There are 2 new versions of the main operating systems available now. After promising no new Windows versions, Microsoft have released Windows 11 and Apple have Monterey.
What is an Operating System?
This is the software that you see when you turn on the machine. It controls the main functions; allows you to see your files and set up the machine as you want it. If you have a PC it will run a Microsoft operating system. Apple devices run Mac OS.
Microsoft call their operating system Windows and more recently have given it a number to identify the version, so we had Windows 7, 8, 10 and now 11 (9 seems unlucky for tech companies – no Windows 9 and no iphone 9!). Apple give their operating system a name so we have had High Sierra, Catalina, Big Sur and now Monterey.
There is also something called Linux but usually this is left to the techies to run.
The big change in appearance for Windows 11 is the move of the bar that people normally have at the bottom of the screen. Called the Task Bar traditionally this has run the full length of the screen. It now is reduced in size to the middle part of the screen only. The Windows look more rounded and are given a modern look. Under the hood, the control panel where we used to deal with a lot of the settings for the machine gets further reduced in function and the new Settings
For Monterey the biggest change is that this is optimised for Apple’s latest devices. These are set to now run on Apple’s own processor (the brain of the machine). They have added something called Rosetta which allows programs that have not be written for this new processor to still work. Older programs may run more slowly until rewritten for the new processor. Some programs will not work at all.
So should I upgrade?
We are testing Windows 11 currently so our advice would be to hold fire for at least 3 months. The common issues are with the display; printing and machines locking up. The main question will be if your machine can be upgraded. Not all Windows 10 units can run Windows 11. Microsoft require the latest processor to be present and also additional security features to be built into the machine before the device can take Windows 11. There are work arounds for these restrictions but they are not officially supported.
Monterey is more of a question. We have had reports of a number of Macs completely fail after upgrade. We have had one such device to the shop. The Macbook would not power on and looked as though it had died. Refreshing the firmware and the machine came back to life but this can be a difficult process and you need another Mac to be able to do it. Again we would advise caution upgrading currently. You also need to consider whether all your programs will continue to work with Monterey
As with general use, we always advise backing up before you embark on an upgrade. You cannot easily get back from an upgrade. If you change your mind or it all goes wrong then you would need a complete backup of your machine to be able to get going again. For Apple devices just use Time Machine to backup the entire device to an external drive. For PCs, a third party product like Acronis is ideal. See our item on backing up for more details.
If you need help upgrading your device call in to the shop or drop us an email and we will be happy to help.