Don't like Windows 11 after upgrading from Windows 10? Then hurry up.
Microsoft will be offering a rather short roll-back window (sorry) to consumers... but... why?
New information about Microsoft's next operating system, Windows 11, keeps cropping up from different sources and some of it is rather interesting to consumers - especially to those that are thinking about upgrading from Windows 10. The Redmond giant has been sharing an official Windows 11 FAQ with many PC manufacturers so they can have a better idea of its intentions and be prepared to answer customer questions (one can take a look at it right here at MSI's website in PDF form). Somewhat buried within that PDF is a detail that will probably take a lot of people by surprise: consumers have to make up their minds rather quickly about Windows 11 after making the jump from Windows 10.
It's true: as per this official Microsoft FAQ, consumers that make use of the company's offer to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 - we still do not have a specific timeframe for that, by the way - will have just 10 days in order to decide whether they prefer the new operating system to the old one. The upgrade process will keep their apps, app data and files, but they have to test Windows 11 within that ten-day period. If they decide, before ten days have passed, that they do not like Win11 and that they'd rather continue using Windows 10, then Microsoft's rollback system will undo the upgrade and keep their apps, app data and files intact.
After that 10-day "trial period", though, doing that will not be possible: returning to Windows 10 will require a clean install, meaning that consumers will have to back up their files, wipe the system drive (all app data and settings will obviously be deleted), install Win10 from scratch, install their apps all over again and then restore their files in order to get the same PC to the state it was before the Windows 11 upgrade.
This is strange, to say the least. On one hand, it's nice that Microsoft is offering consumers this complete rollback option as a way to return to Windows 10 from Windows 11 without having to go through the process of essentially rebuilding their entire software environment. On the other hand this 10-day "trial period" seems almost arbitrarily chosen, as an artificial time limit of sorts. Could it just as easily be a week or a month, no? Wouldn't the rollback mechanism work in the exact same way, taking a "snapshot" of the user's entire Windows 10 system and getting back to that if he/she chooses to downgrade for whatever reason?
In many respects, this is one more of those weird Windows 11 things that Microsoft decided at some point but will be struggling to justify when the time comes. It is also a decision that makes no sense. The Redmond giant should do this instead: ask users whether they'd like to have a snapshot of the consumer's software environment taken just before the Windows 10 to Windows 11 migration and then take the snapshot or not depending on their choice and the available storage space (obviously informing them in the case there's not enough storage space for a complete system restore).
Then do the upgrade and, when that is completed, inform consumers that they can get back to Windows 10 at any time of their choosing, making it clear that they'll be returning to the exact state their system was in at xx/xx/20xx (the day of the upgrade). Consumers can then start using Windows 11 for however long they need in order to make up their minds about it. Presumably, they'll always be able to clear up the space taken up by the Windows 10 system snapshot at any point in the future, should they decide to continue using Windows 11. This is not rocket science. It's simple. What is very difficult, is feeling that this strict 10-day "trial period" is anything less than an artificially set, oppressive time limit. You don't need these practices anymore, Microsoft. And neither do we.