back to article Next major update of Windows 11 prepares for launch

The next major version of Windows 11 is drawing near with the code hitting the Insider Release Preview Channel. Build 22621, which has been floating around the Beta Channel since May 11, arrived last night. Back in May, Microsoft noted that the disappearance of the watermark from the desktop "doesn't mean we're done." However …

  1. Terry 6 Silver badge

    I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

    I guess the general public aren't upgrading PCs as much, so it won't go on those older machines. The public don't much register which version they have, other than maybe to want the newest thing, perhaps.

    And what techie user would let this rubbish on, when it's even worse than Win 10 for user control, but for no advantage.

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      "when it's even worse than Win 10 for user control"

      What does that even mean.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        "when it's even worse than Win 10 for user control"

        What does that even mean.

        I think they are referring to UAC user access control? It's a dumpster fire to begin with...

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        "What does that even mean."

        It means that you don't own your machine any more Microsoft does.

        1. Alan Bourke

          Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

          Do they ? How do they do that?

          1. Tom Chiverton 1

            Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

            Have you tried to find the "no, I don't want a Microsoft account" option on a fresh install recently ?

          2. georgezilla Bronze badge

            Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

            If you have to ask, then you won't understand the answer.

            I bet you didn't understand this comment either.

            < heavy sigh >

      3. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        Stuff like making it much more difficult to manage the Start menu, and prevent it becoming a kind of advertising hoarding.

      4. Piro Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        Probably the fact they REALLY want to enforce Microsoft user accounts, amongst other things

    2. fwthinks
      Stop

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      I have a few fairly new-ish laptops that fail the Windows 11 compatibility check - so with the requirements being so strict, it will take a long time to be adopted.

      I have heard some people have successfully upgraded even when failing the compatibility check - but i can't see the average PC user bypassing these recommendations.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        "I have heard some people have successfully upgraded even when failing the compatibility check "

        Presumably on the basis of accepting a challenge.

      2. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        I have just installed Windows 11 on a 6 (ish) year old Thinkcentre and it runs quite well.

        I did have to download an iso and put it on my bootable USB stick, which no ordinary mortal is going to do.

        Once Windows 11 installs, and I tell it I don't have a Microsoft account, it allows me to log on using a local account, which is nice, but I can't actually do much without a popup appearing asking me to log into the Microsoft account that I don't have, so yeah.

        Not great really.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

          So my new PC finally arrived, complete with Win11. Even included the OS on DVD!

          (while spec'ng the PC, it was interesting to note the number of cases now that don't include any slots for DVDs, flash cards, or even antique 3.5" floppys. It does include copious amounts of LEDs though, even on the memory DIMMS. Which now 'need' an app to change the RAM color. Yey! Progress!)

          So the setup did nag me to create an MS account. Luckily I ignored it and was prepared with instructions to create a local account. Main gripe about that was it's pretty deceptive, ie MS very much steers you towards becoming an extension of their cloud, and doesn't make the 'offline' option at all obvious.

          Once set up, I've not noticed much in the way of nagware. There's an occasional login splash that wants me to 'finish setting up' my PC, which I suspect is really nagging me to participate more fully in MS's data rape. Again seems rather deceptive, especially as the only options are 'Bend me over' and 'Later'. I'd like an option of 'When Hell Freezes Over' because if I want to get more personal with MS, I could choose to do that later.

          T'other thing is the MS Store doesn't work. Oh dear, how sad, never mind. Nor do the 'widgets', or OneDrive. Shame. It also does the usual trick of having zombie apps running in background with no obvious way to tell them to FOAD. At least with Win11, it seemed easier to terminate it's Xbox junk with extreme prejudice. I don't have an Xbox. If I did, and connected it to a LAN, I know MS loves to probe people's personals, so should be able to discover an Xpox and ask me if I want to let it play on my network.

          But there's still cruft like 'PhoneLink' and 'YourPhone'. Yes, it's my phone. Not MS's phone. So kindly fork off because I'm not letting you access it. Task Mangler lets me kill the process, but like any good zombie or vampire, it keeps coming back. There's some other annoyances, like the animated wallpaper and ribbon color changes, which are rather distracting and make me think my monitor might be packing up. Plus presumably sucks up resources that could be used for better things.

          On which point, recommendations for apps that'll allow me to configure WIn11 the way MS doesn't want me to are welcome.

          1. Trollslayer
            Devil

            Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

            Erase Winge 11 and install Windows 10.

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      I guess the general public aren't upgrading PCs as much, so it won't go on those older machines.

      It slipped onto my four year old HP laptop without a murmur. Make of that what you will :)

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: It slipped onto my four year old HP laptop without a murmur

        I was unaware MIME was being used for MS Updates.

        ===

        RIP Edwin Earl Freed

        https://www.theregister.com/2022/06/07/farewell_barron_freed/

    4. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      The first time I touched a Windows 11 machine was when I was helping a neighbour setup a new laptop, just about 2 weeks ago.

      At first glance, it doesn't seem that bad, and surprisingly it did not ask for an MS account (maybe it was with an older build of Windows 11). But after reading up on the data it sucks into the MS mothership, I will wait a while more before getting my own machines on Windows 11. Maybe after it has been defanged somewhat.

    5. andy gibson

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      Sadly, it *will* go on older machines, and runs quite well. I found it used 1Gb less RAM than Windows 10 at idle.

      But Microsoft says otherwise and no doubt wants me to scrap a perfectly functioning PC that isn't anywhere near the end of it's life.

      1. badflorist

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        "I found it used 1Gb less RAM than Windows 10"

        Well it should use less considering there's less options.

        Eventually you'll be left with a dumb terminal pointing to Microsoft.com

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

      I guess the general public aren't upgrading PCs as much

      In a BAD economy, with DOUBLED fuel prices, rapidly rising food prices, and with computer hardware costs ALSO abnormally high (along with so many OTHER things) due to supply chain bottlenecks and "chip scalpers" inflating prices beyond the customers' ability to pay, is Micros~1 TRULY expecting us to wait in line JUST to get a new PC with THEIR OS on it, when MANY OLD designs just cannot run it?

      Priorities on spending whatever family income is LEFT after TAXES, rent, utilities, food, fuel, and replacing broken things does not leave a whole lot of dough for replacing something that WORKS with some "New, Shiny" that Micros~1 *FEELS* is better, especially when it is NOT. They did not learn from Windows Vista hardware requirements, *FEELING* that re-packaging that nonsense as 'New Shiny Windows 11' would work THIS time for sure.

      I suspect people will be contemplating new clothes and new phones (especially for their kids) and even NEW CARS, LONG before getting anything resembling an "11-compatible" PC replacement with Redmond's newest impersonation of an operating system pre-installed.

      Results predictable. Micros~1 lost touch with customers a LONG time ago. This is just more of same.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: I'm surprised that it's not appeared on more ordinary people's machines

        Micros~1 lost touch with customers a LONG time ago. This is just more of same.

        O? When has Microsoft ever been in touch customers?

  2. pip25
    WTF?

    "Commercial Windows Insiders"

    Good Lord, these exist?? What sort of commercial entities willingly run an OS with pre-release software?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

      Software businesses preparing a release to target it.

    2. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

      Anyone who deployed anything after Win7?

      1. badflorist

        Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

        I upvoted you but the ambiguity of "anything after" should be changed to "anything Windows ...".

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

          Do you know any other company doing that?

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

      If your company runs version x of ANY software, someone should be running the prerelease version x+1 to identify compatibility issues.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: someone should be running the prerelease version x+1 to identify compatibility issues.

        Haha they were well stuffed when Windows 9 failed to materialise.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: "Commercial Windows Insiders"

        "your company "

        So many companies aren't very big. Don't have more than a handful of administrative staff using a PC. So much employment is in small businesses - not corporations.

  3. 43300

    "It is fair to say that Windows 11 has not set the world alight."

    Bit of an understatement there!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have an upvote

      W11 == Bleh! No thanks... I'll pass. Move along there, nothing worthwhile to see.

      My last Windows system was retired in 2019. For me, the MS ship has sailed and sunk with all hands.

  4. Steve Kerr

    Nothing of appeal

    I've looked at it (on a VM) and currently, I see nothing on it which is giving me a "wow, must migrate to this immediately" as opposed to "kicking and screaming and throwing my toys out of my pram"

    For some people out there it may be OK as it seems they are trying to go for the MacOS type look but in a Microsoft way.

    Maybe windows 12 will be better, to me, this is like the Windows Vista/8 version, they've tried something different, it's going to fail so they go back to something similar to XP/Win7/Win10

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Nothing of appeal

      You think that Windows 12 might be better ... well maybe. But will your kids be running Windows 81 when you retire? Just another 69 updates ...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Nothing of appeal

      Windows 12? Sutely Windows 10 was to be the last version and it was all updates from there.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Nothing of appeal

        Windows 10 is certainly looking like the last version I'll ever use.

      2. 43300

        Re: Nothing of appeal

        When you think about it, Windows 11 is inconsistent with their policy regarding everything else, which is to move to ever changing (and ever breaking) releases with no obvious version number (although there are obviously build numbers).

        Presumably the ploy to try to flog lots of computers via the hardware requirements is the reason for this - but it appears to have backfired if so.

    3. elaar Bronze badge

      Re: Nothing of appeal

      I'm using it now on my dev laptop. Apart from MS deciding to move the icons (because after 30 years of aligning them to the left, I guess they thought people wanted a change), and making the start menu even more annoying, I don't immediately notice any difference.

      Oh, actually, every time I look in a directory in windows explorer, it takes 12 seconds to actually list the contents, with a "working on it" message to entertain me. State of the art SSD and OS (?) and 12 seconds to see the files in my downloads folder. Great stuff MS.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Nothing of appeal

        Give me a break, we have to scan every file and upload some metadata to the mothership!

        1. J. Cook Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Nothing of appeal

          Yeah, but every file, EVERY TIME?! Especially the static ones that were there since the machine was first installed and are older than dog?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nothing of appeal

        PERSONALLY I don't need 12 seconds to see all the porn / linux distros in my downloads folder, I know it all by heart! That's quantum computing for you!

  5. Tubz

    W7 to Win10 was a jump, Win10 to Win11 tiny evolution, tweaks, additions, M$ devs just p!ssing about with whatever they could, although visual improvements in the settings is good, getting away from old Win9x interfaces. Stability and driver support, have had no issues even with home built, if you stick to the named manufacturers. Even those machines not officially supported and "fixed" working without any issues, although I do think M$ may do a dirty update and bork them, how that legally plays out I don't know.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      My USB serial cable drivers for my Yaesu radios don't work on Win11 I found. This is Yaesu software (WiresX).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plain English Campaign - over 'ere

    "While Microsoft has not revealed when the new release will arrive for ordinary users, the company did say, "Windows 11, version 22H2 based systems may ship with drivers that have achieved compatibility with Windows 11, version 21H2 until Sept 5th, 2022.""

    Apologies if I'm being thick, but what does this even mean? As it's the only date mentioned, I'm assuming ordinary users will see the update in September, but as for the string of words leading up to it - not a clue.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Plain English Campaign - over 'ere

      "Ships with old drivers because it's still not really finished yet. Stuff may not work. Adjust your expectations accordingly, although they probably already are adjusted due to our track record."

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Apologies if I'm being thick, but what does this even mean?

      It means you are safe if you keep your pc unplugged until Sept 6th 2022.

      Oh, wait... I see what you mean.

      My head hurts. I'm glad I'm not recommending W11, that's for sure.

    3. General Purpose Silver badge

      Little Endian, Big Endian

      I think it works better if you move the ending to the beginning and stick an apologetic "only" in the middle.

      "Until Sept 5th, 2022, Windows 11, version 22H2 based systems may ship with drivers that have only achieved compatibility with Windows 11, version 21H2."

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "hardware refresh cycles ...e should mean an increase in adoption"

    What hardware refresh cycles. We were told only a few days ago that H/W volumes were down, partly because WAH and component shortages.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      W11 needs new special chips in a component shortage for no discernible reason. It's a plan so cunning that you could put a tail on it and call it a weasle.

      1. Scotthva5

        Apparently Baldrick is now running Microsoft. That explains a great deal.

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: Apparently Baldrick is now running Microsoft

          Yeah, that accounts for every release looking more and more like a turnip.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      And teh simple fact that current machines are mostly well over specced for user needs. Big corporates may have refresh cycles and committed gamers apparently need massively powerful machines to run retail games ( which seems strange). But the ordinary small office, small business or home user won't need an upgrade from any machine built in the last few years for a long time to come.

    3. 43300

      As regards business machines, Dell (and probably the other big players too) will still sell machines with W10 installed. That, of course, is what I've been buying!

  8. G2
    Boffin

    Win11 22H2 hardware requirements will be relaxed

    i think that those hardware requirements are relaxed by a lot for Win11 22H2...

    why? my CPU here is an Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40GHz with 16GB of RAM and Windows 10 x64 booting in legacy boot mode - my PC motherboard does not quite work right in UEFI Boot mode...

    ... and Windows Update has started this week to tell me that Microsoft has determined that my computer is compatible to migrate to Win11 22H2 ... WTF?

    Last week it was still telling me that my computer is not compatible with Win11... and now it is?

    note: i'm logged in with a Microsoft Account set for Windows insider - Release preview updates access.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Win11 22H2 hardware requirements will be relaxed

      From my laptop (Win 11 arrived last year):

      OS Name Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

      System Model HP ProBook 470 G5

      Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8250U CPU @ 1.60GHz, 1800 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)

      I bought it summer 2018 and it was fairly cheap so I'm guessing it's over four years old.

      1. G2

        Re: Win11 22H2 hardware requirements will be relaxed

        FYI from what i noticed over the years, intel uses the first digit of the series as a yearly counter and when they had 4 digits for model numbers it corresponds roughly to the year of the general commercial availability. (not actual launch)

        Just add "2010" as a starting point to that number and you get a general manufacturing year.

        i5-8250 ... the 8 + 2010 = 2018 (it actually launched in 2017, but sold a lot of units in 2018)

        i5-3570 ... the 3 + 2010 = 2013 (launched by Intel in 2012... i bought it in 2013..)

        the same general rule is still valid now when Intel uses 5 digits for CPU series/model numbers... but is slightly affected by the pandemic crazy sales / lack of stock.

        i5-10600 ... the 10 +2010 = 2020 (launched 2020)

        i5-12600 ... the 12 +2010 = 2022 (launched 2022... this year)

        q.e.d.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Win11 22H2 hardware requirements will be relaxed

          Pretty much correct.

          And for those that aren’t aware, ark.intel.com is a good way to look up details of any Intel processors - first ship date, clock speed range, cache size, codename, instruction sets supported, that kind of thing.

    2. G2

      Re: Win11 22H2 hardware requirements will be relaxed

      update: Microsoft took back its toys...

      https://www.theregister.com/2022/06/09/windows_11_requirements/

      apparently Microsoft accidentally turned off hardware requirements for Windows 11... ROFL.

      Windows Update now says again that my computer is not compatible with Win11.

  9. PhilipN

    "..leagues behind..."

    Is that measured in country miles?

    I would have expected a more pithy metaphor. El Reg devotees have a whole stable of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "..leagues behind..."

      elbows, double-deckers, swimming pools, dry and filled...where's the register conversion chart when you _really_ need it?!

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Give it a few more years

    How long did it take Win 10 to become stable? 2-3 years?

    I can wait. I will never forget the Great Brickage of Win 10 before it finally became... usable.

    1. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Give it a few more years

      > How long did it take Win 10 to become stable? 2-3 years?

      >

      > I can wait. I will never forget the Great Brickage of Win 10 before it finally became...

      > usable.

      Ah, now I see! MS are unable to distinguish between "usable" and "unstable"!

  11. Howard Sway Silver badge

    The update is also available to "Seekers" in the Windows Insider program

    The language used for their "get some users to do our testing for free" scam is reaching scientology levels of cult-like creepiness.

    1. nijam Silver badge

      Re: The update is also available to "Seekers" in the Windows Insider program

      > The language used for their "get some users to do our testing for free" scam is reaching scientology levels of cult-like creepiness.

      Bit like the New Seekers, if you recall them.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The update is also available to "Seekers" in the Windows Insider program

        Steady on old chap, I do remember the New Seekers and I'm not sure I'd describe them as having "scientology levels of cult like creepiness".

        Cheesy, yes, guilty as charged. I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) is a pleasant ditty in a MOR early-70s vein but hardly the last word in genre-busting bad-ass rock and roll, although it does make me crave a coke, of course. And no-one ever had a pool cue busted over their head to the strains of Come Softly To Me (as far as I know...)

        The worst that I'd say about them is that they were a pale echo of the original Seekers.

        1. Fred Daggy Bronze badge
          Coat

          Re: The update is also available to "Seekers" in the Windows Insider program

          Weren't they orginally the "Thamesmen"? Then later "The originals"?

  12. DenTheMan

    Forced adoption only

    With Microsoft barring 10s of millions of good machines from 11 uptake was always going to be ultra low.

    And in business, adoption is often when existing production software needs the latest OS.

    So it might take off sometime in 2027 then

  13. Tams

    No Surprise

    Well, it is mostly a new skin with bits removed or rewritten (often performing worse) just for the sake of it. New hires trying to push their 'vision' on us and justify the existence of their jobs?

    Windows 10 was fine. No rehashing of bits that didn't need it and worked. It ran well. Compatibility and customisability weren't thrown in the bin.

    Now we have this mess forced on us, and the complaints are either ignored or threated with condescension and scorn. It wasn't even this bad in the Windows 8 days And they added some actually useful functionality back then - Windows 11 as added what? Long overdue window tiling that doesn't even work with all programs?

    Honestly, Microsoft, fire the Windows 11 leads and get the Windows 10 team back.

  14. Mr Miser

    Upgrade confusions.

    Why does Microsoft think people will upgrade? Most people just have an OS so they can use applications. They'll upgrade when they have no choice. I don't understand why this surprises MS

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Upgrade confusions.

      There was a time when even ordinary users wanted the latest and "best" version of an OS. When they queued up to be the first to get a copy of the new Windows. But that was an era when Microsoft and others tried to create an OS that was attractive to users, so that we'd want it- rather than trying to force something on us so that they could control how we used it. Each version of Windows ( at least since 7) has removed more and more user control and introduced more Microsoft control so that they could try to shape our usage to ways that made them more money rather than providing a decent product for what they got paid They've turned from persuaders to bullies.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No surprise

    They dumped anyone with processors that weren't in their own line-up, so my top-spec 3-4yr old HP laptop did not qualify unless I choose to go un-supported.

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