Why does Microsoft recommend buying a new PC to run Windows 10?

I'm a Windows 7 user and Microsoft invited me to downgrade to Windows 10 (which I won't be doing).

But I was struck by one particular statement:

"The best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC.  While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended."

(Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-7-end-of-life-support-information)

I don't see why that is? The FAQ goes into a little more detail, but it's all pretty vague and confusing. It mentions that "many new PCs have a touchscreen", but if you wanted a touchscreen, you could just buy a touchscreen, rather than updating the entire PC. (I would rather shoot myself in the head than use a touchscreen, but each to his own.)

The whole thing is just really confusing. I have a wonderful high-spec PC. Why would I need to build a new PC just to install a new OS?

Answer
Answer
Hi Jamie. I'm Greg, an installation specialist, 10 year Windows MVP, and Volunteer Guardian Moderator here to help you.

If you want to express your opinion on this to Microsoft use the Feedback Hub app in Start Menu where developers are tasked to process consumer feedback. They will not even see it here. This is a tech forums staffed mostly by volunteers trying to help others with your problems.

If you want to post back a Share link from your Feedback here others who see this thread can vote it up and add to it.

They are trying to warn about possible older hardware deprecation that is happening for many with WIndows 7 or earlier PC's, as we now get into the fifth year of bi-annual Windows 10 Version Updates that are causing some older hardware not to be able to run. This is due to the Version Upgrade scheme which replaced  previous editions of Windows with one or two Service packs in the past, with a perpetual Windows 10 with Version Updates twice a year.

This can lead to a trap where someone with older hardware suddenly finds it won't run on the latest version. After trying to install the latest version, they must roll back and then try to hide the Version Update so it won't reinstall again, then wait to get word when it's too old to run any longer. Fortunately they are getting better about not trying to Upgrade unsupported hardware if it can't run the version, but with nearly a billion users there can be mistakes trying to sort all the billions of Updates.

If you don't want to mess with this then I'd stick with Windows 7 as long as you can until you're ready for a new PC.  Most PC's don't last longer than 7-10 years anyway. I've found that computer years are roughly equivalent to about one to every ten human years, so a 10 year old PC is about 100 human years, your mileage may vary.  I've found it's usually in the 7th year where you really need to perfect the install to compensate for the hardware age, then you have a couple more years if you're lucky.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask back any questions and keep me posted. If you will wait to rate my post, I will keep working with you until it's resolved.

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"The best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC.  While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended."

I don't see why that is?

This is a community forum, so no one here can speak for Microsoft. Nevertheless, I believe I can explain what Microsoft probably means by that statement.

For most people, the smartest way to switch to Windows 10 is to buy a computer with Windows 10 already installed. Here's why:

1- Hardware: If you buy a new computer, you won't have to worry about whether the hardware is supported on Windows 10.

With a computer that originally ran an earlier version of Windows, you can't be sure whether all the manufacturers of the computer's hardware support Windows 10. You can certainly find out - if you know how - but most people don't.

You would need to make a list of all the hardware in your computer. Then, you would contact each hardware manufacturer individually, and find out if they are supporting Windows 10. If they are, you may need to install a Windows 10 driver, and possibly updated firmware. If they are not supporting Windows 10,  you'll have to determine whether the hardware will work properly in Windows 10 even without support. You can do this by asking the hardware manufacturer's own user forum, or an independent user forum that covers that type of hardware.

This is beyond most people's technical ability. In addition, most people are not willing to invest all that effort.

2- Software: If you buy a new computer, you won't have to worry about whether the pre-installed software is supported on Windows 10.

As above, you need to make a list of all the software that is currently installed, and then contact each software developer individually to find out whether they support Windows 10. You will very likely need to upgrade a lot of your software applications to their newest versions, and most people don't want to pay for that.

In addition, you may find that some of your software simply cannot be used with Windows 10, because there is no version of the software that works with Windows 10. That means looking for replacement software.

As with hardware, this is simply beyond most people's technical ability. In addition, most people are not willing to invest all that effort and pay for newer versions of software.

3- Installing Windows 10 on an older computer: Most people will try to upgrade their existing copy of Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10. (Earlier versions can't be upgraded.) But upgrading is a poor way to migrate to a new operating system, because it brings all the problems of the old version of Windows to Windows 10. The best way to install Windows 10 - or any operating system - is with a clean install, because that gives your computer a fresh start.

However, installing a new operating system, whether you're upgrading or doing a clean install, is no walk in the park. It takes a good amount of technical knowledge and lots of preparation. It's nothing you can't handle, but it's work. Anyone who tells you  "just follow these easy steps" is being disingenuous.

The truth is, most computer users simply lack the technical ability, don't want to do all that work, and/or don't see why they should have to. For these people, the best way to switch to Windows 10 is to buy a new computer with Windows 10 already installed.

Let's say you're not one of those people. Maybe you're more like me: I'm not a computer genius, but I love all this technical stuff - the more the better! For me, migrating my 9-year old computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and now to Windows 10 has been one great adventure, and a whole lot of fun. If that sounds like you, don't wimp out by getting a new computer. Instead, turn your existing computer into a Windows 10 force of nature!

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Last updated November 23, 2020 Views 4,152 Applies to: