Over half of current Windows users want to upgrade to Windows 11

Windows 11 Start menu
(Image credit: TechRadar)

A poll conducted by Windows Report with 11,097 participants has revealed some interesting public perceptions about the upcoming Windows 11 operating system.

According to the results, over half of the participants are planning to upgrade to the new OS at launch, while almost a quarter of those polled don't have a laptop or PC that meets the lofty minimum hardware requirements to upgrade at all. It seems folk are also torn on the design, with 53% voting in favor of the new look, while 21% think it closely resembles Windows 10, and 13% admitting that the look of Windows 11 isn't to their taste.

Results of a Windows Report Poll

(Image credit: Windows Report)

The poll also asks questions regarding favorite features and queried the participant's knowledge of internal PC components like TPM chips (after an early issue regarding compatibility was traced back to a TPM issue), though it seems the survey was sent out to people who are already fans of (or at least familiar with) the Microsoft operating system, with 51% of people in the poll being members of the Windows Insider Program and a further 17% of non-members now planning to join the program to test Windows 11 before its public launch.

Among the features that are most anticipated, the centered Start menu unexpectedly came out on top with 35%, followed by native support for Android apps (26%) and Xbox Game Pass and Auto HDR earning a combined 13% of the audience's favor.

Opinion: Don't read too much into this

It's interesting to see these statistics, and the high number of users participating certainly adds a lot of weight to the findings, but we wouldn't look too deeply into it. Not because the poll results are inaccurate in any way, but things can change between now and the official launch day for Windows 11.

With over half of the participants also being members of the Windows Insider Club, the people being polled are already fans of Microsoft and its operating systems (or at least invested in the Windows ecosystem), enough so to willingly help test experimental features and services. 

This isn't to say that people won't be rushing to upgrade, but anticipating numbers for upgrade percentages in the general public before launch day feels a tad pointless if over half the people surveyed already like Windows enough to have already tried the service.

We don't just need to consider individuals either. It's unlikely that many large organizations will jump to upgrade their systems immediately if history is any indication. We reported last year that one in three NHS computers was still running Windows 7 even after the OS had reached its End of Life phase, and Forbes reported back in 2019 that similarly, one in three businesses still ran Windows XP.

Using an outdated operating system can cause dangerous security breaches, so Microsoft has a great deal of motivation to persuade commercial and business users to make the leap to Windows 11, but it's unlikely we will see people let go of Windows 10 so willingly. The older OS will have ongoing support until 2025, which does give Microsoft some time to convince those who are hesitant to get on board, but with so many concerns surrounding bugs and compatibility with older hardware, it's not going to be easy.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.