back to article Windows boss Panos Panay talks up 'new era of the PC' – translation: An era of new PCs

In the wake of Microsoft's latest set of financial results, Windows boss Panos Panay today gave an update on what he's dubbed a "new era of the PC." Or as we see it, an era of new PCs being bought that meet the requirements of Microsoft's latest OS. Panay boasted of 1.4 billion monthly active devices (a figure less than half …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "people accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10."

    Well duh! For many people an upgrade to Win10 meant junking a reasonable OS (Win7) for a privacy-sucking pos. Having already accepted a screwing from Microsoft, it's hardly surprising that people would be more likely to accept another one for Win11. I mean, it can't be any worse, can it? Can it??

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: "people accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10."

      People are upgrading from W10 to W11 hoping the odd number will be better. You know: W7 good, W8 bad. W8.1 (that's 9 if you didn't get it) good, Win 10 bad. Win 11?

    2. hoola Silver badge

      Re: "people accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10."

      Also, it just sneaks itself in as another update unless you tell it not to. Only after the deed is done do you realise what has happened.

      At that point the average user is just going to get on with things and not bother trying to roll it back. Techie uses are not going to do the update to W11 unless it is for a very specific reason and as normal users will outnumber techie users probably by 1,000s or even 10,000s it is no surprise the MS are seeing more updates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "people accepting the upgrade offer to Windows 11 at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10."

        Some of us know, that's not how he meant "twice the rate".

  2. TheGriz

    Twice. LOL right!

    For the sake of the argument, when their speaking engagement is "word smithed" with terms like "Twice the uptake of Windows 10", well if only 5% of users took to Windows 10, then only 10% are taking up Windows 11. (Making these numbers up, of course) Still it's not really something to brag about now is it?

    If they came out and said, well it's like getting a highly curable version of cancer. Screw that you still have cancer, not something to hang your hat on, morons.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Twice. LOL right!

      Given the amount of effort from Borkzilla (including things that were tantamount to bullying) to "incite" people to upgrade, the resulting uptake of Windows 1 0 was nothing to write home about.

      So, for 11, they have twice o' nothing to write home about.

      Carry on, Borkzilla, carry on.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Knock knock

    - Knock knock

    - Who's there?

    - Windows 11 ready to invade your privacy

    - Now you're talking! Oh invade me right now! I have nothing to hide, in fact let me show you this chat I had the other day with my co-worker...

    Most PC users in the world.

  4. Dwarf

    Was it only me ?

    Or did anyone else have the marketing wank-o-meter hit 15 (on a scale of 1-10) in the first 3 paragraphs of the article ?

    I'll be happily sitting on the side munching popcorn and watching from a safe distance with the other penguins.

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Was it only me ?

      Can the little red demons share the popcorn?

      You can have some of our weak lemon drink.

    2. Chris G

      Re: Was it only me ?

      It certainly has that ring about it, a ring like the one in the bath when you let the water out, called scum isn't it?

      Once my PC running 10 is on it's way to the choir heavenly, I will p program a penguin.

      By the way, Hi to the downvoter from Redmond.

  5. Schultz

    A market ready for disruption ...

    MS is playing a dangerous game: they are not developing OS functionality that their customers would appreciate, but they develop functionality that serves their own interests. There is a lot of inertia in this market: it takes time to learn navigating a new OS and it's scary that you might loose access to older data and software. But eventually a competitor may figure out what the customer wants and start offering a better product. And that better product might run better on a much smaller and cheaper computer -- once all the undesired crudware is removed.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: A market ready for disruption ...

      ...and it's scary that you might loose access to older data and software.

      It's incomprehensible that you might loose access to older data and software. An update OS in the same family of OSes *might* have reasonable excuse to prevent some older software running unmodified; at the very least it should offer some sort of translation layer. But to prevent access to older data? No.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: A market ready for disruption ...

      I'm trying to think of when they have added stuff to the OS that people really need and can't remember much since Windows NT 3.51. Since then, Windows seems to have been the vehicle to drive sales of MS Office and the Exchange server landscape.

      The risk MS faces is being displaced at some point by Android. However, Google seems to have decided not to pursue the desktop space, concentrating on its cloudy offerings, leaving convergence to manufacturers to try out.

      1. LastTangoInParis

        Re: A market ready for disruption ...

        Same for Office. There was nothing fundamental wrong with Word 97, indeed our Tech Authors refused upgrades until they were forced. Even now I still have to hunt around Word 365 to find commands that were obviously placed in W97.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A market ready for disruption ...

        Well, since NT 3.51 you got am improved shell, Plug&Play, DirectX (which isn't useful for games only), color management (not polished as it should be, true), remote desktop, a better domain model (excluding the mandatory adoption of new technologies like USB, etc.)

        But it is true that more or less it peaked in the Windows 2000 era or little later. And that's twenty years ago. The only useful addition of Windows 10 is multiple desktops - something that had internal support for many years but never surfaced.

        Meanwhile Windows started to walk backwards to make it more alike web sites and mobile apps - which aren't the main reason people need a desktop system.

        Android could maybe become an option for low-end PCs - but the architecture of a mobile OS become a limitation for an high-end desktop system. Not even Apple believes iOS can replace macOS - quite different users' needs. Moreover Android is still mostly Java - and there are reasons too why Java never became the best way to write desktop applications.

        1. Sub 20 Pilot

          Re: A market ready for disruption ...

          Almost everything you listed was a bag of shite and unneccessary.

          What I need from an OS which I have paid for is something that sits in the background and lets me get on with work or whatever else I need a PC for.

          I do not want adverts, things I have deleted returning after an 'update', pointless shit all over the place, constantly moving or hidden settings, forced upgrades that fuck about with my time using the PC and constant nagging to use a pointless app store, cloud service or a subscription to O365.

          The first company that produces an OS that works quietly without all this shite and still allows me to use autocad and a suite of other windows only programs will get my money.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A market ready for disruption ...

      You are right that today a lot of software - not Windows only - is designed to fulfill not customers' needs, but the company own interests (i.e. data gathering), Yet " But eventually a competitor may figure out what the customer wants and start offering a better product" might not be true.

      Designing an OS from scratch today is a very huge investment. Linux could not become a true desktop competitor because of different reasons, and also it too is designed to fulfill the needs of the companies paying for its development, not end users. macOS is designed to run on Apple own hardware only. Google is interested only to keep you inside its own walled garden too, as Chromebooks show. And still everything built on the Linux kernel have to cope with GPL (the reason macOS uses BSD code...)

      Who today is going to invest a large amount of money to develop a new OS for desktop end users - and also to get all the applications an OS need to become successful? And how to recover that investment when people don't like to pay for software?

      Android could succeed because iOS was Apple hardware only, Blacberry followed the same model, Palm committed suicide, and MS had a very feeble offering. And is paid by Google ads revenues. Moreover, desktop apps are far more complex and expensive to develop than mobile ones.

      Actually, only Microsoft can kill Windows, and it looks they are trying actively - but it's even difficult for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @LDS - Re: A market ready for disruption ...

        I could tell you who should invest if you can tell me why they should invest in a new OS.

    4. Chris G

      Re: A market ready for disruption ...

      And this statement; "we mobilized an entire industry across silicon, OEMs, retailers and other partners to ensure that as many people as possible who wanted a new PC at holiday could purchase one."

      Makes you wonder just how many fingers they have in how many pies or the degree of collusion that could go on.

      ' How would you like an upturn in PC sales? Our next OS will, if you like, require most adopters (who will have little choice) to upgrade their hardware to suit the OS.'

      Of course nobody would do that to their valued customers, would they?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A market ready for disruption ...

        Perhaps it's something a few regulators could take a look at.

  6. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Guess they are celebrating how fast almost new laptops break?

  7. sorry, what?

    If you want the local weather...

    Look away from Windows and towards your Window. What is it with showing me what it's like outside when I can already see? And opening the window to find out if it's chilly ain't hard.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: If you want the local weather...

      I totally agree with you.

      Except for that time (way back when) when I was working at a large tire maker's facilities in the northern half of Luxembourg. The entire IT department was in a vast open space - under ground.

      Well, not quite underground, but without any windows, it just as well might have been (and it bloody well felt like it).

      I spent two years in that troll cave. I would have appreciated having a weather app on the desktop (hey, no mobile phones back then) to tell me what I was to expect when emerging from the cave.

      Now ? I've got a "smart"phone, thank you. I don't need Borkzilla to load yet another multi-megabyte thingy into my RAM to duplicate functionality I already have on my phone.

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "beginning to enter its final phase of availability."

    They're replacing it with Windows 12 already?

    1. Snapper

      To keep pace with Apple? Blimey, they'd copy anything!

  9. Richard 12 Silver badge

    It was forced on my sister

    She didn't want to upgrade to Win 11, and it didn't ask. It just did it.

    She now can't use that machine to access several of the "web apps" required to do her job*. Fortunately she has a laptop that's "too old" for Win 11 so can still work, but it's totally ruined her workflow and she is mightily pissed off.

    * They're Silverlight. Presumably because some Government wonk hired a fool or a Harding to develop it.

    1. Boothy

      Re: It was forced on my sister

      Probably too late now for your sister, but just in case for anyone else, you can rollback from 11 to 10 from within Windows.

      Settings > System > Recovery : 'Go back' (same place as 'Reset PC').

      But as far as I know this must be done within 10 days of the 'upgrade', otherwise Windows housekeeps the backup of the Windows 10 environment to free up space (usually called 'Windows.old' on the boot drive).

      I've not done this myself (as I've no intention currently of using Windows 11), but I did use this method to go from Windows 10 back to Windows 7, back when 10 first came out (too many issues in 10 on my custom hardware, so stuck with 7 for another year, then did a fresh install of 10 onto a new drive, rather than an in situ upgrade).

  10. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    Just turn off the updates.


    "We're dooooooomed." -best cp3o voice.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weather on the taskbar

    I'm stuck in an office with a wall in front of me. Why do I want to know that it's sunny outside?

  12. johnnyblaze

    PR bull

    So much PR bull and spin you feel dizzy. Twice this, double that etc. No figures of-course, but hey, that's corporate gobble-de-gook for you. Just remember, As of mid 2021, Win11 was never meant to be a 'thing', but Microsoft's marketing department stepped in and saw an opportunity to distance MS from the increasing bad press Win10 was getting, and that new lick of paint nailed it.

  13. PeterM42

    What IS "Windows 11" ???

    When I type VER into a command prompt, I get:


    Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.22538.1010]"

    and this is on my "Windows 11" machine on the "Insider program" of very frequent updates.

    1. Boothy

      Re: What IS "Windows 11" ???

      And Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 were all version 6.*

      'Windows 11' is just branding.

      It also reflects the fact the at it's core, Win 11 is basically the same as Win 10 under the hood.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft driving WEEE for three decades

    There has been no increase in office productivity from endless upgrade cycles to cope with the latest bloat of Windows. CPU, then RAM, followed by screen estate now gigabytes of disk space and aeon's of Windows-wait time for files to load in office 365. No more work done in the working day, utter fcuking garbage.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Julie Larson-Green, Steve Sinofsky....and now Panos Panay.....

    Where do Microsoft find these people?

    M$ - "So you think you know better than other people?"

    Interviewee - "Absolutely....everyone I know is an a**hole!"

    MS - "You're hired!!"

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Julie Larson-Green, Steve Sinofsky....and now Panos Panay.....

      Nad, of course, you can get a good idea of people by the company they keep. (For both senses of company, even if that wasn't what I was thinking of when I started to write it.)

  16. Boothy

    No Win 11 for me for a while I think (for personal use anyway)

    Sorry for the length, I was basically researching while typing, and got carried away :-)

    When I first started reading about 11, nothing seemed to be a useful upgrade from 10 for my use case, and some things seemed a step backwards.

    I'm mostly a gamer on my personal PC (alongside web, general productivity etc), and that's been my main driving reason to stick with Windows, and despite MS pushing Windows 11 for gamers in adverts, benchmarks have shown it's actually slower than Windows 10 most of the time (more things running in the background I'd guess, but this might improve over time).

    In general, I just really don't like the way MS is moving Windows, so I suspect Windows 10 may be my last version for home use, at least as a main OS.

    I'm thinking of going back to dual-boot, likely Mint as main OS, Win 10 as secondary, and only use Windows when I need to. I might update 10 to 11 when 10 becomes EoL, just for security patching etc.

    For productivity, I've been using Open/Libra Office for years, almost all my own notes and documents are in .txt files anyway. So that's fine, and I've regularly used Firefox, Brave and other browsers, so no issues there either. I also have Linux on a NAS, and Pi-Hole etc. So not like I'm new to Linux.

    So that just leaves gaming. Probably 95% of my recent games are in Steam, and while only some are native Linux, most others show as compatible with Proton (Steams custom Wine implementation).

    A not so quick look on, and currently the top 100 games on Steam show as 80% Gold++ Linux compatible (or native). Only 10% don't work at all.

    Interestingly, most of the failed games seem to be multiplayer focused, PUBG etc. Most likely DRM/anti-cheat not working under Proton.

    I have no interest in multiplayer games, so a switch to Single player games and the top 100 now shows 92% Gold++ compatible with Linux (or native). Only 1 game actually failed to work, with 3 not being rated yet.

    For the top 1000 single player games, 59% are native Linux! I'm guessing lots of these will be smaller indie titles in there, as they are often cross platform.

    This is actually way better than I expected! A huge shift since I last checked Linux gaming compatibility about a year or two ago.

    Seems a tool called Lutris can also be used to get many Ubisoft, Origin (EA) and Epic games to work as well. I have a few games there, but non I play regularly.

    I might be having a busy weekend!

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