This year could be your last opportunity to upgrade to Windows 11 compatible desktops or laptops, whilst still getting cashback for trading in your older devices

Windows 11

Launched in 2021, Windows 11 marks the first major release of the operating system since 2015. The redesign focuses on user experience and ease of use, alongside new productivity features and updates to security and accessibility.

Notably, Windows 10 support will officially end on 14th October 2025, after which Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support (note support for older operating systems such as Windows 7 and 8.1 already ended in January 2020 and 2023 respectively). Your computers running Windows 10 will still work - but Microsoft, and RM, recommend moving to Windows 11 to ensure your school IT systems remain efficient and secure.

System requirements

Microsoft has provided the minimum and feature-specific device specifications required for upgrading to Windows 11. A number of devices will meet these requirements, however devices with legacy BIOS or without a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) are not compatible for the upgrade.

The type and generation of processor in your devices is also an important factor in whether the install can be installed, with support for 32-bit processors no longer being available. Microsoft also provided a full list of supported Intel processors; however this loosely translates to compatibility with Intel's 8th-generation processors and newer, meaning devices produced within the last 6-7 years have a high chance of being compatible.

In addition to technical compatibility, your decision whether to upgrade Windows whilst keeping your existing hardware or refresh devices with newer desktops and laptops may have other considerations. For example if your school has refreshed or is refreshing your network infrastructure to improve connectivity within the schools, older devices could become the point of bottleneck if their hardware can't utilise the same modern wifi standards. Refreshing with new devices can also bring improved performance efficiencies meaning less electricity usage and longer battery life.

So, what's special about this year?

Whilst you can choose to refresh your aging hardware at any time, devices purchased around 7 years ago or older are more likely to fall into the list of being incompatible with the Windows 11 upgrade. Holding out another year until Windows 10 support ends in 2025 remains an option - however if your devices become over 8 years old during this period they will be ineligible for cashback under either the HP Brighter Futures or Lenovo ConnectEd trade-in programmes.

Whilst both of these schemes set an amount of cashback you receive based on the new devices you buy rather than the specification of old devices you trade in, they do have some basic rules - devices returned to be recycled or repurposed must power on and be a maximum 8 years old. If your devices don't meet the requirement of being less than 8 years old you would have to make alternative arrangements to dispose of them, and have lost the opportunity of saving up to £150 against brand-new Windows-11-compatible devices.

Trade-in programmes

HP Brighter Futures and Lenovo ConnectEd offer the opportunity for schools to dispose of older equipment efficiently and environmentally, whilst receiving a cashback payment against the cost of new devices. The format for both is similar: the school first purchases new eligible devices, each with a cashback 'value' of £50, £100 or even £150 pounds; the purchase is registered with either HP or Lenovo and details taken for the collection of your old devices; once collected and processed the school will then receive a cashback payment directly from the manufacturer.

Browse the RM Technology Store to see the range of desktops and laptops eligible for trade-in cashback:

or contact us if you have any further questions.
01235 645 316

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