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[Slashdot] - What Windows 11 Means: We'll Be Stuck With Millions of Windows 10 Zombies

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet, written by David Gewirtz: Windows 11 won't run on many current Windows machines. We do know (we think) that only certain processors will be supported, only 64-bit machines will be supported, and only machines with a TPM chip will run Windows 11. What does that mean for you and me? It means that many machines will be left behind. They will become the walking dead, unable to upgrade, but still shambling along. My biggest concern, of course, is security. For those who pay, Windows 7 security updates will be available through January 2023. It's not easy for smaller businesses and individuals to get that support, but it's there. Mainstream support for Windows 8 and 8.1 is over, but extended support is available through January 2023. WIndows 10 support, especially for those abandoned by Windows 11's restrictive update policy, will end in October 2025, but Ed tells me he thinks that will be extended. That's good news because there are roughly 1.3 billion Windows 10 devices out there. How many won't be able to upgrade? That's not a question we know the answer to now, but [ZDNet's guru of all things Windows, Ed Bott] tells me he's working on constructing an estimate, so keep checking back into his column. Some machines will be left behind despite owners' preferences. Many others will remain behind because their owners either don't know how, don't care, or refuse to upgrade. Others can't upgrade, because they're reliant on legacy software that only runs on older machines. No matter the reason, expect millions of Windows 10 machines to be in the wild for a decade or more -- each an ever-increasing magnet for malware, each an ever-increasing danger to other machines they might encounter and infect. All that brings me back to my machines and yours. Even if you and I are stuck on Windows 10, we still have a good four years of support. That gives us four years to come up with a replacement plan, which is more than enough time. For those of you who will choose "hell no, I won't go," it gives you time to ascertain security risks of running unprotected, and find ways to protect those legacy machines.

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