Microsoft’s most surprising announcement in many years was the Windows 11 announcement. Of course, it’s not unusual for companies to update their OS. But this company claimed that Windows 10 would be “the last version of Windows.”
After all, Windows as a Service was the idea. Instead of receiving major OS updates every few years that cost a lot, we received several minor updates each month for free. Windows 10 was supposed to be constantly improving. Microsoft had promised to reveal “the next generation” of Windows. I was not expecting the company to call it Windows 11.
Windows 10 was coming out, but I didn’t know that. Windows 11 may not be the most groundbreaking update, but it was inevitable. Moreover, it’s a good thing because updating Windows 10 endlessly was becoming so tedious.
Although s 10 was constantly evolving, it often left everyday users behind. Microsoft would announce major feature updates without much fanfare beyond the enthusiast community, and the next build would be just around the corner.
My experience was that many Windows 10 users didn’t know when an OS update had been installed. This meant that people could become frustrated by unexpected changes (not to mention any missteps on Microsoft’s part). It also meant that many people didn’t know about the new valuable features their computers received twice a year.
Microsoft’s update strategy was a dull topic for me as a reporter who covers everything Windows. Let’s say that “Windows 10 Dec 2021 Update” isn’t as catchy as “Windows 11”.
Compare Windows 10’s updates to iOS, Android, or macOS. Users expect new versions every year. This is indicated by the number of versions and the addition of more exciting features. People get excited about new versions. This is something that I don’t believe has happened with Windows 10 intermittent releases.
This is what makes Windows 11 so exciting. It isn’t the most significant update to Microsoft’s OS, but it seems more focused on aesthetics than any under-the-hood changes. You might think Windows 11 is just a name. Microsoft could have added these features to Windows 10.
However, a name is mighty. The number “11” sets expectations. It prepares users to the dramatic visual overhaul that they will be receiving early next year. This change is not something Microsoft could roll out as a casual Windows update, and it would confuse regular PC users (AKA most of them). Instead, it helps users be aware of other significant changes and plan for them.
Moving forward with Windows 11 allows Microsoft the freedom to improve its OS while not retaining Windows 10’s baggage. I have been using the official preview build for several days and can’t believe how Microsoft could have rolled out all the changes to Windows 11 as a seasonal update.
Microsoft’s approach to updates for Windows 11 or beyond is not yet transparent. I would like to see Microsoft move to more annual updates, similar to macOS, or even every two years. This would allow Microsoft to have more time to develop new features and get the word out to customers while still keeping up with constantly changing technology.
Whatever direction Microsoft chooses, I doubt it will ever maintain the pretense that Windows 11 will be updated forever. So until Microsoft goes away or creates a new primary operating platform, Windows 11 will be the last version.