Laptop screen displaying Windows 11.
5 October 2021

Windows 11 is out. Should you upgrade?

You can buy a new Windows 11 PC today, but I wouldn’t hurry.

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John C.
09 Oct 2021
Multiple desktops

I read somewhere that this new version supports multiple desktops. That is a really useful feature (if it works). Is this true?

Phil J.
09 Oct 2021
Windows 10 supports multiple desktops

Windows 10 supports multiple desktops. I think if you press the [Windows Key] + [Tab] keys together, the pop up shows you an image where you can add a “New desktop”.

Mike H.
11 Oct 2021
Windows 10 multiple desktops

Or alternatively launch new desktops using the Taskview button. The button is default on the LHS of task bar near the Start menu

Joyce & John
09 Oct 2021
survival of Windows 8.1

I have a perfectly servicable desktop and a laptop of 8.1 vintage. I'm told these will no longer be supported after 2023. Does this mean they won't function?

Phil J.
09 Oct 2021
Windows 8.1 reached end of Mainstream Support in 2018!

According to this link ( “Windows 8.1 reached the end of Mainstream Support on January 9, 2018“. So if it’s still running, then being supported and functioning are clearly not the same thing. However, it’s likely you are no longer getting security updates and it would be better to upgrade to Windows 10 if you can because it will still be getting security updates for a few more years.

Nick - Consumer test writer
27 Oct 2021
Re: Survival of Windows 8.1

Hi there,

Microsoft has two levels of support for its operating systems. During mainstream support, new features and performance upgrades are still being added. After that period, extended support begins, which means the OS continues to receive security updates so is safe to run.

As Phil says, Windows 8.1 has been out of mainstream support for a while. But it will be safe to use for another 18 months. After that, the software will still work, but you'll be at serious risk from malware.


Grant R.
09 Oct 2021
Windows 11 upgrade?

As someone who was involved in running a windows based payroll system for a DHB, albeit many years ago now, you couldn't pay me to use a windows based pc / laptop.
Having made the switch to Mac about 15 years ago, l no longer have software headaches.
If you haven't tried a Mac, l suggest they are a far easier system to use on a daily basis, without all the hassle that Windows users complain about. Even Linux is easy more stable than Windows in my experience, but l don't think Linux is as easy to use as a Mac, yet.
Just my 2.3 centre worth 😊

Steven T.
09 Oct 2021
Each to their own

Haha. I have the opposite problem. I’ve purchased several Macs and always go back to Windows. I just don’t get the way Mac’s work. I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but they just g hit the spot. Same with iPhones. I have one but only because everyone in my family has one and they don’t play nicely with others…

Richard & Kathrina G.
12 Oct 2021
Linux Mint beats Mac beats Windows

Try Linux Mint for a while. It easily beats Mac and Windows even on your old computers for speed and stability. I currently support users on a mixture of Linux, Windows, and Mac laptops/desktops (forced on us by our work places). Because I used to administer a computer network for my job I now do support for my family including aged mum.

After about 2 decades supporting mixed fleets of Windows/Mac/Linux computers there is no comparison - Linux beats Mac beats Windows. This is based on reliability and ease of use for users and administrators alike. Additionally, Linux is secure. If your budget needs consideration, then remember that Linux is free including all of the apps/programs most of us ever need. Linux also runs perfectly on those old computers your friends or workplaces are regularly replacing - privately I haven't paid for computers for years but run the latest software, saving us thousands of $$ and saving many, many hours of user and administrator time.

John P.
09 Oct 2021
PC Health Check

Downloaded PC Health Check. It would not install because, "Another installation is in progress. You must complete that installation before continuing this one".

I've tried twice, same message, which I don't understand. My PC was bought in 2013 so I'm screwed anyway I guess.

Robyn S.
09 Oct 2021
Changing icons

"Gone are the Windows 10 icons that haven’t changed since Windows 95."
I have to ask why you thing this is good. Is a computer a fashion item now? or the tool I have always regarded it as.
All changing icons means to me is more time wasted trying to figure out what they mean and what they do.
Robyn S

Nick - Consumer test writer
27 Oct 2021
Re: Changing icons

Hi Robyn,

You make a good point that these things shouldn't change for the sake of it!

I'd argue we've learned a lot about how users interact with computers, and what is easy to use, in the last 25 years. It'd be a waste not to apply that knowledge to Windows, even if it's confusing at first.


Paul W
09 Oct 2021
I'm surprized you waited so long

We have 4 PCs in our household and only 1 passes the Win 11 compactivity test. I have a 2 year old HP laptop that fails based on the CPU not being up to it. My 10 year old desktop that has Win 10 and Win 11 on it as a dual boot system runs fine on both OS. The whole exercise with this compactivity test seems like a ploy by Microsoft and the PC makers to sell more computers and Windows licenses and get people to upgrade their computers even new ones. There's going to be a lot of good computers going to the landfill in 2026. I was hoping Consumer may have gotten on to the planed obsolesce earlier.

Phil J.
09 Oct 2021

As cyber attacks have changed, so to have mechanisms needed to respond to these threats. There are some specific security demands for Windows 11, hence the stricter hardware requirements (e.g. TPM 2.0). This link has more details behind the rationale (

Richard & Kathrina G.
12 Oct 2021
Try Linux Mint (or other popular version/"distribution")

Linux runs on old computers where Windows and Mac won't/can't run. It runs more than fast enough for almost all everyday use. And Linux and it's programs are completely free.

To make moving to Linux easy choose any of the versions/"distributions" described by .

Personally, I recommend Linux Mint, which I've used for over a decade now for private and professional use after converting from Windows. Some good reasons for you to try it our are described by .

Roger Cole.
09 Oct 2021
The answer

Buy a Mac!

Hamish W.
05 Oct 2021
Something I can hate more than Windows 10?

8 months ago we bought a new computer to run win 10 mainly because our old win7 machine was becoming terminally slow.

Now, this machine gets slower and slower with every update. Not looking forward to the next version as that will probably mean buying another new machine.

You should include computers in your "Built to last" campaign. This computer and win10 clearly were not built to last.

Warren G.
09 Oct 2021
New windows 10 getting slower

Are you running Norton's internet security/anti virus. It's notorious for slowing down computers

09 Oct 2021

I did a re-boot and disabled auto updates then did an image disk copy, my computer is now zooming!!!

Geoff G.
10 Oct 2021
Did your new computer have a solid state drive (SSD). No SSD = slow computer

All modern Macs sell with SSDs. They cost more but run better.
I still use a windows machine with a nice big 2GB SSD. It runs like a scalded cat!

You get what you pay for

Richard & Kathrina G.
12 Oct 2021
Try Linux - it's free and fast on older computers

Hi Hamish W,
Indeed, every new version of Windows (and Mac) need newer, faster, and expensive computers every few years. After decades of using successive Windows versions I moved to Linux Mint - and now run run the "latest & greatest" software always for free and on old computers donated free by friends/family/employers, who were throwing out computers while upgrading.

Read my 2 posts above for reasons and some links to Windows-like versions of Linux. I would recommend Linux Mint with Office-like programs all packaged together and available for free at .

"You get what you pay for" - this is certainly correct. If you pay for Windows (or Mac) you get their marketing machines and sales reps selling Windows (and Mac) to businesses/government/you/... and you get their need to constantly entice/force consumers to continue buying their stuff. If you pay nothing you get none of that. You just get occasional comments from users who have daily experience with these 3 systems (e.g. over decades) and can make recommendations based on both personal and professional experience. While there are some programs which can't be replaced by Linux these are few and not essential for most people in their private, everyday lives.

PS. Linux runs fine on older computers and harddrives - but would of course run even faster if you happened to want to buy the latest computers and accessories e.g. SSHD's.