Updated MacBook to Big Sur - but iMac must wait
Took the plunge and updated my MacBook Air to Big Sur. I have fewer apps on my MacBook so there was less chance of something being incompatible. I uninstalled the Avira Free anti-virus as I had already received a notification that it would be incompatible, and this was confirmed on the Avira site.
I'm pleased to say everything went very smoothly, the only concerning thing being that the fan in the MacBook was on almost continuously during the installation. It was clearly pushing the hardware quite hard!
This update bridges the Intel Macs with the new Silicon ARM Macs that will use processors currently found in iPads and iPhones, thus bringing closer together the various hardware offerings in the Apple range. The update thus renders the launch bar icons differently, more in line with those found on the iPhone and iPad. It also introduces some additional features, such as a Control Panel where you can set regularly used features, just like on the iPhone and iPad. Clicking on the date displays the notifications panel. Other apps, such as Safari and Messages have been enhanced.
As for my iMac, I think I'm going to wait quite a bit longer before attempting the update as I have a lot more software that could cause problems. For a start I find that Office for Mac 2016 is no longer supported by MS, this having ended in October 2020. I'm reluctant to fork out nearly £120 for Office 2019 and there's no way I'm subscribing to Office 365 for my limited usage. I could probably survive without Office as the Mac suite handles Office files. I'm also running Parallels so could save my current Catalina installation as an image should I need to access Office for some reason, although I could run into licensing problems in doing this knowing MS's paranoia with regard to piracy.
I think my plan will be to wait for a couple of service updates to Big Sur, by which time I might be able to ascertain what software will work and what won't. Until then I'll familiarise myself with Big Sur on my MacBook.