linux, it's quite zippy.

      I have to say the main things that annoy me about my work PC are the complete and utter garbage that is Microsoft applications (no two use quite the same UI, controls are scattered all over the window, again, never quite where you expect them) and the constant UI changes for change's sake. Just pick a damn UI standard, Microsoft, and stick to it! We don't need yearly "refreshes" of the UI.

  20. Roland6 Silver badge

    Conclusion: MS has a lot of laptops & desktops that are unable to run W11.

    My first thought on reading this article.

    The corollary is that MS management are too stupid to revise the specifications of W11 so that it can run on older kit.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Conclusion: MS has a lot of laptops & desktops that are unable to run W11.

      Oh no they're not.

      They remember the days, long before .docx and its friends, when they could regularly upsell you new versions of Office. Not because you needed a new version to write stuff, of course. Because anyone who'd updated sent you files your own copy couldn't read.

      They want to get back to the old days when they could force you to buy a licence you don't want. And with Windows that licence means buying a new machine if the old one can't update. The H/W vendors, surprise, surprise, aren't objecting to this.

      If there's any stupidity involved it's launching this in the midst of a chip shortage throttling H/W production.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Conclusion: MS has a lot of laptops & desktops that are unable to run W11.

        >They want to get back to the old days when they could force you to buy a licence you don't want.

        Going to be interesting, given it seems W11 is the door opener to consumer subscription Windows (already a reality for volume licence users).

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marine pollution

    All those well-meaning people and geniuses at COP26 fail to see one thing: that almost everything hardware is manufactured in China or Korea or Vietnam or Thailand, etc, so the "carbon" footprint is very large. And it is not only carbon dioxide, there are many nasty chemicals in the smoke and ashes.

    Why they do not make a pledge to encourage local production of hardware?

    The pollution generated by marine shipping seems invisible, however it is among the worst. The fuel used by marine shipping is among the most polluting, sometimes even worse than coal. Rail pollution, when the locomotive is not electric, is also very polluting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marine pollution

      A different AC, may I just rant a little.

      A month ago I airfreighted a 6ft high, 19in rack that must weigh 250kg to S E Asia

      The customer was to immediately airfreight it back!

      All this was because we had finished one stage of the contract and the paperwork said all equipment had to be returned before the next stage. Apparently lawyers aren't allowed to think

      We no longer have plastic straws in the canteen because of our eco policy that we all had to do a training course on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Marine pollution

        The same can also happen for tax/import regulations to get "Country of Origin" type things in order (I have no idea how this sort of things work, or if I'm quoting the right reasons, but have recently seen a case where a 42U rack system was shipped to the UK before shipped back in the same direction to the end customer for this purpose).

      2. Old Used Programmer

        Re: Marine pollution

        A couple of months ago I was at a hotel we're going to run a convention at next year (new hotel because we outgrew the old one). For the walk-thru the hotel person gave out little presents. It's a cloth bag (with company name on it) with 4 stainless steel "straws" and a brush to clean them with.

  22. Blackjack Silver badge

    My desktop is twelve years old but has had several upgrades. Unfortunately, it is stuck at 4 GB of Ram max, so I really should replace it someday. My laptop is newer but I got it in 2015. There is no way I am replacing it yet. Even if I had to replace the hard disk already, the rest works fine.

    With the current supply of computer hardware being overpriced and prices only rising?Yeah, I will not get a new computer until I am forced to do so.

  23. KegRaider

    Is that so Microsoft?

    And here I am on my Raspbery Pi 400 keyboard. I've been using it for for quite some time, using it to connect to my work via the Citrix Workspace. I can then RDP to any of the systems/servers I administer, as well as using SCCM remote tools to resolve issues with end users also working from home.

    I have found no slowdowns whatsoever, even running Teams directly via Snap, apart from not being able to share my desktop from the RaspbianOS. I'd like to see most people working from home use a low powered device BYOD connecting to the office infrastructure using a VDI. But hey, whatever MS you do you. I'll keep using this energy saving machine for work, and keep my Windows powered gaming rig for games.

  24. Binraider Silver badge

    Wintel, and indeed motherboard manufacturers doing well out of ms latest round of enforced obsolescence.

    Nein, danke.

  25. OGShakes

    Here is a thought - buy a better device to start with

    6 year ago working in an MSP/out sourced IT support company, I made sure every laptop/desktop that we delivered had an i5 and 4GB ram minimum, we pushed our customers to get SSD if it was in budget. Talking to the guys still there, they are just putting in more RAM and upgrading SSD on most of those devices as they are still fast enough for the users needs. The policy there is still to get the customer to buy something that is higher spec than the minimum as £100 extra will save hours of waiting on the device effectively saving thousands on staff time and the device will last way longer. Buy cheep, buy twice is true of IT stuff just as it is of anything else.

    There are some interesting side effects to this. Apparently staff who leave the customers talk about how much better the IT was where they were and this gets the support company more work. Also staff feel better looked after as they feel their employers have invested in them by buying good equipment.

  26. MJI Silver badge

    My PC is ancient

    Quad core Q8200. Orignally XP

    I am trying to find certain RAM cheap to upgrade to 16GB to get another year out of it.


    Again MS Bloat with Teams.

  27. Electronics'R'Us

    Software and registry bloat

    See title. Registry cleaning software was a thing years ago. Uninstall a program and the keys linger on as zombies that are no longer meaningful simply taking up memory. On the one home machine that has Windows on it (5 year old laptop, core i7) I have a regular (every few months) ritual where I go through the registry and find all instances of keys that relate to programs no longer installed.

    My work machine (on which I am typing this at home) was issued to me in June 2020 when I joined the company. Windows 10 and all the appropriate security software in place. Attached to a HP port replicator that does the job to attach 2 external monitors and a mouse, keyboard and headset.

    Good enough to run CAD (electronics design) reasonably well although some DRC checks can be slow, although that says more about the efficiency (or lack thereof) of both the (mandated) software I use and the underlying OS.

    I used to write code that would fly even on a 65C02 (8 bits!). There is a mantra of 'more memory, faster processing = don't worry about optimising the code' which needs to be challenged.

    As to the claims of 'new equipment to make staff more productive', better broadband would go a lot further although my area was recently upgraded with FTTC and VDSL so I now have reasonable speeds for a rural area.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK if they donate their old equipment

    Company upgrading perfectly good hardware for no good reason every 2 to 3 years and donating all old hardware to local charities that can put Linux on it and give it to schools or low income families, or at least sell it at at a large discount: great!

    Company getting so paranoid that they say all old equipment has to be incinerated by mysterious "disposal experts" instead of being donated: bad bad bad.

    In one job I suggested that if they're worried about someone recovering data from their old hard disks, then simply remove the hard disks and incinerate just those, which at least leaves the rest of the machine up for grabs and all the new owner needs to add is a hard drive. But I was told company policy cannot be negotiated with.

    I really hope that the "disposal experts" are secretly just zapping the disks and selling everything else on, rather than really incinerating or shredding it as people in the company seem to think they are doing. Even if the materials are recycled, it's still far less efficient than continuing to use a machine that could easily have 10 more years of useful life as a Linux box.

    1. Dr. Ellen

      Re: OK if they donate their old equipment

      Where I worked (and that ended 15 years ago) they bought a new computer every time one started to have trouble on the network. Fortunately, there was no rule about destroying or properly disposing of the old ones. So I'd take them, clean 'em up and upgrade if necessary, and find somebody who needed a computer. Usually they upgraded everything - monitors, too, and keyboard/mouse combos. I didn't charge for this - everybody needs a hobby - and made quite a few people happy.

      Built quite a reputation as the Computer Fairy .

    2. Old Used Programmer

      Re: OK if they donate their old equipment

      My niece worked for a steel fabrication company. She was told that about a year before she started there, they had replaced all the office PCs. Being concerned about HDD contents, they took all the HDDs out, put them out in the work yard then brought over a crane with a 50 ton capacity electromagnet "hook". The "hook" was lowered over the array of HDDs on the ground and turned on. She was told that all the HDDs promptly stood up on end and waved back and forth. A random check afterwards showed no readable data on the drives.

  29. big_D Silver badge

    Same old...

    I still have the same laptop that I was given when I started with the company in 2018, a Lenovo ThinkPad T480.

    I have to regularly set up new laptops for other employees and, to be honest, my T480 doesn't feel any better or worse than the new ones I install (mainly Dell Latitudes these days). The new ones have better styling, but from a functional point of view, I don't feel I need to change.

    The same at home, I have a Ryzen 1700 from 2017 and it is just fine, more than fast enough for what I need - I bought it to teach myself Hyper-V, but I just do the odd bit of photo editing and it is now overkill.

    The only reason I am thinking of replacing it is because of the sharp increase of electricity (over 30% in recent months) and something like an M1 Mac or a mobile based mini PC would be much more economical going forward.

  30. nintendoeats Silver badge

    What a load of horse shit.

  31. WolfFan Silver badge

    I’ll upgrade

    If Microsoft pays for the new hardware. Which will be a nice new MacBook Pro, maxed out. Oh, MS wants me to run Win11? No prob. Win11 works in Parallels, right. Oh. Hmm. I guess no Win11. Such a pity.

  32. J27

    Let me rephrase Microsoft's point here:

    Our partners wanted an excuse to sell you new computers.

  33. khjohansen

    Of course they'd do - who'd kill the golden goose??

    *"More than a third of employees who received new devices ... reported a resulting increase in their productivity"*

    "I'd bloody well better report ++productivity or this'll be my last new $$shiny device$$"

    -nuff said

  34. johnnyblaze


    So lets see here - Microsoft artificially gimping Windows 11 so it requires new hardware for many (all in the name of security!). Microsoft publishing a report saying people are more productive with new hardware (running Windows no doubt). Microsoft's partners preparing for their post-COVID hardware sales to crater. Microsoft looking at slowing Surface sales and little interest in Windows 11 (unless it's forced on people - everyone remember GWX I hope).

    This is almost as good as Apple standing in front of the world and saying they know best what their users want - and sideloading would be a bad thing as it does terrible things like give users choice (all in the name of privacy and security).

    So says two of the biggest companies in the world who cream off more user data and information than almost anyone else.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err, the pandemic has only been going on 2 years. I expect my hardware to last 5-10. And that 5 is a *MIMIMUM*.

    You can take your "disposable lifestyle" and stuff it; I don't make that kind of money and I have something you don't: a CONSCIENCE about the environment.

  36. Kimo

    The most efficient kit

    Anything offered by my University is crippled by IT policy and can’t be updated without a trip to campus since they don’t give users permission. Despite sending us nag screens to apply updates we don’t have permission to install. I am not sure what justification exists for preventing users to upgrade the security software that IT pushes out to us.

    So I just use my own machine for anything important.

  37. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    MSFT's failure to innovate

    95% of the work I do today could be done just fine on Windows XP with Office XP (assuming stability & reduced defects). That would run quite happily on a duo-core CPU with a couple GB of RAM. MSFT has brought nothing to the table to make me more productive than I was two decades ago. The only thing they have done is increase their code bloat, which in turn requires more hardware.

    Oh, I guess they do change the UI every couple years. Update the lipstick on the same pig I guess.

  38. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    MICROS~1 has their finger on the scale

    My company sent me a fire-breathing workstation laptop - 10th gen i7, 64GB RAM, Nvidia RTX graphics, etc.

    Word (O362.5 x64 version) absolutely brings it to its f-king knees when I open a 250 page doc. The fan screams at max speed, text onscreen lags behind typing by by 5-10 seconds (!!), scrolling is janky, text search is slow, etc. In contrast, Cyberlink PowerDirector runs very smoothly when editing and rendering FHD video content.

    The hardware is not the problem.

  39. Old Used Programmer

    At least re-use the monitors...

    ...which will, undoubtedly be replaced along with the PCs.

    The company my son-in-law works for recently replaced a bunch of their desktop PCs. He kindly scrounged several monitors they were going to dispose up, none over about 3 years old. He got a nice 27" one for himself (a bit bigger than the 24" he'd borrowed from me). I wound up with a pair of 24" (one of which I deployed for my grandson in place of the 19" 1280x1024 one he'd been using) and a fantastically thin, lightweight 22" one with a manufacturing date of 2 years ago (and all the lighter because it uses a--rather dainty--external power brick).

    I am sure that there are vast numbers of kids out there from low income households that could use decent monitors to either be able to use inexpensive kit (such as Pis) or as a significant upgrade to a Chromebook, in terms of being able to see enough stuff without squinting at a 13" screen.

    So...even if either policy or practice calls for destroying the PCs themselves, at least pass the monitors on to people that can put them to good use.

  40. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    no chip shortage then?

    I assume there is no chip shortage then (it's all media driven), and you can drop the prices of bleeding edge gear significantly, so your partners can sell more shit (obviously necessary).

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm stuck on an old computer

    But I'm thinking of putting it on eBay ... if I can sell this old Altair I can probably buy a new car and be a new commuter.

  42. Col_Panek

    My 8 year old Chromebook runs Kubuntu just fine, and my 12 year old HP/Compaq runs MX just fine. But a cheap, newer refurbed one would be nice. So satisfying to hear Windows scream as I wipe it.

  43. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    Microsoft releases an OS that only works on nearly-new devices, therefore everyone MUST upgrade. Right.

    Two points here:

    1) I have quite elderly hardware (a ~10 year old desktop at home -- i5 750 -- which I did upgrade with 16GB for a RAM-intensive project I was running a few years back) and it's fine, even running Virtual machines and such. It has a GTX650 in it so I can even run my games on it. My parents have an even older Core 2 Quad (Q6600), and feel no need to upgrade. It is old enough to be "working harder" (you can see the CPU usage get higher on it compared to a newer system) but not actually max out and make you wait for it. But Ubuntu runs a treat on it, Chrome, Skype, Zoom, etc. are all just fine on it.

    2) With the current chip shortage and zeal for vendors to cut costs to compete with Chromebooks (while paying Windows tax), etc., some of the new hardware has dismal specs, I was shocked to see one system after another shipping with 4GB RAM, dual core CPUs showing back up in more and more systems, and so on. I'd hate to buy a new system only to find the real specs are LOWER than what I already have (i.e. a newer design but less actual processing power, storage, and RAM.)

    For me, the cutoffs on replacing a system would be simply 1) If it's 32-bit, for a desktop at least it's time to replace (Ubuntu 20.04's not even available for 32-bit Intel, Chrome's not built for it, I don't think Zoom and some other stuff is either.) 2) Does it have enough RAM, if not can you add enough RAM? (Ubuntu with "flashback" desktop will get by on 2GB, but I'd add RAM or replace the system if I had 2GB.) 3) Does it have enough processing power? I'd say more or less dual-core on up (of course if you're video encoding or doing other CPU-intensive stuff where you start it and have to wait, you probably want to buy as fast and many cores as your budget allows.)

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. ChadF

    M$ to English Translation

    In other words, Microsoft, a company with so much surplus money it can buy up other companies for literally billions of dollars, wants everyone else spend their limited funds on new, overly expensive hardware (due to part shortages), so that it can run their newest [unnecessary] OS, instead of switching to more streamlined alternatives, such as Linux.

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