back to article Microsoft really does not want Windows 11 running on ancient PCs

Microsoft's war on old PCs appears to have intensified as the latest builds of Windows 11 will not boot if your CPU does not support the SSE4.2 instruction set. The requirement was pointed out on X and follows reports in February that CPUs which did not support the POPCNT instruction could no longer run Windows 11. At the …

  1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Alternative

    Alternative OS it is then!

    Luckily I've been using Linux Mint for years and years.

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: Alternative

      Well done you. Obviously you don't need to use anything a business needs to run in the real world, or games.

      1. david bates

        Re: Alternative

        I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice.....and for gaming Steam has you covered.

        1. hedgie Bronze badge

          Re: Alternative

          Steamplay is pretty amazing. Enough so that I'm getting ever closer to dual-booting the Intel Mac with Linux just for gaming. The only thing that has stopped me thus far is just sheer laziness, since having comfortably large enough partitions would mean migrating a fair amount of data over to a RasPi with external storage.

        2. prh99

          Re: Alternative

          I don't know about business software (some claim Office 365 can be made to work under Linux but never tried myself) but Wine and Proton are very good for gaming on Linux.

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            You can use the online version of Office on Linux, I know because I’ve done it on my laptop. I know of at least one business that doesn’t use the standalone version of Office at all. Everyone uses the online version which makes working from wherever on whatever platform much easier.

            1. TonyJ

              Re: Alternative

              "...You can use the online version of Office on Linux, I know because I’ve done it on my laptop. I know of at least one business that doesn’t use the standalone version of Office at all. Everyone uses the online version which makes working from wherever on whatever platform much easier..."

              I pity anyone who has to do this on a regular basis. I find the online version of the applications - particularly word - can screw the visual formatting and make it really difficult to work with. It also still seems to lack some of the desktop application features.

              It is doable, as a workaround, but not something I'd want to do on a day to day basis. Doubly so on long and/or heavily formatted documents.

              1. _olli

                Re: Alternative

                I pity anyone who must use office on so regular basis that the online Microsoft 365® or OSS Office aren't options -- days filled with formatting Office® documents and Powerpoint® presentations are severe symptoms of bullshit job. Been there, done that.

              2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                It's a tough call. Desktop Office? Horrible. O365 in a browser? Also horrible. I find desktop somewhat less horrible, myself.

                That's excluding Outlook. I hate Outlook, but Outlook Web Access / new webby Outlook is just agony. Completely miserable and missing the features that matter most to me, such as Journal and not sending email until I tell it to do so. Loathsome UI, too.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Alternative

              "Everyone uses the online version which makes working from wherever on whatever platform much easier."

              That might work for some, but any company that has to conform to ITAR standards or just doesn't want their employees' work broadcast far and wide will still want programs running locally on the computers.

          2. NoneSuch Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Alternative

            Paraphrasing a quote from The Usual Suspects:

            "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world they needed O365."

        3. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          I'd love to work where you are must be nice and peaceful with only LibreOffice running and no other applications.

          1. david bates

            Re: Alternative

            You know Linux can multi-task, don't you?

            You know all those plumbers, builders, hair dressers, etc that make up the bulk of businesses? They don't need Windows..... Most of their need is probably browser based by this point

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Alternative

              You know all those plumbers, builders, hair dressers, etc that make up the bulk of businesses? They don't need Windows..... Most of their need is probably browser based by this point

              They're also not where the big volume license dollars are.

          2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            I'd hate to work where you are, as apparently thinking is optional there.

        4. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          > I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice.....and for gaming Steam has you covered.

          Solidworks doesn't run under Linux, nobody on Reddit appears to have got it running under Steam. Libre Office Writer can't reliability export documents with tables that Word will read correctly. I don't like the situation, but I have to live with it.

          Remember, computers are often used to produce files that can be read by suppliers and customers.

          1. david bates

            Re: Alternative

            Serif stuff doesn't either.... But both it and Solid works are edge cases. Most companies use neither

            1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: Alternative

              Any engineering firm will be using a lot of software that's Windows only and engineering firms, while not a large proportion of the overall workforce, aren't edge cases.

              1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                I am, of course, referring to the organisations that design roads and bridges and buildings and machinery and other such things. You know, engineering.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            "Libre Office Writer can't reliability export documents with tables that Word will read correctly."

            Alternatively, Word can't import Libreoffice documents with tables in reliably :-)

            I wonder which is adhering most closely to the published "standards" :-)

          3. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            "Solidworks doesn't run under Linux"

            That's fine for me. I have a Windows box that kept offline that I use for Solidworks and other CAD/CAM application. I'm using Mac for most biz things (LibreOffice, accounting software, email, web) and linux for lots of other things. The risk surface of Windows is more than I want to expose to the internet. If I wasn't stuck with programs I can't get on any other platform, I'd ditch Windows completely. I still get the shakes when I recall weekends lost trying to recover from incidents happening on the Windbloze box. Keeping them offline has been working great.

          4. nightflier

            Re: Alternative

            > "Solidworks doesn't run under Linux"

            It used to be Photoshop. Whenever Linux was mentioned, everyone with a trial or pirated copy of Photoshop would make sure to bring that up. Since Adobe moved to all subscriptions that cost real money, it has gotten quiet. I guess all those users were not professional graphical artists that couldn't live without Photoshop after all.

        5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          >I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice..

          I'm sure the only thing holding back my business is missing the new PowerPoint features which will be enabled by SSE4.2 instructions

        6. Patrician

          Re: Alternative

          And if you need Sage? And if you rely on some bespoke software that only runs on Windows? And for gaming Steam does not have you covered if the games you want to play do not have a Linux versions; what if you want to play Fallout 4 with mods using the script extender that requires a Windows executable to hook into? Same question for Skyrim, Fallout New-vegas, and there are many more games that do not have Linux versions.

          1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

            Re: Alternative

            > "And for gaming Steam does not have you covered if the games you want to play do not have a Linux versions"

            You clearly haven't done your due diligence on this issue recently. Things have come a long way in the Linux gaming world since Valve started putting resources into it to improve the experience on their Linux-powered Steam Deck handheld gaming systems. Almost no games have native Linux versions but save for a few that rely on specific anti-cheat software, pretty much all Windows games run just fine with Steam using Wine/Proton.

            1. Patrician

              Re: Alternative

              A Steam Deck handheld is not a PC, although it is impressive what they’ve got working on the platform.

              Running Windows games under Wine/Proton works but they don't run as well as under their native OS, I know, I’ve done it; there are audio issues and framerates are lower, and using mods is much more of a complication that on Windows, and they can be very temperamental under that OS.

              1. prh99

                Re: Alternative

                You can certainly use it as a PC with a dock.

                That's not true for every game, and a substantial and growing list of games run just fine.

          2. prh99

            Re: Alternative

            SKSE isn't perfect with proton and takes a little messing around but it does work. I don't know what you think is special about hooking an executable, but SKSE is inserting its self into the process memory for Skyrim through DLL injection. Wine and Proton basically use a re-implementation of the Window API etc for Linux along with various other trickery to make it seem like Windows to the application.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Alternative

            >> I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice.

            > And if you need Sage? And if you rely on some bespoke software that only runs on Windows?

            Which bit of the word "majority" is confusing you?

          4. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            "And for gaming Steam does not have you covered if the games you want to play do not have a Linux versions"

            I don't see how gaming isn't a distraction. It's bad thing for a business and there are dedicated gaming systems.

          5. GraXXoR

            Re: Alternative

            Nobody’s saying that everything is compatible with Linux. But the trends are there and these restrictions are making it easier for more and more people to justify the switch away from Redmond.

        7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          "I suspect you'll find the majority of businesses dont need anything beyond Libreoffice.....and for gaming Steam has you covered."

          Sometimes, I have to go work in one of our customers offices and do some support work. And thinking about it, almost everything everyone does is either in Office or webapps in the browser. How or if those webapps are tied into it being an MS browser or at least a Windows browser, I couldn't say. But there are almost no Windows native apps in use that could not be replaced by one for $otherOS. I'm not much up on what video conferencing stuff is out there but this company makes heavy use of Teams, both for messaging and video conferencing so that may or may not be an issue. Teams might be a bag of shite in the opinion of many people here, but from where I stand, it "just works", especially the wireless connections and screen sharing with the large conference screens and meeting bookings etc. so that even crayon munchers and coloured pencil department people can use it without too much help and support.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Alternative

        As a Linux user of 18 years...

        The only thing I can't do on my Linux laptop is have it display a screen of "Installing Updates" and take an hour to do it, blocking me from doing any real work.

        So in that respect, yeah. Windoze has us licked for an excuse to not do any work.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          Or BSOD. But I agree, after 18 years it's possible to forget BSODs.

          1. Grogan Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            If you miss them, there's a BSOD screensaver in the XScreensaver collection :-)

          2. BenDwire Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Alternative

            Our friend Systemd is planning to add BSOD's in the very near future. And no, this is not one of my lame jokes ...

            See Here

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Alternative

              Easily avoided: https://www.devuan.org/

          3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            BSOD is the least of my aggravation. New out of the box, took a Windows update, it borked my network drivers. *Every* update, I have had to install the drivers anew.

            Then, the latest update came down, borked the driver even more, reinstalling it won't work. And I get an update nag.

            Apparently, I'm to upgrade to the OS version that isn't supported, while my network driver is borked and well, next, juggle 16 flaming chainsaws.

            Oh, the fun part? They did it with other versions in precisely the same way in the past, from XP to Vista, from Vista to 7, 7 to 8 and now this tripe.

            If I'm to work this damned much at home, I should get paid what I get at work for it!

            So, I'll go from one Windows machine in the house back to none and be unable to pull logs from my medical equipment again, as there are no open source alternatives for any glucometers that give kickbacks to the insurance companies in the US or for that matter, any other packages that support open source.

            Oh well, hearts are overrated anyway, but being too sweet is always recommended.

            It's the price one pays for buying obscure branded computers, like HP, Dell, Gateway... I'm sure that a smurface would work perfectly.

            1. gc23

              Re: Alternative

              There is indeed an open source app for glucometers called Tidepool but sadly, it's only for Windows or Mac which makes it worthless to me. I have a Windows 10 VM that I use solely for my glucometer.

              1. rmallins

                Re: Alternative

                While the Tidepool download page only offers windows and mac bins: https://www.tidepool.org/download there seem to be clues that it can run on linux.

                The windows download link points to their github project: https://github.com/tidepool-org/uploader/releases/download/v2.57.0/tidepool-uploader-setup-2.57.0.exe

                Their github release page sadly confirms that they only build releases for Windows and Mac: https://github.com/tidepool-org/uploader/releases/tag/v2.57.0

                However the first part of that URL takes us to the project page for tidepool uploader (the tools which reads your device and sends the data to Tidepool):

                https://github.com/tidepool-org/uploader

                That page says it's an electron project and electron is based on web technologies and intended to be cross-platform - e.g. VSCode used to be written in it - don't know if it still is.

                It also certainly uses Linux containers as a development environment, and the source code contains "resources" for linux, mac and windows:

                https://github.com/tidepool-org/uploader/tree/master/resources

                Of course it may turn out that at the moment it can only talk to USB devices on Mac and Windows, so Linux can only be used as a dev environment with stubbed device data. Might be worth asking the project maintainer though?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Alternative

            Or BSOD

            Apparently Ubuntu 24.04 will shit the bed under certain circumstances - Learn Linux TV goes into how it came out a bit half-baked

        2. Watchmaker

          Re: Alternative

          18 year Linux user as well. I run a FX 6300 and it works perfectly fine on Manjaro.

          1. HenryCrun

            Re: Alternative

            @Watchmaker, I too have a FX-6300 and I've got Windows 11 running on it as a testbed. It's got Office 2019 and Visual Studio on it too and so far so good. If it goes "bang" then I'll be happy to put a Linux version or FreeBSD on it.

            1. Watchmaker

              Re: Alternative

              Glad you are able to keep using the hardware you own, for now. It all depends on what you are doing with the computer. Forget about it if you want to run the latest games. But if you mainly surf, email. watch a few videos and play esports titles older hardware can work for you. Its likely only a matter of time before Microsoft requires newer hardware. Linux on the other hand tends to keep older hardware going for a lot longer. My nas has a Pentium 3, and while it is mostly headless, I do have an openbox desktop that can be started if I need it.

      3. Little Mouse

        Re: Alternative

        I've been running Windows at home for the past 30+ years, because, well, easy. But there's no way in a gazillion years that I will let M$ force me to bin perfectly functional hardware.

        So, yes. When the time comes, it'll be a new OS. No question.

        1. david 12 Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          But there's no way in a gazillion years that I will let M$ force me to bin perfectly functional hardware.

          (In other news, Broadcom has taken over VMware).

          Microsoft was a player when the Personal Computer created a space between Green Screen computers and Games machines. They aren't interested in that niche market anymore, and have not been for some time.

          1. Old one

            Re: Alternative

            I learned DR DOS that had 2 updates in 1 years vs MSshitos that had 26 revisions... Windows was a license off DR DOS Gem Desktop and it had weekly revisions . I still run XP & Pro 7 with hardware that WORKS -- ya a bit slower but does jobs that modern hardware can not do without paying a fortune for special equipment.

            1. Tron Silver badge

              Re: Alternative

              Offline you can use W7. Proper software. Online, use a tablet.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          Yes. I still have Windows on my personal laptop because I've been too lazy to replace it, and Windows + Cygwin is UNIXy enough for my casual use and I have Linux VMs for anything more extensive, and I prefer to install the desktop TurboTax to do my taxes.

          But I'm thinking that when TurboTax starts requiring Windows 11 I'll either switch to online TurboTax (ugh) or find some other tax software to use (probably also ugh, but maybe less so). I might keep a Win10 VM just in case, but I suspect it will get very little use.

      4. m4r35n357 Silver badge

        Re: Alternative

        Looks like you are doomed! Just pay the man, man.

      5. Marty McFly Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Alternative

        "Obviously you don't need to use anything a business needs to run in the real world"

        Good lord, have you seen how much stuff is done via a browser these days? Less & less of my daily workload is running locally on my endpoint.

        Looking at the Taskbar on my PC right now, everything I have launched could be done on Linux with a browser. I actually didn't realize that and make that connection until just now. I wonder how many other corporate users are in the same situation.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          "Good lord, have you seen how much stuff is done via a browser these days?"

          Quite a lot, but by no means all - especially where businesses rely on specialist software which has been around for a while.

          There is also the user training issue (which probably applies as much to Libre Office or whatever than it does to the OS itself). The fanboys always ignore this. They are also oblivious to the point that it's very tedious having 'just use Linux' or similar posted on nearly every thread about something Windows-related. There is probably nobody who regularly reads this forum who hasn't used Linux, and many will have a lot of experience of it (enough to know that a blanket approach of 'the answer is Linux - now what's the question - is not sensible).

          Perhaps those who work in the real world should start to post on all threads about Linux 'Just use Windows'...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            "There is also the user training issue (which probably applies as much to Libre Office or whatever than it does to the OS itself). The fanboys always ignore this."

            So, I suspect, do Windows shops. They just assume everyone "knows" Windows. Or they let users train each other which amounts to passing on each other's bad habits. That explains a lot, from Comix Sans in serious documents upwards.

            I, in my self-trained LibreOffice way, have edited a few books written in Word. Tables laid out with tabs and spaces. Tabs and spaces to put text down the right-hand side of an image. Images "cropped" by Word which are full-size but just masked off* so in one case the image was not only full size in the file but also duplicated because it had been inserted a second time to crop down to a different face. Yes, you don't need to train users because they "know" Windows (which obviously includes Office).

            * Admittedly LO duplicates this misfeature but nobody trains authors to edit their images properly before inserting them.

            1. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: Alternative

              The reality is that most people DO know Windows (and Microsoft Office). That's one of the main reasons why Microsoft continues to be the market leader in the business client machine field (let's face it, they certainly don't come out top on technical merit!).

              1. Rattus
                Holmes

                Re: Alternative

                the reality is most people know windows and the version of office that they initially trained on.

                After that it has been incremental (and not so incremental changes in the case of ribbon bar) when security updates happen, or IT decide to roll out a newer version.

                Obviously there is normally very little difference between one version and another, there is almost as much of a difference between MS word and LO Writer, etc...

                Most people would notice a slight difference but have absolutely no difficulty in swapping between the two 'office suites'. Those people that would have a difficulty are almost certainly those that would also have a problem between differing versions of the same package.

                /Rattus

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Alternative

                  the reality is most people know a little bit about windows and the version of office that they initially trained on

                  FTFY. The vast majority of computer users, as far as I can tell, don't know much about the software they use. They know how to do some specific things — often, per the good Doctor upthread, in a suboptimal way. That's all.

                  And that's to be expected, of course. Most people don't want to spend time learning the details of most of the tools they use, and aren't compelled to do so.

              2. Del Varner

                Re: Alternative

                How many of those people who know Windows and know Office have had to retrain themselves over the years when Microsoft made a bunch of changes to the functionality of their software. Oh that menu pulldown that I use all the time is now three layers deep. etc. etc.

              3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                "The reality is that most people DO know Windows (and Microsoft Office)."

                The reality is that most people will say they do know Windows & Office. What they actually know are the bits they use regularly and including all the workarounds they discovered for the bits they don't know and all the bad habits they picked up. The robustness or fragility of that knowledge will be exposed whenever MS or an application changes the UI in some respect -possibly even just the desktop icon.

                I rather suspect that the really knowledgeable users would be the ones who make the transition most easily and those most in need of retraining will be those who'd benefit most from some real training on Windows for their existing environment.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Alternative

                > The reality is that most people DO know Windows (and Microsoft Office).

                Nonsense. The actual reality is most people *use* Windows, but they don't really "know" it in the sense of what to do besides rebooting if something goes wrong.

                I suspect the same is somewhat true for Office apps but can't really say for sure. I have met folks with very strong Excel Fu (or PowerPoint et al), who were somewhat fumbling with navigating Windows.

                Personally I find both Windows and the entire Microsoft software suite to be a confusing muddle. But I am coming from a background where I started with DOS, mostly skipped Windows and went right to the VAX cluster and Unixes at university, then Unixes and BSD and eventually Linuxes at various works.

                Basically I don't really have anything against Windows per se, I simply have almost no experience with it. This is not typical.

                1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

                  Re: Alternative

                  I would say that the percentage of Windows users who know to try rebooting (or even understand what it means to reboot) when something goes wrong is no better than 50/50, based on my help-desk experience.

              5. mirachu

                Re: Alternative

                The reality is that nobody inherently knows anything. They know what they learn. Or "know" as the case may be.

                1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                  Obligatory "the best kind of correct!"

                  Yeah, that's technically correct, but it's little more than pointlessly nitpicking semantics when we all know understand what's meant by "someone knows [X]" in regular use. I doubt anyone here was under the impression that (e.g.) this is knowledge magically bestowed at birth, or whatever

                  The actual rebuttal to OP's comment was one that others have already made- that people only really "know" the bits of Office or Windows they need to do their job, often as little as knowing (e.g.) how to sign in and which icons to click (with no deeper understanding) in the latter case.

              6. druck Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                The reality is that most people DO know Windows (and Microsoft Office).

                They don't, they really don't.

                The slightest thing out of the ordinary happens, they run to someone that does, and get them to waste time fixing the most trivial issues. The amount of time I saved since abandoning Windows after 7 is huge, every time one of the bleaters comes asking me a question, I say "sorry I've never used Windows 10 or 11, so I don't know". They then have to either find someone else, or spend time cursing it themselves.

                1. Snake Silver badge

                  Re: they really don't

                  And yet foolish Linuxheads think that those hundreds of millions of users, when told to switch to Linux, all of a sudden will bother learning how their computers work, "Because Linux!".,

                  Linux fans are in their own little world of self-delusion.

                  1. Fred Goldstein

                    Re: they really don't

                    .Linux on the desktop is largely used by developers; it's a good way to write code that will go onto a Linux server, whose customers will have no visibility into the OS behind the service. It's also used by recreational programmers and some uber-geeks who like to feel 31337 because they use it, and who remember all of the flaws in Windows 95 (when BSODs were still common) and imagine that later versions are just as unstable (they're not). It's a tool for self-esteem. But not a good desktop substitute for the mass market.

                  2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

                    *Yawn*

                    Funny that there doesn't appear to be anything in Druck's comment that said or even implied anything like that then, isn't it?

                    Looked entirely like they were simply enjoying a legitimate reason to not have to waste time making someone else's choice *their* problem as well.

                    Almost as if you weren't really replying to them, and only saw it as an excuse to haul out some lazy, dated strawman stereotype for the sake of knocking it down.

              7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                "The reality is that most people DO know Windows (and Microsoft Office)"

                Yes, but WHICH version of Windows do they know? Over the years it has changed quite dramatically such that from a users point of view it's an entirely new operating system, the changes being so drastic that switching to a Linux desktop would not be any more of a wrench where that would be feasible.

                As someone mentioned just a little upthread, no one takes into account the re-training the users need. But they also forget that re-training applies just as much to Windows users when MS forces an OS change on them or even just keeps "updating" the OS and apps in increments. One big re-training for an OS change and many, many micro-training sessions for updates that just keep on coming, often for no good reason. It all adds up so as far as I'm concerned, the training cost of switching to Linux where that's feasible are minimal because as a Windows user, the same thing happens every few years and again every few weeks on a smaller scale.

            2. ske1fr
              Facepalm

              Re: Alternative

              "Tables laid out with tabs and spaces. Tabs and spaces to put text down the right-hand side of an image."

              Ah, I'm married to one of those. Even more fun giving them a spreadsheet with formulae and finding them overtyping a result with what they think the result should be. In this case LibreOffice Calc...it would be just the same in Excel. Once a typist, always a typist!

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                "Once a typist, always a typist!"

                How do you get the Typex off the screen?

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Alternative

                  "How do you get the Typex off the screen?"

                  in the old days, I used a razor blade and a bit of patience. The patience was helpful when re-training the poor typist who had had her faithful typewriter removed and a computer terminal dumped on her desk, with no formal training whatsoever.[0]

                  These days, nobody but so-called "influencers" use liquid paper, so who cares?

                  [0] Plus ça change ...

                  1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

                    Re: Alternative

                    "How do you get the Typex off the screen?"

                    Acetone works well. Leaves some modern LCD panels a bit sticky and cloudy so you may have to squint a bit but you can pass that off as the fitting of a new "privacy filter" and charge an extra £100 :-)

                    1. LionelB Silver badge

                      Re: Alternative

                      Acetone gets almost any stuff off any thing, but only in the sense that it doesn't really make a distinction between "thing" and "stuff". It comes down to which it dissolves faster.

                2. Snapper

                  Re: Alternative

                  Highlighter is the real bugger!

            3. IvyKing

              Re: Alternative

              I will go out on a limb by saying that all but the last couple of versions (i.e. the ones with the ribbon) of MS-Word for DOS were fairly decent. MS was encouraging people to use styles and a style sheet, and they had a book explaining how and when to use styles with lots of examples how to set up styles. The look of a document could be quickly changed by simply attaching a different stylesheet and it was possible to have different default styles by placing different default style sheets in different working directories.

              One other reason for hating Word for Windows with a passion is having worked with Island Write. The process for placing an image in an Island Write document was first creating a container, then placing the image in the container with options for scaling the image. What was really cool about Island Write was that the container could be modified to be an arbitrary shape, with words wrapping around that shape. Apple's Pages is noticeably easier than Word for inserting images when doing word processing documents, though I haven't played as much as I should with page layout documents.

              I've got mixed feeling about LO, with much of it trying too hard to be an MS-Word clone, though the drawing package is unmatched by either MS-Office or Apple's "Office".

              1. Zolko Silver badge

                Re: Alternative

                I use LibreOffice Draw also extensively. It even allows to make semi-technical 2D drawings quite easily.

            4. russmichaels

              Re: Alternative

              yep and all those "just use linux" fanboys are the first to take the piss when one of those people tries and gets stuck and cannot be bothered to help anyone who doesn't just magically understand command line.

              I have tried to switch to Linux several times, but every time I get stuck when there is a driver or software I need to install which cannot be done via the software app, and waste weeks trying to figure it out, when it would take me minutes on windows. You get no useful help on the communities as they simply cannot comprehend that someone doesn't know linux already and give them instructions that can only be followed by someone who already knows Linux and all its commands, and what they do and how to use them.

              You cannot just download and install software as you do in windows, again it requires command-line knowledge, which the average person is never going to have or want to learn, and the attitude/response you get from the arrogant linux fan boys just put you off ever wanting to bother, and I bet the responses to this will prove the point.

              1. gc23

                Re: Alternative

                Do you know about Flatpak or Snap, both of which are software packaging programs for Linux that have a wide variety of programs available? You seem to misunderstand that Linux is meant to use a command shell and the GUI desktop is simply an add-on. Windows was designed to use a GUI and the command shell was an afterthought for years (until Powershell came along). I can do a lot more in a command shell, both in Linux and Windows (gasp), than I can using a GUI. Under Windows, I use Chocolatey to install software. Much, much easier than a GUI to install software. It's not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. I've been using Linux since 1999 and believe me, things are much easier now than back then.

                1. ChoHag Silver badge

                  Re: Alternative

                  > > You get no useful help on the communities as they simply cannot comprehend that someone doesn't know linux already

                  > Do you know about ...

                  > You seem to misunderstand that Linux is ...

                  > I've been using Linux since 1999 and ...

                  Classic.

                  Bonus:

                  > ... and believe me, things are much easier now than back then.

                  I've abandoned Linux since it has become unusable compared to what it was like at the turn of the millenium, thanks to the poorly (non) integrated user interfaces one is now forced to contend with.

                  1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: Alternative

                    Longtime Linux user here. It's quirky, but solidly reliable. And YOU decide when to do an update (which may bork your favourite app, admittedly), not Microsoft.

                    That being said, I do have a few fave Linux apps, and they are all just a bit quirky. Now, Windows *used* to have a UI style guide (right click does this, etc), but since the arrival of the Ribbon, all bets seem to be pff, so I can't really say that Windows apps are any less quirky than Linux apps.

                    The one thing that keeps me frousing Linux for work is the lack of Outlook integrated calendar and email. I know there have been some attempts, but this seems to ba a hard nut to crack. Also, Project, for which there is still no Linux version that works fully. Luckily, there's O365 Outlook, which may not be as easy to use as the local version, but mostly does the job, and it's not on me to fix it when it doesn't.

                    tl;dr - Linux does the job, but can't completely replace Windows, for the many reasons mentioned by others.

                    1. RaeStr

                      Re: Alternative

                      Upvote for the straying away from their styleguide.

              2. HenryCrun

                Re: Alternative

                Hmmm, "anyone who doesn't just magically understand command line" well I am fairly sure that there are a lot of folks who haven't a clue with using Power Shell or why does it come with the ISE version to hand-hold you as you peck away at the keyboard.

                Also, "You cannot just download and install software as you do in windows", oh yes you can do just that. There are plenty of GUI applications that just do all the download stuff, but seriously is "dnf install name-of-app" so difficult?

                If you don't like *nix fine, but you could be an enriched person with a wider skills catalogue and know both operating systems and be a star.

          2. rcxb Silver badge

            Re: Alternative

            Quite a lot, but by no means all - especially where businesses rely on specialist software which has been around for a while.

            You may be talking about SMALL businesses.

            Large businesses will either harass the supplier into doing so, or will write their own software that runs on the platform they prefer with a minimum of trouble.

            I ran a mid-size company that was running Linux... there were a few Windows programs that were needed, which meant a few departments had a couple PCs running Windows, among the hundreds of Linux PCs. And more than that, many of those programs required XP... so running Win10 on your desktop instead of Linux doesn't help one bit.

            There is also the user training issue

            RIGHT! And Windows changing the UI with EVERY VERSION is an absolute NIGHTMARE for user training.

            Meanwhile, our employees kept using the IDENTICAL Xfce (kiosk mode) user interface from 2004 to 2024...

            If your users are familiar with Windows, it's the easiest thing in the world to customize your Linux desktop to have the panel on the bottom, with the main applications icon on the far left.

            And don't get started about Office... LibreOffice doesn't change the UI around. Microsoft Office forcing the "ribbon" interface on everyone was a training nightmare.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Alternative

              >>Large businesses will either harass the supplier into doing so

              The suppliers are mostly large businesses as well. How do you strong arm players like Honeywell, Siemens or PerkinElmer to provide ELF binaries with full support? I work for a large global pharma company and I wouldn't expect that to happen anytime soon - some big companies can barely produce working binaries even for Windows.

              On some esoteric machinery the number of manufacturers may be two. Or one. There's no wiggle room then.

              >>or will write their own software that runs on the platform they prefer with a minimum of trouble.

              Please give an example of such software your company worked on. What did it do? How many LOC's? How many developers? How long did it take?

              Do large companies really have software divisions for coding everything themselves? We have several hundred different pieces of software for the different production lines, laboratories, building management, sales, complaints, warehousing and so on besides just the IT infrastructure which also has a lot of software in use. I'm quite sure it would not be economical to start a big coding division just to rewrite all the software that wasn't available for Linux.

              >>user training

              This I agree with you. The site I work for has several hundred different software packages and each one is trained to users, but all those are just applications. There isn't OS training because users are expected to know about keyboard, mouse and other basic stuff. Controlled upgrades to latest Windows version happen and perhaps there's a bulleting about new/changed features and that's it.

              Windows or Linux (on thin clients) does not matter since the OS is mostly just an app launcher and practically all software is in a windowed environment. Logging in, pointing at an icon - that's it.

            2. Test Man

              Re: Alternative

              "forcing the ribbon interface"

              what, 17 years ago?

              1. gratou

                Re: Alternative

                MS pull this shit many times since. W8 obviously. Then W10. Each time a new GUI that users were supposed to just know how to use. Changing to a non-MS platform would have been easier than using the new MS nonsense, each time.

            3. david bates

              Re: Alternative

              If Windows was so easy to use without retaining why do I, having used everything from 2.1, have to Google less commonly used functions for Windows 10 and 11 when I could find them with a couple of clicks on 7?

          3. TonyJ

            Re: Alternative

            One of the things that *always* gets merrily overlooked when people start down the "just use Libre Office" route is just how many corporations run on Excel macros and plugins.

            Seriously, it's a bad joke that won't go away.

            And some big vendors push them out regularly (e.g. SAP). Entire finance departments run on them.

            I am not, in any way, saying that it is right, but it just is.

            Right now, I'm involved in a programme that has one department creating roughly 1.5 of the damn things a day. Yep - 30-35 of the damn things every working month.

            I am pragmatic and will use whatever OS or package is best for the job at hand, but this rabid "just don't use Microsoft" really doesn't work without a LOT of planning, a LOT of training and a LOT of migration work in the background and even then, it won't be 100% because of things like the above.

            1. david bates

              Re: Alternative

              Those corporations are massively outnumbered by small companies who are doing no such thing, and companies is what we're talking about here.

              1. TonyJ

                Re: Alternative

                I disagree.

                Where there are finance departments - and that can be one person - there will inevitably be macros and/or plugins.

                And even where they are small companies, the moment they do business with a larger one, they'll be swapping documents that have inevitable been created in Microsoft Office.

                The willingness to bend the truth to fit the narrative is overwhelming on here. Most of us work in heterogeneous environments where we are faced with a mix of applications, operating systems and hardware - on premise and in the cloud. Some of you are clearly lucky enough not to do that. Great. I am glad you're happy in that world (and that is not sarcasm), but the reality is that most of us aren't so insular.

                Choose the right tool for the job. It's a great mantra but when you're faced with inertia and businesses that rely on the processes they've had forever, getting them to change can be a real challenge.

          4. riparian zone

            Re: Alternative

            Hah, its not often I get to put my oar in, but training is my bag and I work in the very real world of older and disabled users. Training is a valid point about transition, but I've found if I get an old person to make the switch to Linux Mint and talk them through some of the essentials that They already know, the only issue is showing them how to upgrade as required. I've had people *not* call me for support for a number of years because of this, on one occasion it was because no updates had ever happened.

            Computers don't create goals, so showing/framing people their goals and their 1/2/3/4/5/6/7 steps (if there's +8 steps then its complex) to completion is most of the job. A lot of people treat computers as a mundane magic and if mindset is 'I just learn what I need to learn' then feed that...as troubleshooting is a precursor to limbic takeovers/fear/hate/no focus. I said a lot of people? I think anyone who doesn't read El REg tends to be in that category..

        2. greenwood-IT

          Re: Alternative

          Having just come back from an office with 6 people running on a 1.4Mbps broadband - going cloud based isn't always the answer. You're also looking at subscriptions - so these 6 staff members will be paying the same £7/month each for Office 365 that will perform much worse than the £20 one off OEM license for Office Pro they already own. Let customers decide what they want and when they upgrade, we don't need to be forced in to an upgrade if there is zero benefit, or we don't have the money. I remember the days when people WANTED to upgrade to get the new features - what amazing new feature persuaded you to upgrade to WIn11 from Win10?

      6. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Alternative

        Like a web browser or LibreOffice? Linux Mint has you covered!

        And there are plenty of games on Linux also. I can recommend BZflag and TuxKart, which are free and tons of fun. I've got Steam also running, but I hardly ever use it.

      7. MOH

        Re: Alternative

        Obviously you've never had to assess how best to spend money from your own business, instead of someone else's

      8. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Alternative

        "Obviously you don't need to use anything a business needs to run in the real world [...]"

        $Employer 1 uses Office 365 including the cut-down MS Office apps and Web based outlook. We have shared documents to update. MS Teams for meetings. Plus a variety of services that $Employer 1 subscribes to delivered as Web applications to us minions. I have been accessing the whole shebang from Slackware with Chromium and noone has noticed especially.

        $Employer 2 (a couple of years ago now) had a RDP setup for people working outwith the building. I was running my Windows desktop from my Linux laptop using rdesktop and the Remina(?) RDP client. No problems on a connection with reasonable latency.

        Both employers would claim to be operating in the real world. I suspect the real world is changing, but I have no doubt that Microsoft will remain outrageously profitable for some decades.

        1. Jurassic.Hermit

          Re: Alternative

          "I have no doubt that Microsoft will remain outrageously profitable for some decades."

          I used to think that, and you are probably right, but after having used Windows since it first came out and stuck with it through thick and thin, the combination of Windows 11 plus the latest incarnations of Office 365 have finally made me decide to wean myself off Microsoft altogether this year, with the exception of using Office online just for those files I have to share with my clients.

          I'm sure I'm not alone, there will be millions doing the same. Meanwhile Gen X/Z are going to avoid MS for cost and idealogical reasons. The future is bright, the future is without the MS juggernaut, I sincerely hope.

      9. chasil

        You mean, like SQL Server?

        Linux runs Microsoft's SQL Server, which is occasionally benchmarked faster on Linux. It is certainly competitive, in any case.

        https://www.tpc.org/tpch/results/tpch_perf_results5.asp?resulttype=all&version=3

      10. Eecahmap

        Re: Alternative

        My 2014 Intel Haswell desktop is much more stable with games via Lutris and Steam on Devuan than my 2023 AMD Ryzen 9 laptop on Windows 11.

      11. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Alternative

        I can run the online version of MS Office (including Teams) and Outlook on Firefox on my laptop running Mint. SAP can also be run through a browser so can you explain what I’m missing that I need to do my job?

        1. Casca Silver badge

          Re: Alternative

          Good to know that the world spins around you...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Alternative

            Do you know maybe if that’s what the person says they need access to, to be able to do his or her job then perhaps that actually is all they need. It ain’t about who the world revolves around, it’s about what someone needs to do their job. If someone else says:

            “Well done you. Obviously you don't need to use anything a business needs to run in the real world, or games

            then perhaps that person or you would like to explain to the rest of the class why it isn’t all of what he or she needs to do their job. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt that that is all they need. Myself never used and don’t use sap so could just use office online and for myself that would be it, for you it might not be.

      12. Woodnag

        Alternative OS?

        Just installed a nice alternative OS yesterday. Windows 11 Pro with cruft removed from ISO first by tiny11builder (https://github.com/ntdevlabs/tiny11builder).

        Burn ISO with Rufus (https://rufus.ie/en/) to remove OOBE etc.

        Disable TPM, secure boot, hibernate in the BIOS before install.

        This installs as local account. Remember to use no password (return) to avoid the 3 recovery questions, and *don't connect to the internet during install*.

        Now run O&O ShutUp10++ to remove spy stuff that's not useful to you (https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10)

        Now run O&O App Buster to remove Windows Apps you don’t want (https://www.oo-software.com/en/ooappbuster)

        Change sleep mode from Modern Standby (S0) to S3 Standby so that the computer really is in standby not just pretending

        Disable Fast Startup. With fast startup enabled, computer in sleep mode will wake up when network does a search (WOL).

        Now connect to the internet and let it update.

        There's more, but that's the basics for a nice Windows machine without most of the unecessary.

        1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

          Re: Alternative OS?

          I've not used Tiny11, but I suspect Microsoft can and will restore the cruft with an update eventually.

    2. Snowy Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Alternative

      Nice idea but I've a feeling a lot of these could end up in landfill :(

      Could be some ebay recycling company buys up a load of them and puts Linux on them.

    3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

      Re: Alternative

      Cool! So, replace my year old computer with a new one or toss my medical equipment that requires Windows to work and has no open source software alternatives out.

      Fortunately, the river is right out front.

      Who needs to live anyway?

      1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

        Re: Alternative

        We're talking about 15 year old processors here that won't run it at all, and any from within the last 6 or 7 years are "officially" supported. Your year-old computer will be fine.

    4. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

      Re: Alternative

      Once I discovered Google Chrome for Ubuntu, the key "issue" I had with a Linux desktop was resolved - being able to access many websites that require DRM-enabled media players, such as Netflix. Only a very few sites insist on a Windows signature to be accessed (most notably the goofballs at Bell Media in Canada, including CTV's website - theoretically one of the biggest media providers in Canada, but also the most profit-hungry and penny-pinching.)

      Add in Libre Office and your choice of email client/calendaring solution, and the smattering of Steam games that run well on Linux, and you really don't have to rely on Windows any more at all. Times have changed - that is why the Germans are trying the mass migration to open source again. Things weren't mature enough the last time they tried, but they've come a long way since then. Ubuntu Mate and Ubuntu Desktop are both quite suitable for "mom and pop" users with no more training than they're going to require to deal with a Windows 11 upgrade from the Windows 7 or 10 box (yes, there are still people running 7 out there, crazy risk-takers and virus-spreaders that they are.)

      There are edge cases that require learning and reading for Linux, but the same is true of Windows, especially Windows 11, as there is a lot it doesn't do the same way that Windows 10 or 7 did. For the most part, both operating systems Just Work (tm) for 90-95% of users.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happens when

    you have WIndows 11 running happily on an old PC and then Windows 11 decides to auto-update itself to the latest build?

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: What happens when

      It will boot straight to a blue screen saying that you have unsupported hardware.

    2. Badgerfruit

      Re: What happens when

      My guess would be it won't boot?

      As the article says, if you are masochistic enough to run w11 on a pentium 3 then you'll soon be out of luck.

      Chances are this won't affect many people.

      Those it does affect can turn off updates, install win 10 or some flavour of Linux. Or spend money to replace the computer.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Facepalm

        So you're perfectly fine with a vendor forcing you to spend money to replace a perfectly working computer just because the vendor says so ?

        No wonder Borkzilla & Co are making mint.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          I think that's the Microsoft version. Others may disagree.

        2. Ragarath

          Ahh this one.

          No they are not asking you to replace your perfectly working computer. They are telling you that they will no longer support their software working on certain hardware after a certain build.

          You are free to run the old builds of the OS, how you have Win 11 working well on such slow hardware; I'd hate to feel that pain, is another question. You are also free to install another OS of your choice.

          Why do people equate the OS to the Computer. You are on the El'Reg, you must know that we are not in Apple land.

          1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

            Not so slow. I have a very fast I7 processor, it's just that it's not on their supported list.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              It's plenty compatible if you bypass the requirements; i7 processors contain at the very least SSE4.2 and thus work.

              1. Bonzo_red

                Exactly - with my 7500u based laptop it was a relatively trivial task to install W11, and the SSE4.2 issue will not arise. As an ASUS device, installing W10 with the incompatible sound driver was more of an issue.

            2. Bebu Silver badge
              Windows

              Wondering....

              "I have a very fast I7 processor, it's just that it's not on their supported list."

              Wondering whether w11 could enticed to run under a virtual machine that emulates supported hardware but the underlying bare metal isn't supported? A fast processor and reasonable amount of ram would ensure reasonable performance.

              The only Windows I run is a single copy of w10 pro in a kvm vm (The hardware came with a license. :) and isn't too slow on the rare occasions I bring it up.

              Businesses will generally just buy/lease new hardware and send their still capable hardware to reburbishers/resellers.

              The loss of the ability to use the hardware's win7 licenses to upgrade to win10 seems to have caught out a few refurbishers. There were quite a lot of older boxes offered sans OS at firesale prices.

              1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

                Re: Wondering....

                Any missing instructions would have to be intercepted and emulated, requiring a machine code interpreter VM, not just a "regular" VM that runs same-architecture nodes. Don't forget that the necessary instructions for virtual machines are fairly recent, so most CPUs that will run modern VMs are likely on the Windows 11 support list. But I hear it's a tad "challenging" to get it to run in a VM.

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Wondering....

                  The VM wouldn't have to interpret all opcodes. It would catch the #UD (invalid opcode) fault, analyze the faulting instruction, emulate it if it's one that the VM wants to emulate, update the return address, and return from the fault handler. That may not be trivial, but for many opcodes it's doable, and it certainly doesn't require interpreting the entire instruction stream.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You are free to run the old builds of the OS, how you have Win 11 working well on such slow hardware; I'd hate to feel that pain, is another question. You are also free to install another OS of your choice.

            And when they trick you into upgrading to the new OS, what then? Do you remember the Windows 7 nag screen to upgrade to Windows 10 that if you clicked the red X in the rightbhand corner to close it, started the update process. https://www.theregister.com/2016/06/29/microsoft_removes_updatebydismissal_win10_policy/ Nowt dodgy there was there

            1. Ragarath

              OK, but then you have the right to complain. Yes, this is wrong and I would argue you have a strong case to have it undone if they did something similar.

              Surely though, if it needs these instructions, it will not install?

          3. Snapper

            When you are in Apple Land we don't have much to crow about. Apple start stopping upgrades to the originally installed OS after roughly about 7 years. Fairly easily extended with OpenCore Legacy Patcher though.

            Of course the computers and apps still get security updates for a couple more years, but our good friends Microsoft and Adobe just love adjusting their installers so you need to be running macOS no more than two versions behind the current one to work and get all the lovely new features in things like Outlook and Word etc.

            Two main rocks dropped in a small pool in the past few years have been Apple changing the System Preferences Pane for a thing of beauty that worked for 25 years, to a REALLY (compared to what it was) difficult to use piece of shit. The rumour is they hired someone who used to work for Microsoft to design it, and I can quite fucking believe it!

            And anyone who purchased an iMac with a spinning HD or Fusion (larger HD + small M.2 SSD where the most used data and apps remain) and wants to use MacOS 10.15 Catalina and up will find their nice new iMac (ok, up to 2019, but that's considered new to Apple users) is running like a wet dish-rag. Apparently the new APFS drive formatting introduced in 2017 but with some big changes since, is heavily geared to SSD and in particular, NVMe/M.2 drives. I suspect that APFS causes heavy fragmentation and the computer really start to suffer speed losses. Apple MUST have known about the problem but continued to sell computers, mainly iMacs with HD's and Fusion Drives up until 2019.

            I suspect Apple thought that the users would suspect their computers were just getting old, but if the HD or Fusion Drives are swapped out for fast NVMe drives (needs a small adapter because Apple) they fly. Just upgraded 2 x 2015 27-Inch iMacs for a client and he's really happy as he can still run his older version of a music-making app that has lots of plug-ins that would need a fuck-ton of money to update, but on a now much faster computer,

            Also helps when OpenCore Legacy Patcher lets me not only change the drive to speed things up but allows me to install the latest macOS on basically any Mac since 2008. Having said that, have you seen the mess that is Sonoma?

      2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        "Those it does affect can turn off updates, install win 10 or some flavour of Linux."

        I was on Win 10. It was sort of, barely, ok. But the update cycle started really annoying me. Rather than doing security updates quietly in the background, it's the whole taking over of the machine at inconvenient times to do them that started to grind my gears. I spent plenty of time inside the registry and disabling certain update related services, only to find them reinstalled and reactivated a few weeks later. On each (mandatory, non negotiable) "update" the laptop would get slower and slower. I stopped short of installing more software that claimed to really stop the updates, thinking that if I'm getting into that game of installing multiple bits of software to watch them fight each other, I might as well go the whole hog and go back to Linux (not used Linux in 10 years). It's been great and I've been reminded of how much you can do with a few lines of bash instead of installing bloaty 3rd party software. Incremental backups for example are essentially a single rsynch command now.

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        Popular CPUs such as the i5 3770 aren't supported by Windows 11 either.

        1. FIA Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          To be fair, Windows 2000 didn't support the i386SX. Fewer people complained though.

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: What happens when

            Yeah, 'cause Quake 1 required an FPU, so they upgraded long before Windows 2000 came along :D.

    3. Jrx1216

      Re: What happens when

      They tell you you shouldn't have been running it on an unsupported system to begin with...

      I'll be honest here, and this may be a spicy take, we needed this. Minimum specs for Windows haven't went up since the Vista era. Either folks need to stop complaining that Windows is a bloated mess of an OS, or they need to stop complaining that it's not going to work on their 386 anymore. You can't have it both ways. If you want it to move forward, it needs to let go of some of the ancient BS it's still dragging along, if you want it to be frozen in time, then don't expect it to be new and exciting.

      But for Microsoft's /real/ customers, enterprises, we haven't had a major leap in functionality since Vista, because we haven't had a minimum-spec jump since then. And at the dayjob, we threw out almost everything that doesn't support 11 already, and the few machines we have floating around with unsupported 6/7th gen CPUs need replaced by next year when 10 goes EOL anyway. This isn't a change for the consumer, it's for the enterprise. And the changes aren't particularly unreasonable (so far) in that space.

      As someone who uses 5 different major OSs/Kernels at least weekly (MacOS, Windows 10/11, a few flavours of Linux, Haiku (BeOS), and FreeBSD) I'm fully on-board with this. It's giving the other guys a chance to show consumers there are other (non-Microsoft, and non-MacOS) options out there that are actually usable for 95% of what they do on Windows (or more if they only use a browser) and most of them are FREE!

      At the same time, as someone who supports a Windows environment at work, I'm /also for it there too/! It allows us to have better security, and guarantee that every system in the fleet will support newer software that the business decides we need, and we can more easily and confidently say "yes this will work on any system that we support"

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        That's a very spicy take, it's been retroactively unsupported two and a half years after release.

        1. stupid-frakking-handle

          Re: What happens when

          > That's a very spicy take, it's been retroactively unsupported two and a half years after release.

          Uh, no, the hardware effected by this was NEVER supported running Windows 11, if you choose to run Windows 11 on ancient unsupported hardware, that's the risk you take.

        2. FIA Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          That's a very spicy take, it's been retroactively unsupported two and a half years after release.

          Every chip on this list from 2021 supports the required instruction. The only difference is they're now compiling binaries that actually use it.

          By the time Windows 10 goes out of support the newest CPUs that don't support 11 will be 5 years old. (And there'll be plenty of much older ones that do).

          I'm still waiting for the MS heavies to arrive and stop me using my older kit with another OS.... any day now I'm sure....

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        > "Either folks need to stop complaining that Windows is a bloated mess of an OS, or they need to stop complaining that it's not going to work on their 386 anymore. You can't have it both ways."

        Errrr, those are the same ways.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        "Minimum specs for Windows haven't went up since the Vista era."

        Are those the specs from marketing, the minimum requirement to show a screen and drag a cursor across it or the minumum to do something useful?

        1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          "Are those the specs from marketing, the minimum requirement to show a screen and drag a cursor across it or the minumum to do something useful?"

          It's Windows, that hasn't done anything useful for decades, just different UI, added bells and whistles that were mostly absorbed from small enhancer firms that Microsoft bought out, up the hardware requirements, break things on disfavored systems and call it a success and major innovation.

          Seriously, what has Word, Excel, Powerpain really done that's new and actually useful in the past 20 or so years?

          1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

            Re: What happens when

            "Seriously, what has Word, Excel, Powerpain really done that's new and actually useful in the past 20 or so years?"

            Seventeen years ago Excel increased the maximum number of rows from 65,536 to 1,048,576. I've rarely needed 1 MM rows, but I've often needed 100,000.

      4. Gordon 10
        WTF?

        Re: What happens when

        Whilst most of your post is valid I think its laughable to suggest that lack of suitable computing hardware is responsible for a lack of innovation in functionality - there is nowhere to innovate until some new interaction paradigm comes along. Touch was the last one and that's mostly still irrelevant for day to day enterprise computing.

        We are just gilding the lily at this point.

        1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          I don't see much "lack" of functionality from current generation hardware and software. What I see is a lack of cost-effective tools as more and more vendors opt to bleed people dry with "subscriptions" to the tune of "only" $5-10/month.

          The problem is, that's 12 months, so that's $60-120/year - forever - vs. the $300-500 you used to pay for a software package you could use in perpetuity if you didn't need upgrades and so-called "new features" that come with later releases.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          Oh, what nonsense. Research in a vast range of areas has been charging ahead in recent years just as it did in years past. Neither desktop computing resources nor a lack of a "new interaction paradigm" (ugh) have held it back. If consumer software hasn't innovated, that's on the developers of consumer software.

      5. MacGuffin

        Re: What happens when

        "need replaced"?

        "need to be replaced" or "need replacing"

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          It's the normal form in some variations of English. Not worth fussing over.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: What happens when

            Apparently many people are quite fussed indeed. (I'm not one of them, in this case.)

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What happens when

        My only hope for fallout from this kind of thing is that more Big Dumb Companies[tm] flood the used market with pallets of "last year's model" mini/micro/sff PC's, they get priced to move, and the rest of us can pick them up for BSD and Linux systems on the cheap.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          Yes, I'm looking forward to a lot of barely-used developer-class laptops hitting the resellers. My personal laptop is a refurbished Thinkpad, and while the Lenovo Thinkpads aren't what the IBM ones used to be, getting a machine that 1) has a proper in-keyboard pointing device and 2) costs a few hundred dollars when it retailed for 3-5 times that new a year or two ago is a decent deal.

    4. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: What happens when

      I assume something like this will only emerge from insider builds with the next annual release - and those don't install anyway if the hardware requirements aren't met (well, not without workarounds which may end up as extreme as a reinstall).

      Meanwhile, W10 machines which don't meet the requirements are now getting windows popping up helpfully warning them of the end of support in 18 months and encouraging the user to buy a shiny new Windows 11 computer (the annoying window even has a screenshot of the W11 start menu and taskbar). My W10 machine has had two of these in the past few weeks and there is of course no 'fuck off permanently' button - only 'remind me later' and 'learn more'.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: What happens when

        Why do you have KB5001716 installed?

        The clue is it has its own entry in Add/Remove Programs. It's not a security update or a feature update.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: What happens when

          Ta - wasn't aware of the KB. I will have a look now!

    5. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: What happens when

      I guess it won't install. Pre-Check requirements no met. Rollback, if it tried.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What happens when

      24H2 is a new branch of Windows, and won't even install on such unsupported PCs. First of all, Windows Update will refuse to install it because it will fail the pre-install system requirements check. Second, if you download a .iso and bypass the requirements, when it attempts to boot into the first phase of installation it will instantly reboot and roll back.

      So as of now, there's no risk of unsupported systems running Windows version 23H2 or earlier installing this incompatible Windows version.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What happens when

        Oh no. Dont be resonable...

    7. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: What happens when

      An operating system that respected the user would check the hardware and not try to upgrade, as Apple does with iOS.

      (iPhone 6 here...SWMBO's old one)

  3. katrinab Silver badge
    Windows

    I don't think it is too big a deal.

    A 10 year-old computer is very usable and there is no reason why Windows 11 can't run on it, if you have sufficient RAM and boot from an SSD.

    15 year-old computer is pushing it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Is it?

      My 2007 iMac is still perfectly fine and there's no need to throw it out. In three years time it'll be 20 years old.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Gimp

        You are not going to be able to run Sonoma on it though. I guess with a period-appropriate OS and a suitable chromium/firefox build, it should be usable though.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          You are not going to be able to run Sonoma on it though.

          Is that the OS where they took Snow Leopard and scribbled over it with their crayon set for about 15 years?

        2. VicMortimer Silver badge

          Yes you are.

          Sonoma on 2007 iMac? No problem.

          OpenCore Legacy Patcher - Supported Models

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Yes you are.

            Sure, but the tagged issues make it basically unusable. You would be better off install Linux.

      2. ICL1900-G3

        Amen to that. I'm running Mint on a 2010 Mac Pro with a couple of Xeons and it's pretty nippy. Cost me £120.

    2. m4r35n357 Silver badge

      Acer 1810TZ built in 2009 still running fine with Linux here. First thing I did when I got it was check that Linux would run, then ripped out the HD and replaced it with a 64GB SSD, Windoze free. Runs flawlessly.

    3. Number6

      My current machine is over ten years old. i5-4440 CPU and 32GB RAM and it runs the latest Linux Mint quite happily. It won't run Win11 though, and while it's working I see no need to upgrade it.

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Windows

        Windows 11 should be fine[*] with a couple of registry edits at install time.

        [*] as fine as it would be on any computer. You will probably still prefer Mint though.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

          "Windows 11 should be fine[*] with a couple of registry edits at install time"

          I've given up on Windows. I've been burnt too many times by 8 then 10 waiting until your back is turned and resetting all my registry and setting changes back to the crippling form they were before. I will not be using win 11 outside of my employer's corporate mandation.

    4. jake Silver badge

      This laptop just turned 20 years old. Still runs Slackware just fine.

      HP Pavillion zv5100 series; only change from stock is that it now has 2 gigs of RAM instead of 256Megs. I've replaced the HDD (once) and the battery (a couple of times).

    5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      15 year-old computer is pushing it.

      Feh. My previous personal laptop is a 15-year-old Thinkpad, and the only reason I'm not still using it is that it tends to overheat, and I've been too lazy to do a teardown and rebuild to try to fix the issue. True, components such as capacitors may have actually physically degraded by this point. But from a specification standpoint it's entirely capable of doing nearly everything I want it to do, and everything I actually need it to do.

      Nothing that has happened with PC hardware in the past 15 years is necessary for any of the actual work I do. And that includes writing software, writing text, and doing some light research.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

    to have 2 different repositories, each compiled with different CPU version flags ? Or perhaps run time detection of what is supported and run different code ? Those running older CPUs might get a performance hit but better that than not running at all.

    Maybe there are back room deals with hardware vendors to encourage buying or new machines.

    Not that it affects me: 100% Linux chez moi.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

      It's possibly beyond the wit of Microsoft but they're more interested in kicking passengers off the bus half-way through the ride and making it a precedent and it seems many other passengers are okay with that. Those who were kicked off are supposed to just shrug and buy a new computer with the same operating system.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

        Yes, it's not just chucking the passengers off the bus but charging them again to get back onboard.

    2. Joe Dietz

      Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

      popcnt is a very useful instruction... it returns the number of bits set to 1 in a word of memory. This sounds trivial, but it's a huge perf boost since this is a very common thing to need to do, and the obvious for loop alternative is fast... but not as fast. You _could_ dynamically detect it, there is a CPUID bit that indicates if it is supported, but then you would have to dynamically replace every possible location of it with a call to some other routine, or somehow trap an exception, retry etc. It's just not practical to dynamically support using it since the effort to do so negates the performance advantage of the instruction.

      All that said, the min CPU spec is really about security and the colossal screwup that is meltdown/spectre. Forcing out chipsets that bleed information due to meltdown/spectre/etc and can't really be effectively mitigated, or worse the mitigations further drag down performance is required to have basic security guarantees. SSE4.2 just comes along for the ride. Sure, use the older machine for something by running linux on it... just make sure it isn't anything important.

      Microsoft has done a really _terrible_ job of actually explaining the hardware motivations here. Simply terrible.

      1. johnandmegh

        Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

        I suspect they don't feel the need to improve that communication, since:

        - Decision-makers for their enterprise customers will either blindly accept the requirement, or figure out what you stated on their own

        - Most of the individual power-users who could possibly comprehend their explanation won't believe them anyway.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

        That's the advantage of source builds. You don't have to detect and code around features at run time, you can let the compiler do it.

        In fact, there is no reason that MS doesn't release a non_popcount compiled version for older computers.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

          There is a reason. Everyone who buys a new computer buys a new licence.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

            ...though not necessarily from MS.

            Bought an old laptop from Goodwill for those times when I had to have a Windows machine. Installed Win10 Pro from MS media. Searched online & found a site selling $6 license keys, one of which I bought. Windows activated. Not entirely sure how this works, but it hasn't failed yet...maybe someone knows how this game can work?

        2. Ace2 Silver badge

          Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

          They don’t really test all of the builds they release now. Doubling the matrix of builds would make it even worse.

        3. Joe Dietz

          Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

          They do release a non-popcnt OS build. It is called Windows 10.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

        > popcnt is a very useful instruction...

        Funnily I don’t remember having this requirement, from my ASM days.

        I assume there is a list of compilers that support this instruction, as without compiler support the instruction is only accessible to assembly programs.

        Also, given the compilers will be used to generate code for supported versions of Windows ie. W10 (no popcnt support) and W11 (with popcnt support), the use of popcnt will need to be a parameter. Which means at some time we will start seeing W11 only installation packages - eg. Versions of Office after 2024 (Microsoft have already committed to this version installing on W10).

      4. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

        > replace every possible location of it with a call to some other routine, or somehow trap an exception

        This is what virtualisation is, and the entire cloud runs on that so I think it would probably work just fine.

        Microsoft used to be all about compatibility.

        > Microsoft has done a really _terrible_ job of actually explaining the hardware motivations here.

        Because the only motivation is to force users to fork over more cash rather than making a complete product. There is no practical advantage to the users to making this a hard requirement.

        Not to mention they're having coniptions over the control the non-PC sector of the ecosystem has over how much their systems can be locked down but "it allows us to restrict what you can do" is not a major selling point.

    3. stupid-frakking-handle

      Re: Is it really beyond the wit of Microsoft ...

      I'm sure it isn't beyond the wit of Microsoft, but since all hardware that they support Win11 on also supports POPCNT, why on earth should they bother?

  5. Alan Bourke

    Alternative operating systems are available

    oooh and do the latest versions of those run on ancient hardware?

    No.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternative operating systems are available

      Yes.

      1. Mike007 Bronze badge

        Re: Alternative operating systems are available

        Where is the Ubuntu 32bit download?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Alternative operating systems are available

          Apples != Oranges.

          Plus "Ubuntu" is not all of "Linux".

          Your poorly-constructed strawman aside, I rather think you'll find that Linux overall has supported i386 for Longer than Microsoft has.

          And for the record, though they're finally starting to draw down the curtain, Debian has 32-bit i386 bits available still today.

          Furthermore, if you're willing to look, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD do as well. Admittedly i386 is also coming to an end on FreeBSD circa 15.0, and OpenBSD does not prioritize it these days.

          My i386 systems run NetBSD. Including 10.0 the latest release.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Alternative operating systems are available

      No, some of them are abandoning Itanic and MIPS. Is that the ancient hardware you had in mind?

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Alternative operating systems are available

        Linux Mint has abandoned 32-bit builds. But I have a desktop from 2007 that runs 64-bit Linux Mint 20.3 (AMD Athlon 64) just fine.

        If you require a 32-bit processor you can still download an older version of Mint, but it won't be fully supported. You will still get updates, though.

        1. localgeek

          Re: Alternative operating systems are available

          MX Linux is a nice distro that still releases a 32-bit version of their software. I ran it on an old netbook until I sold it last year.

          1. David1

            Re: Alternative operating systems are available

            MX1932 still running well here on several eeepc901s.

      2. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

        Re: Alternative operating systems are available

        Upvote for 'Itanic'

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The trap

    It's clearly in the interests of hardware vendors to promote the use of the latest changes in technologies as it perpetuates sales. It's less clear why software developers follow suit with such alacrity. Good engineering practice dictates that the simplest and most universally applicable solution to any problem is usually the best for the customer. But instead we are constantly forced to "upgrade" to carry on doing the jobs we were perfectly able to do yesterday. For example, I've encountered several business-significant web services that refuse to run on Win7 even in the same browser they run happily on in Win10. There seems to be no good reason for this, except possibly for the CV of the dev ("look, I'm at the bleeding edge"). But it's a bloody nuisance for the customer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The trap

      > It's clearly in the interests of hardware vendors to promote the use of the latest changes in technologies as it perpetuates sales. It's less clear why software developers follow suit with such alacrity.

      You've got cart-before-horse. Each new version of Windows requires new hardware and gets the OEMs even more locked into the Microsoft ecosystem.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The trap

      It's less clear why software developers follow suit with such alacrity

      Each new PC will be supplied with a new licence of Windows. That's why it's in this particular software developer's interests.

      Good engineering practice dictates...

      We're not dealing with engineering practice, good or otherwise, we're dealing with marketing.

      1. Number6

        Re: The trap

        This is why I tend not to buy new PCs, I buy new motherboards, CPUs, RAM, etc, and put them together to make my own PC, then run Linux on it. I have paid for Windows stuff i the past, but I don't see the need to keep doing it when it's not necessary.

    3. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: The trap

      Ever since I came across MenuetOS and KolibriOS I've been extremely skeptical of so-called computing advances. I've been wondering ever since why current day operating systems are so bloated, requiring Gigabytes of RAM just to run whilst said operating systems can run in several megabytes and fit on a 1.44MB (!!) floppy.

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The trap

      As noted elsewhere, MS receives licence monies from new PCs with Windows pre-installed. They get nothing from the user W7/8 upgrades to W10 (*) and the user W10 to W11 upgrades.

      Given the major OEMs all have licence agreements in place and pass the cost on to the customer, I expect MS know they can increase the platform requirement as OEMs will be happy they get more sales and not be out of pocket.

      (*) although this free upgrade is no longer available from MS.

    5. Dog11

      Re: The trap

      MS mostly sells OS to manufacturers. New computer gets you new Windows. Then you may want to get a new copy of the software you use (Office). Win for manufacturer, win for MS.

      My desk computer has a 2016 BIOS date and runs Win10 fine. One of my other computers is an ancient ASUS Win7 netbook runs the latest version of Linux Mint fine. It rarely uses >50% of its 2-core CPU or more than 2G of the 4G RAM (sluggish for web browsing, though). It runs 24/7 and is on its third HDD.

    6. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: The trap

      @Mike 137

      " For example, I've encountered several business-significant web services that refuse to run on Win7 even in the same browser they run happily on in Win10. "

      Depends how they are called from browser, if these "services" receive user agent data from browser, then it might be as simple as it being coded to reject when user agent string is an "old" windows version.

      As the "same" browser sends different info in user agent string depending on the OS they are on (unless you "spoof" this data in some way)

      I use FireFox as my regular browser and, because a few sites do lazy user agent sniffing & throw a wobbly at a non chromium browser, I use UserAgentSwitcher extension to (by default) pretend to be Chrome on Windows to get around that issue.

      Note user agent spoofing should be done responsibly, e.g. don't be naughty & pretend to be a well known web crawler as many sites bar normal browsers from some pages but allow web crawlers so you could get access to data that would be hidden in normal usage (yes I know, that is essentially pointless "securuiy", but its a common convention) - plus you could spoof being a web crawler and visit pages that the robots.txt bans you from - making it look like a well known web crawler is disobeying rules, again a bit naughty (though certain web crawlers seem to ignore robots.txt anyway, and seen behaviour that looks like a crawler in logs where it was IDing as a "normal" web browser - a bit of counterproductive cheating as it rapidly fell foul of rate limiting logic that runs (but has far more generous settings for some known web crawlers than it does for "normal" users - but a normal user would be unlikely to hit the limits unless they were doing crawling or mindlessly continually refreshing a page via repetitive F5 hitting)).

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    7 years old designed for win 10

    Laptop with 1920 x 1080 screen

    Intel i7

    AMD GPU

    16 G RAM

    Doesn't meet HW requirements for Win11. I have a version of same model with i5 and no GPU and 4 G RAM. Boots and runs Linux Mint 21.3 (current version) 64 bit, faster than Win10 on higher spec laptop.

    The problem isn't Linux but about half a dozen companies that only do Windows versions (some have Mac versions) of their software. It's deliberate.

    Adobe & MS have Android versions of some of their SW.

    MS even has Edge for Linux.

    Amazon's Kindle and servers run Linux, but desktop SW is Windows / Mac.

    MyWrite

    Autodesk's Eagle ran on Linux (but they bought that in), other Autodex SW, not.

    Various UK Payroll and Accounts.

    SW that does run on Linux and Windows:

    wget

    The Gimp

    Steam

    Filezilla

    Libre Office

    Most browsers inc MS Edge.

    Thunderbird

    Calibre ebook Management

    Audacity Audio Workstation

    There are better PDF SW not by Adobe than Acrobat. You don't need the same package on different OS

    Brother MFC/Printer/Scanner drivers

    Very many USB peripherals work better now on Linux than Windows. Some only need drivers downloaded for Windows.

    Viber

    Telegram

    Signal

    In 2004 a 10 year old PC would be junk. But now a 15 year old PC (especially desktop)/ laptop is still fine. A 32Bit cpu would still often give enough performance, but you'd have difficulty with current versions of SW due to the libraries and FW causing them to ditch 32 bit. Also last 32 bit Linux Mint is 19.3 which might be ending support about now.

    Exactly what are MS trying to prove and why should they want you to update HW, or even OS, if their aim is to sell Cloud services?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: 7 years old designed for win 10

      Exactly what are MS trying to prove and why should they want you to update HW, or even OS, if their aim is to sell Cloud services?

      They're not trying to prove anything. They're trying to sell the Windows that comes pre-installed on the new H/W so you can use that to access the Cloud services they want to rent you.

    2. Jotrav

      Re: 7 years old designed for win 10

      > "Also last 32 bit Linux Mint is 19.3"

      Not so.

      Mint also has 'Linux Mint Debian Edition' for which a 32bit edition is still current. Please look at LMDE6, which is based on Debian12.

      linux_mint.com/rel_faye.php

      Clearly future support for 32bit depends on what Debian continues to offer.

  8. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Flame

    This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

    Software vendors forcing hardware upgrades. Hardware vendors only supporting new drivers for so-called 'modern' operating systems.

    Along the way, subscription licensing is enforced to get a direct siphon to the user's pocket. Mix in a requirement for a Microsoft account so the user can be tracked, monitored, and monetized long-term.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

      Just commenting.....

      you also need AppleID, Google Accounts and so on. There is not the same ranting about those.

      Many will already have a Microsoft account if they use X Box, or have an Office365 subscription.

      As far as the other two go I fail to see what the difference is between then an MS.

      1. Drakon

        Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

        Last I checked, an Apple ID isn’t mandatory to use macOS

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

          "Last I checked, an Apple ID isn’t mandatory to use macOS"

          Last I checked, a Micros~1 Account isn't mandatory to use Windows either.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

            You checked a while back then because creating a local account on first run is non-obvious now.

            1. Sandtitz Silver badge
              Megaphone

              Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

              Trouble reading / understanding the link you yourself provided, or are you just moving the goal posts?

              Micros~1 Account isn't mandatory to use Windows.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge
                Thumb Down

                Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

                Seriously? Creating modified boot media with Rufus? Pressing a special key combination to open a command prompt and enter a command to change the out-of-box experience? Removing the ethernet cable at a certain point then going backwards then forwards again if you have ethernet?

                You can repeat that special work arounds exist for neckbeards until you're blue in the face but if you stick a normal person in front of Windows 11 and tell them to go through first run and create an account, if possible without it being a Microsoft account, 99.999% of the time you will get a computer set up with a Microsoft account.

                Also these work arounds are not guaranteed to work in the future.

                The only people moving the goal posts are Microsoft. It was possible to easily create local accounts, now it is not.

                1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

                  Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

                  I just installed Windows 11 Home on a box this past two weeks. It most certainly did not make it hard to create a local user account as everyone keeps claiming. But I could read a prompt and realize that the "do something else" options were what I wanted. Duh.

                  1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

                    Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

                    "It most certainly did not make it hard to create a local user account as everyone keeps claiming."

                    Windows 11 Pro came installed but needed initial setup. I followed all the prompts and at the "Let's add your microsoft account" there was no way around it (that's not the way it was in Windows 10). Cancel out of that shit and search the internet for how to do it. I didn't find it hard to open a command prompt and type `oobo\bypassnro`. However, now Windows was connecting automatically to the wifi I set up on the first try, with no option to change or disable it, so I had to go for a rather long walk to escape from the home wifi signal. Then I could click "I don't have Internet" and it would allow me to "Continue with limited setup". It's more than one dark pattern and I only succeeded because I'm a persistent bastard. That was in October, I imagine Microsoft have improved things by now. :(

                    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

                      Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

                      > Windows 11 Pro came installed but needed initial setup. I followed all the prompts and at the

                      > "Let's add your microsoft account" there was no way around it (that's not the way it was in Windows 10).

                      username "x@x.x" password "x". Reaction "too often wrong password". Offers a local account. Has been working that way for nearly ten years now.

                      Once you KNOW easy. But Microsoft should change their track away from being so rude. Anybody got a cake for Satya Nadella? Preferably made of concrete...

        2. hoola Silver badge

          Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

          What about phones & tablets?

          The point I am making is that most people already have a login for their phone, Android and iOS. If they are using iOS then they will be using that same ID for the laptop. If they are Google then the same ID for tablets or even ChromeOS.

          The majority of users impacted by this will already be using a login anyway. I don't know of anyone that is not using an AppleID for their personal Apple laptop.

          Just downvoting a comment for making a factually correct statement does not change anything.

          People foam at the mouth when a Microsoft login is needed but do not even give a thought they they will be doing exactly the same for the phones.

      2. James O'Shea

        Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

        Looks at Mac mini server over in the corner which has never had an AppleID, and deliberately so. It runs. It has run for a long time; it's a 2012 Mac mini server, the last one which shipped with space for two hard drives; the 1 TB drives Apple supplied have been replaced by a 512 GB SSD (the boot drive) and a 5 TB spinning drive (hey, it is a server) and it talks to some more 5 TB drives by Thunderbolt. Mac OS X Server is long out of support, but it still works fine for what we want to do. The Mac mini does not need to go to the Apple Store; it's a server. It does not need to play music, movies, or whatever; it's a server. It does have items from the Apple Store on it, bought using the company AppleID, but there's no iCloud or any other cloud or any remote services anywhere near it; 'security,' we've heard of it.

        A bunch of our company iPhones and iPads don't have AppleIDs either. We have not noticed the lack.

        Now and again Google and Microsoft moan that we don't have Google crap or MS bull on specific machines; we ignore them. On installation of the OS, Apple noticed that we didn't have an AppleID then shut up except for a red badge hidden away in Settings or System Preferences. As new macOS versions no longer support the Mac mini, a new OS has not been installed in years. No moaning.

        Sooner or later, the machine will die. We have a spare, which is up to date and tested regularly. We may be forced to get new hardware, but not for a while.

        The replacement hardware will also not have an AppleID.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

          It is however rather more difficult to develop for macOS without an Apple ID, as you can't install xcode tools.

          There might be workarounds, like using github Actions to do your compiling, but I don't think you can distribute binaries without said ID.

          It appears to be impossible to develop for iOS without an Apple ID.

          Some would argue that this is a good thing, of course.

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

            you need a dev ID, which could be an AppleID or could be something else. I have two dev IDs: one from a university, where all instructors for certain programming classes got Apple, Microsoft, and Google IDs courtesy of the school, and were the school ID. [name]@[school].edu. One was an old account set up when Apple did not require that you use a valid email address for that kind of thing. It still works. Apple would rather not use it as an AppleID. In theory I could use one of the company AppleIDs as a dev ID, as well.

            More important than the ID is the level that you're on. There's the free level, the amateur level, and the pro level(s). The uni coughed up the cash for pro level. My old account is free level, and ain't going above that. I'm grandfathered in and I'm pretty sure that they've forgotten that this account exists. It still works, I just tested it, I just can't do much.The old account has quite limited abilities; sending binaries to the Apple Store is not one of them. (It existed before there was an Apple Store...) I can create binaries and post them on the web, though. The university account has full Apple Store access.

            The university is NOT paying for pro access for students. They have accounts which can access the required tools, but cannot post to the Apple Store.

            It's a lot simpler to just sign up for a dev ID using an AppleID, but it's not required. Students who have AppleIDs of their own have signed up for pro level dev IDs using them. The school isn't paying for that, but some students will do that on their own because they're serious about actually posting apps to the Store.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This whole industry is a self-licking ice cream cone

        Nonsense, you don't "need" any of those. I don't have any and get on just fine.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enterprises

    I noted a comment above about real Enterprises use Windows because that's what's compatible with the software - very much business area specific I'd suggest.

    Our future requirements are very much being drawn around the UI being delivered via a browser for the big eye wateringly expensive toys and for things like Office - well it's trending towards we generate less and less of that sort of content in the first place (certainly Word docs.) because it's just a huge document management PITA. The new Outlook is just a reskined web browser so there's a direction of travel there.

    The biggie is Excel which the business consume more of than various illegal narcotics and have a similar dependence on but I suspect other factors around data controls may start to kick in which forces cold turkey whether they like it or not.

    Now I know somebody is going to mention CAD/CAM and that's fine - horses for courses, your enterprise is not my enterprise but we are steadily heading in a direction where Windows on the desktop is becoming less of a hard requirement.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Enterprises

      "I noted a comment above about real Enterprises use Windows because that's what's compatible with the software - very much business area specific I'd suggest."

      You are most likely to find Linux desktop use in hardcore science and engineering businesses, where the staff are mostly technically-minded anyway. Graphic design businesses frequently prefer Apple.

      Outside of those niches, it's mostly going to be Windows.

  10. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Linux is fine

    Good heavens, who is still running Windows and thinking it's the only option? The number of Linux end user devices absolutely dwarfs Windows these days. Yes I am including Android because the point is you do everything through a browser now.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Linux is fine

      I assume you don't work in the general IT field? Because the harsh reality is that Windows IS the only realistic option in many cases.

      Anrdoid is a heavily customised commercial Linux, with bulk management capabilities built in (it can be managed through Intune and other MDM solutions). Similar sitation witth ChromeOS. It is in no way comparable to the wide array of desktop distros.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Linux is fine

        >It is in no way comparable to the wide array of desktop distros.

        The only thing keeping Windows firmly in place is management inertia. They seem to be joined at the hip with their Office suite and will insist you do things their way even if its quite obvious that they're not the right tools for the job. It is also still firmly entrenched in industrial and medical applications where the investment required to change things may be too much for the product line to bear (...but this could be Windows's undoing -- you can't change platforms and OSes without effectively building another product with all the QA/certification that involves.

        1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

          Re: Linux is fine

          Be careful what you wish for. Businesses are in love with licenses and support to make sure Things Don't Go Boom. And that if they do go boom, there will be a contracted vendor to hold their hands and help them get out of the mess.

          Without that mentality from business, everyone loses their bread-and-butter, including the many open source product companies that rely on support contracts for their revenue streams.

          Personally I'm surprised people didn't start abandoning Office in droves when 365 came out. At that point, switching to Libre Office en masse seems the obvious thing to do rather than pony up monthly per user fees. Not per desktop. Per USER.

          1. TonyJ

            Re: Linux is fine

            You still have the option of a perpetual version of Office without the subscription part.

            It always surprises me that people don't seem to realise this.

            It's also a little unfair to group the Office product suite of applications as a subscription whilst forgetting the other parts that come with it - Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint etc etc. all of which can help with collaboratively working and having access to your work on multiple devices.

            Yes, I know there are alternatives, but they aren't baked into the Office suite and again when you are talking about general users, they want the path of least resistance.

            And in fairness if you don't need those online components, then buy the latest version of Office without them (though it'll go away eventually as MS want that juicy monthly revenue stream and associated lock in).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Linux is fine

              Yeah,. and people shouldn't complain about their Sky subscriptions because they also come with the shopping channels!

            2. 43300 Silver badge

              Re: Linux is fine

              "You still have the option of a perpetual version of Office without the subscription part."

              Yes, but it will still nag you to sign into a Microsoft account whenever if gets the chance, and if you add a Microsoft email account to Outlook it will automatically sign in all the other programs and start trying to save to Onedrive / Sharepoint if the account has access to either.

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Linux is fine

            ... or more usually, a contracted vendor to *blame*.

            In my employment experience, the bosses prefer having a contract not because they expect swift results in fixing something, but so they don't get the blame for any downtimes/failures etc.

            More generally than the subject of software licences, I've seen bosses prefer external contracts to having their own in-house team for this reason, even in cases where they know that an in-house team would be more effective.

          3. James O'Shea

            Re: Linux is fine

            The company has, several times, tried to use LibreOffice to replace MS Office. it has failed each time so far due to problems with round-tripping documents (note that sometimes it can be quite challenging to round-trip different versions of MS Office; Office 2008 for Mac notoriously had issues with Office 2010 for Windows, notably with PowerPoint and complex Word documents; it's just worse with LO.). Serious Word documents, with lots of pages, images, tables, and heavy formatting, are major pains to get to LO, and, more importantly, back. Excel documents with macros are also a pain; we will pry macros out of Accounting's cold dead hands. If everyone else in the company goes LO, Accounting will still be using Excel. And that means that everyone else will have to round trip documents to Excel. Which means that the only people who will be using LO are those who don't have to talk to Accounting. Hmm. Everyone has to talk to Accounting. I guess that we'll be using MS Office until LO can properly round trip all documents, and that's a moving target. No, I really don't want to fight Accounting about this.

            The university that I do some work for gives everyone, students, staff, faculty, everyone, MS Office with a 1 TB OneDrive. Your uni email is your MS account. You will be using at least OneDrive, no-one can store anything on local hard drives, everything is cloudy using OneDrive. Everything. LO is installed on most machines, but rarely used. It's more convenient to use MS Office.

            My personal laptop (not a company or school device, mine) has three 'business' OneDrives (one is the school's OneDrive) and a 'personal' OneDrive (MS says that you can log into as many business OneDrives at a time as you like, but only one personal OneDrive; in Windows, personal OneDrives are grey, business OneDrives are blue, on Mac all OneDrives are blue). It also has iCloud and DropBox. MS Office knows the difference between personal and business OneDrives, and hates iCloud and DropBox. LO doesn't care. Apple iWorks doesn't care, either. Unless I have to I use Apple's Keynote instead of PowerPoint, as Keynote is actually more compatible than PowerPoint and has features that I like. I use Word or LO depending on what I'm doing. I use Excel. Period. I must talk to Accounting.

            Switching to Linux and LO may cause problems, not least a mass revolt by some departments. And screaming about where all their cloudy stuff went. Yes, I know that you can put OneDrive on (some) Linux distros (go, thou, to GitHub, and install the client... Oh. Wait. Most users aren't techy and have no idea what a github is, so guess who would have to install and configure and take the blame when something breaks? No thanks.) but it's just easier to use Windows and MS Office.

            We have a pretty good deal for the company; if MS changes the deal, then Accounting might have to suck it up and use LO. I might give them Macs and inflict Numbers on them; they'll be begging for LO before the week is out. But if things stay as they are and MS doesn't get greedy (hah! it is to laugh!) we'll be using MS Office until the heat death of the universe.

  11. jglathe
    Mushroom

    Annoy users hard enough...

    ... and you find them not being your customers anymore, eventually.

  12. ptribble

    Catching up with Linux

    So, they're taking the same path that Linux distributions like RHEL/Fedora and Suse have already taken - bumped the Microarchitecture level to x86-64-v2 or so.

    (Yes, I know Windows doesn't think about hardware support in terms of Microarchitecture levels the same way, but that's what it effectively is.)

    At least in the open source world you can jump to a different distribution, or build it yourself. Although the pressure to bump the required baseline is building across the board, as more and more applications start to require features like AVX.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Catching up with Linux

      OTOH https://www.theregister.com/AMP/2024/03/19/kernel_414_life_extension/

  13. Mjolnir

    People forget the past

    If you were around in the early days of Windows then you remember that pretty much every new version of Windows involved new hardware to make it run where you would actually want to use it.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: People forget the past

      Back then there were big step changes in hardware generations.

      1. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

        Re: People forget the past

        There still are. The thing is, when your machine can already do an operation in 3 seconds, are you going to notice that the new machine does it 25% faster in only 2.something seconds?

        That's the problem with these newest machines from Intel and AMD - only the power users and developers really need them. Most people that buy them do so because they're status symbols, or because they just think "bigger is better" and have more money than sense. For day to day emailing, browsing, etc. and even some moderate gaming, a 4-6 core box with 16-32GB of memory is still more than adequate, Your biggest boost comes from faster NVMe drives with each generation. Even with those fast drives, load times for some software and games is flat-out atrocious.

  14. MOH

    Remind me again what the purpose of an OS actually is?

    And how that has changed so dramatically in 15 years that perfectly functional kit will be going to landfill.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It depends on the OS. In one case its purpose is to push advertising at you and make you buy new H/W. But that's just one case.

  15. Mr.Tim

    CPUs were introduced without SSE 4.2 as little as 12 years ago.

    For instance, Bonnel based Atom (Saltwell)

    AMD Bobcat.

    Pentium G6xxx (and probably Celeron from the same era)

    These were introduced in 2011 or 2012.

    I would like to add I have Win10 running on a laptop with a Core 2 & 8 MB RAM. Windows 7 was definitely faster, but it works.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: CPUs were introduced without SSE 4.2 as little as 12 years ago.

      > Core 2 & 8 MB RAM

      Could have been my typical "spotted too late" typo :D

  16. b1k3rdude

    "Then again, attempting to run something like Windows 11 using hardware from decades past would be pointless."

    No, Im running win11 23h2 quite happily and speedily on an old core i5 4430 in my media PC. So if this "new bull$hit" is part of 24h2, then untill a work around is found then it will be simply added to the blacklist.

    And half the apps I use already, are open source and have linux versions, so when I eventually tell M$ to go f***k themselfs the learning curve will be less paintfull.

    1. stupid-frakking-handle

      What part of "pre-Nehalem" didn't you understand, this won't affect your i5 4430 one little bit, it will still be unsupported, but usable with Windows 11.

  17. Roland6 Silver badge

    Confused….

    From the article, it seems you have an “ancient” system which the initial release of Windows 11 (October 2021) happily installed on, without registry and other hacks to bypass the TPM2 problem, then there is no change, you can reinstall the latest version of W11 without problems.

    Whilst, I fully get why people will want to install on older hardware, I would be more concerned if systems compatible with W11 21H2 were to become unsupported in W11 24H2.

  18. thames

    Ah POPCNT! I've run into that problem before with Linux distros

    I have an old Mini-ITX PC with a 32 bit VIA CPU which I had resuscitated as a testing platform a few years ago. I had difficulty finding a Linux distro that would run on it. Most major Linux distros had dropped 32 bit altogether, and Debian 32 bit would refuse to install because the CPU lacked the POPCNT instruction. Instead I would get an error message complaining about the lack of that instruction.

    Eventually I found a distro that would run without POPCNT, Alpine Linux. I used that for a while on the hardware before eventually retiring it due to what appears to be increasing age related hardware problems.

    Most Linux distros abandoned 32 bit altogether some years ago. Many of the ones that still have 32 bit versions won't run on old 32 bit CPUs because they require instructions such as POPCNT. Alpine is specifically built for embedded use, where old designs of 32 bit x86 hardware still find a limited market.

    The reasons that most Linux distros have dropped 32 bit x86 is that the application software writers have dropped it in their apps, so there's no 32 bit specific security support even if the application still technically compiles for 32 bit. Without security support, the distros don't want to ship these apps, and offering a full set of supported OS with all major applications from a single supplier is the raison d'être of most major Linux distros.

  19. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    If only that would result in more speed!

    Well, it does on the actual OS and kernel level. But not the GUI and marketing bloat level.

  20. navarac Silver badge

    Microsoft has nothing more to share.....

    I always laugh when I read this in anything MSFT writes/blogs. Corporate speak/crap! Fortunately, I have nothing to share with Microsoft, either. Dumped them years ago !

  21. Jason Hindle

    Points of sufficiency

    We reached a point of sufficiency with hardware at some point before the middle of the last generation. If you have something with a dual-core i7, 8Gb and SSD from that period, you have something that absolutely should run Windows 11 right now, as it is already running either Windows 10 or Linux. It is entirely correct to call Microsoft out on this. The environmental impact of forced upgrades is not going to be great.

  22. Binraider Silver badge

    This isn't the difference between a DX2-50 and a Pentium 200, and 3.1 / 95. Apart from instruction set, an old 6700K is still a useful system that's now basically landfill if it were to reside in MS Userland.

    It's almost as though there is a case for multiple kernel options, perhaps a generic, compatible variant and then ones more optimised for the specific hardware.

    Oh, yes. I can think of a few non MS OS that offer that very functionality. The only blockers to widespread adoption IMO are application sellers; if Adobe and a few of the larger DAW vendors offered linux options there would be quite literally no reason to subscribe to MS Userland anymore.

    So while we hate MS, it's actually the downstream suppliers we need to bug to get the alternatives up to the point of total viability.

  23. clintos

    Ice ice baby...

    With global warming cooling down, there be more penguins shuffling onto drives near you soon

  24. wyatt

    Humm. What about workstations that have been upgraded that now don't meet the new rules, will these continue to be supported and receive updates?

    We've some staff who have manually upgraded themselves, it's going to be expensive if they've now got unsupported OS's.

    1. stupid-frakking-handle

      How many workstations with CPUs that pre-date the Nehalem-generation of CPUs launched at the end of 2008 are still in use?

  25. stupid-frakking-handle

    Really not seeing the problem here

    So Windows 11 won't run at all on pre-Nehalem CPUs that are the best part of 16 years old. First from a historical perspective, that would be the equivalent of WIndows 7 (current when Nehalem arrived) not running on 486-era PCs which would have seemed quite reasonable at the time (and probably true, though I can't remember.) Second, how many pre-Nehalem era PCs are still around, I bet it's a tiny, tiny fraction of the PC install base, and an even smaller fraction of that would be people wanting to run Win11 on those boxes.

    The remarkable thing here is that Win11 ever ran on hardware that old and it's a testament to the backward compatability of x86 architecture and Win11.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really not seeing the problem here

      LOL.

      Oh, you're serious?

      There are BIG differences between a 486 and a Nehalem setup - far more than between a non-popcnt box and one with.

      The remarkable thing here is that you think it's remarkable that Win11 ever ran on hardware that old.

      Operating systems should work fine on older kit. Sure, they'll work faster on more modern kit - and even have some parts that won't run on the older kit, but an OS should be extensible, and efficient, and adapt to its environment, not the other way around. That's the reason why unix derivatives are still going strong.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: operating systems should work fine on older kit

        Didn't Linux itself drop some support for older kit?

        Oh, sorry, Pot calling Kettle here. You're whinging about 15-year old kit not being on the front lines of support, especially on business desktops, like everyone should be concerned that their old ThinkPad T42 needs Win11.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: operating systems should work fine on older kit

          Your reply has absolutely no applicability to my post. Did you reply to the wrong one?

  26. shredford

    Sustainability and Environment

    You'd think there should be a degree of responsibility enforced on such tech giants to allow older hardware to run. Given the large amount of computer waste that is on the planet now companies should take more responsibility rather than force users to ditch perfectly good hardware instead of this whole cycle we seem to find ourselves in.

  27. SonWon

    Linux!!!

    It is amazing how well gaming on Linux has become so...

  28. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Happy

    Phew

    Still works on my old Thinkpads, then. X230 is Haswell.

  29. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Meh

    I'm sure Intel are sufficiently grateful. And I'm sure there's no suspiciously cartel like behaviour going on there that might fall foul of the law of any jurisdiction in the world in any way shape or form.

  30. MJI Silver badge

    10 v 11 what is actually in 11 over 10

    To me it just looks a messed up IU infatuated with sausages, and moving stuff away from where they should be.

    What does 11 do that 10 doesn't? Apart from annoy and look stupid.

    Do I NEED 10?

    Seems some of the software and devices I use may not even work post 7, so nervous there.

    Will 10 run happily in a VM on a Linux box?

    I found my XP disc so will use that for the devices.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: 10 v 11 what is actually in 11 over 10

      > What does 11 do that 10 doesn't? Apart from annoy and look stupid.

      Best features of Windows 11 (IMHO):

      1. Nested-V for AMD CPUs

      2. Robocopy /iorate, lets you control the copy speed in a sensible manner in comparison to /ipg: which is documented wrong at a lot of places, even at Microsoft. (i.e. the 64 KB blocksize varying on network and HDD/SSD speed, usually it is more like 256 KB, and can be up to 1 MB according to my tests, maybe even more?)

      3. SMB compression. I can get >200 MByte/s on a single gigabit line, usually around 130 to 140 though instead of the hard limit of 113 MByte/s.

      GUI improvements? Lets stay on the positive things here.

    2. Jason Hindle

      Re: 10 v 11 what is actually in 11 over 10

      They made the start menu worse. They made tablet-mode nonexistent (and Windows 10 was already worse than Windows 8). Is there anything good left for Microsoft to ruin in Windows 12?

      1. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: 10 v 11 what is actually in 11 over 10

        They could remove the ability to left-align the taskbar (whcih currently can easily be done through management policies). The are sure to change the start menu (they do with every version) and will probably fuck it up more in some way.

  31. Locomotion69

    I agree with Microsoft

    I do not want Windows 11 on my hardware either.

  32. computerdave911

    who cares about 20 year old computers, lol, Apple has been doing this for decades and no one complains, with its computers and devices Apple support will tell you to buy a new phone or device if you call them with out of warranty device,

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