Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Windows OS thread. We talk the Windows OS in mobile, tablet, desktop, and even IoT form if you so desire.Windows 11
is coming and I'm going to write something about it here soon-ish.Windows 10
is the new/old windows. The most current release version is Windows 10 20H1, meaning it came out in the first half of 2021. This is the norm. You can expect 2 incremental OS updates to Windows 10 per year now, except in 2016 when there was only one, because Microsoft. This will bring changes to Windows 10 over time. Version 20H1 might not seem super different but if you could find a PC on 1507 you'd see a lot of changes. Also, unless you're an enterprise business you're getting the new versions anyway. Windows 10 largely fixes a lot of the issues that Windows 8.x had, especially on desktop/traditional computers. There are conflicting beliefs on whether it is better on a tablet. I think a majority will say yes, but it definitely is not unanimous. -1607 made further changes to the tablet interface which brings it closer to the Windows 8.1 look.
There are also fears about the telemetry gathering in Windows 10. Microsoft has been collecting telemetry for 10 years now, since Vista, and while it is true they are doing more in Windows 10, almost everything is anonymized, especially if you turn off the advertising ID telemetry. There is nothing that links how many Joe User actually clicks the start button or goes to that website he doesn’t want his wife to know about. You really have nothing to worry about.Windows 10 S
is a SKU of Windows 10 that only runs apps distributed though the store. This is not quite as bad as it sounds. The store isn't just for the crappy UWP apps that no one uses. Standard Win32 apps *can* be distributed through the store though the Desktop Bridge, which is a development tool Microsoft provides that will take a standard Win32 app and put it in a UWP container. There are a number of these apps in the Windows Store now. Is Chrome there? No. Will Google put Chrome in the Windows store? Probably not, but they could if they wanted. The number of sales of Windows 10 S might dictate whether they do. Microsoft will be putting the "real" office Suite in the Windows store in this Desktop Bridge technology, so any app can end up there if a developer chooses to do it. Windows 10 S does have a couple limitations. The default browser will be locked to Edge.
While that's not a huge issue now since there are no other browsers that are any good in the Windows Store, if Firefox or Opera or Chrome end up in the store that could annoy people. The default search engine in Edge is also locked to Bing. People will not like this, but this isn't the biggest deal since www.google.com still exists. Personally, I like the idea of Windows 10 S. I'm not sure how it will work in practice. Only time will tell.Windows 10 support
is a tad convoluted, but here we go. Since Windows 10 is updated twice a year, the older versions largely go away quickly anyway. This means that for the vast majority of people, you will *always* be on a supported version of Windows 10. Microsoft supports prior versions for 18 months from time of release. So as of October 2017, Versions 1507 and 1511 are out of support and receive no updates. Versions still supported, but are not the current version, will receive security fixes only As of October 2017 these are versions 1607 and 1703. Again, the number of consumers this should directly affect will be statistically zero. Note that this is not all that dis-similar from previous versions, where Service Packs were eventually required for updates. (i.e. you must be on Win7 SP1 to receive updates, the non SP1 version is no longer updated).
Windows 10 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809 - Out of Support
Windows 10 1903, 1909, 2004, 20H2 - Still supported
Windows 10 21H1 - Current versionWindows 8.x
is a complicated flower. The initial 8.0 release is no longer supported in any way. If you are somehow still on that, get at least to 8.1, which is a free update. 8.1 will be supported until January 10, 2023. 8.1 was good to great on touchscreens, and largely terrible on anything else. It’ll be remembered like Windows ME was. Some great ideas executed in the poorest way possible.Windows 7
. Oh Windows 7. The rock of Microsoft, and the new XP. Until Windows 10 this was unquestionably the best Windows ever made. Some people still think it is. Windows 7 was supported until January 14th, 2020. Windows 7 is now out of support and you will not receive any new security updates for it.
If you're still on Windows 7, the time really has come to move on.NOTE ABOUT WINDOWS 8.1 SUPPORT
Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows 8.1 on modern CPU platforms. This means that if you install windows 8.1 on an Intel Kaby Lake (7000 series processor) or later; or an AMD Ryzen system, you will not receive any updates after April 2017. This is a very long story, but these newer processors do things like power management very differently than older parts, and actually require significant investment in writing drivers for the processors to support them. Microsoft has chosen not to do so. Windows 8.1 was still in mainstream support until mid 2018, meaning Microsoft should have updated it with this support at least through that generation, and chose not to. That is unfortunate, and wrong, but not much we can do about it.
The tl;dr of this is that technically Windows 8.1 is still supported on existing machines, but you're not getting support if you try to install them on new hardware.Windows Vista
is now out of support as of 2017. Vista is poorly remembered, but Vista is about 90% of what Windows 7 became. However if you are still running it, time to move on.Windows XP
has been out of support since 2014. You should not be running it. It was a great OS in 2001, but it isn’t 2001 anymore.
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