Microsoft May Change the Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements

Posted on June 28, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 77 Comments

The drama continues. Acknowledging its terrible communication on this topic, Microsoft now says it will review its Windows 11 system requirements.

“The intention [here] is to acknowledge and clarify the confusion caused by our PC Health Check tool, share more details as to why we updated the system requirements for Windows 11[,] and set the path for how we will learn and adjust,” a new Windows Insider blog post reads. “We are making changes based on feedback, including ensuring we have the ability for Windows Insiders to install Windows 11 on 7th generation [Intel Core] processors to give us more data about performance and security, updating our PC Health check app to provide more clarity, and committing to more technical detail on the principles behind our decisions.”

Defending the stringent new Windows 11 system requirements, Microsoft says that it only wants to “adapt software and hardware to keep pace with people’s expectations [and] needs[,] and harness the true value and power of the PC to deliver the best experiences, now and in the future.” Windows 11 “raises the bar” on security, hence the TPM 2.0 chipset requirement. It will push the boundaries on reliability. And to be compatible with the apps you already use, it needs the same minimum requirements as Office and Teams.

Finally coming clean on the 8th-generation Intel Core (and AMD Zen 2 and Qualcomm 7/8) requirements, Microsoft now says that it will test whether Windows 11 can work well enough on 7th-generation Intel Core and AMD Zen 1 processors during the short Insider testing period this summer. If they pass muster, users with those processors will be able to upgrade in October (or whenever Microsoft turns on the upgrades, which could be early 2022, actually).

Microsoft’s PC Health Check app “was intended to help people check if their current Windows 10 PC could upgrade to Windows 11,” but the performance of this tool is so horrifically bad that Microsoft is pulling the download to address the feedback it has received. It will make a return sometime this fall ahead of the October release date.

Well, there you go. Some real progress from Windows, with an actual mea culpa and a quick turnaround.

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Comments (77)

77 responses to “Microsoft May Change the Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements”

  1. Avatar

    brothernod

    My Surface Pro 5 is smiling.

  2. Avatar

    polloloco51

    If Microsoft was caring, thoughtful, reasonable company. They would allow, 4th Generation Intel processors (2013 AMD equivalent) or higher, with 4GB of RAM and TPM for hard floor requirements.


    Eliminating millions of current PCs, that can run Windows 10 perfectly fine, is not thoughtful, reasonable or caring. It is just ludicrous, harsh and arbitrary.


    I really hope Microsoft changes course. Windows 11, will not just be Windows Vista 2.0. It will be the Microsoft Kin of OS's! A product that was purposely made, for narrow audience (in Windows, narrow hardware range), and never took off.

    • Avatar

      MikeCerm

      Totally agree. I have an i7-4790K that I've been waiting for years to upgrade but never did because, until the Zen 3 Ryzen CPUs came out, you really couldn't get a quad-core CPU that offered much better performance. Intel has improved their iGPUs with each generation (but they still can't play games), and doubled their core counts, but I don't really need 8 cores for what I do. In single-core performance benchmarks, Intel's 10th gen is maybe 20% faster than 4790K. To upgrade, I'd need a new motherboard and memory, so we're talking about $800 for a small bump in performance. Not worth it. Zen 3 CPUs are a worthwhile upgrade (11th gen too, but they're crap compared to AMD), but you couldn't get them for a long time. Now that you can get them, I think I'd rather just wait for DDR5.


      If Windows 11 could support all the way back to 4th gen, and there's technical reason they can't go all the way back to Sandy Bridge (2nd gen). Sure, the performance isn't amazing, but it works fine with Windows 10, and it's still faster than the Gemini Lake CPUs that will be supported.

      • Avatar

        polloloco51

        Windows 10 works decently on a 2009 Dell Inspiron Studio laptop I have, that originally shopped with Windows Vista. What is Microsoft's true excuse, for these insane requirements? If Windows 10 can run on 2009 hardware. There is no reason, Windows 11 can't run a 4th, 3rd or even 2nd gen Intel processor. To me, these requirements Microsoft created are completely phony and made up. Designed to make people recycle their PCs for no reason at all! It is disgraceful and goes against what Windows is! A highly adaptable operating system!

      • Avatar

        chrismoore

        Firstly, corporations do not upgrade this often. Upgrade cycles in these modern times are as long as 10 years. The laptop my employer issued me has no TPM chip and secure boot disabled, and it was issues in 2018 and manufactured in 2014. Most companies don't even use the current builds of Windows 10 - they have some third party solution for asset management that handles updates at much slower rates at a time of their IT department's choosing. Even lowering requirements to 7th generation intel chips is not nearly enough.


        Secondly, I am using an Intel Core i5-4330, 4th generation haswell. It has 4 cores at 3.0ghz and it's blazing fast. What would I gain by dropping $1000 or more on a new PC? The performance gain would be negligible at best. I have plenty of memory and GPU power for Windows 11 also - there's no reason that Windows 11 could not run very comfortably. I have a TPM 1.2 chip and I use secure boot also. So I don't have 2.0? Is that really going to give me that much of a gain on security on my home computer?


        And people seem to be just okay with this? The upgrade is free but you're going to have to drop $1000 on a new computer because it's more than 4 years old? Nobody sees the faulty logic here? The say that they are "taking security seriously." I'm amazed that there are this many people taking the B.S. seriously! it's abundantly clear that this is a jerk move on Microsoft's part. Having a "more secure experience" is a very poor excuse.

  3. Avatar

    vladimir

    I really can’t stand the hypocrisy. It would have been better if they acknowledged that the want more PCs to be sold, that’s the main reason behind their choices.

    Also, how is it possible that a 2 trillion dollar software company is unable to release a decent health check app and at the same time there is a perfectly functioning third party one that has been developed in one day? How can they be trusted?

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      Because all the smart people were working on Windows 11. They gave the Health Check App to the summer intern.

    • Avatar

      strato

      It's just marketing. MS scammers should be punished like this: everyone is switching to Linux. I know, Linux is not Windows, however MS would be worth a lesson, at least for a while. but unfortunately, the world can't give up the harmful comfort of Windows ... in fact, the security issue won't be resolved as long as Windows 10 devices run parallel to Windows 11 by 2025 and many of those who have eligible Windows devices 11 will disable TPM and Secure Boot, more than likely. a third- or fourth-generation I3 processor with TPM and Secure Boot (but not supported for Windows 11) may be better than a 2021 (supported) Celeron.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      | how is it possible that a 2 trillion dollar software company is unable to release a decent health check app and at the same time there is a perfectly functioning third party one that has been developed in one day? How can they be trusted?


      Name any Windows UI component, and some 3rd party developer has done a better job at some point.


      More to the point, the health check app was either given to a very low-level member of the Windows devloper team, in which case MSFT got what it paid for, or it was done by a more senior developer who has now shown the world what level of attention to detail that developer pays when he doesn't give a rat's ass. Ponder which has worse implications.

  4. Avatar

    bkkcanuck

    Reasonable response... best to do it before you confuse everyone. I have no problems with making requirements stricter (stricter than what MS is doing) as at a certain point you should push things forward -- the issue is that they should have a roadmap for themselves and vendors on what is authorized and tested as far as chipsets and required minimum standards ... whenever possible years in advance - then a period of transition (upgrade, vs new), and then at a certain point legacy becomes obsolete (at which point you should have an older LTS supported version of windows to run for a few more years on top of it)... 7 years before becoming obsolete, and 10 - 12 years of LTS legacy Windows support.

  5. Avatar

    zakand

    This doesn’t seem like “progress” at all, it just makes the Win11 debacle more confusing. MS didn’t commit to doing anything, and even if a few specific chips are exempted it won’t solve the problem.


    • Avatar

      Greg Green

      The initial soft, then hard requirements were either just made up or developed with little deep thought. And then implemented with just as little thought.


      over at zdnet they estimate less than 40% of the 1.2 billion PCs are eligible for upgrade based on Windows 11 Minimum Requirements Version 3.0. This will have an adoption rate as low as Win 8.

  6. Avatar

    ben55124

    Windows 10 release: let's get everyone on the latest windows


    Windows 11 release: let's get everyone on new devices

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      Surprised?


      The latter generates more revenues. If users were paying US$25 annually, I suspect MSFT wouldn't really care if they were still using XP.

  7. Avatar

    Daekar

    So... I am inclined to be grumpy if my PC can't upgrade, but I also understand that sometimes a line in the sand has to be drawn. My question is, what security protection are we going to get with TPM 2.0 that we won't get with TPM 1.16, which is what my motherboard claims to have.

    Can you download a firmware upgrade that will change your TPM version?

    • Avatar

      Greg Green

      Go to device manager and check security devices. I used a different check and came up with tpm 1.16 like you did, then went through device manager and discovered I’m at tpm 2.0. I verified it with whynotwin11.

  8. Avatar

    navarac

    My only comment would be: If you don't qualify for Windows 11 - don't despair. Having had it since the leak and then the official 22000.51 build, I can say that it REALLY IS LIPSTICK, Not necessarily on a pig, but it is all rather superficial. And I say this after only a few days.


    You are not missing much except some gawdy eye candy, a change of fonts, rounded corners (again), and menus that have changed. Basically Windows 10.5. It is all rather nice, I suppose, and I know we all like the next shiny thing, BUT..... My Gaming Pc qualifies but my laptops do not. Will I rush off for a new laptop this autumn? No, I won't. It is perfectly functional for the next 4 years with Windows 10 and I won't fall for the cynical push by Microsoft and PC makers to chuck perfectly good hardware in the landfill just to fill vendors and Microsoft's coffers. Sorry, it not as fundamental change as Windows 7 to Windows 8, or 8.x to Windows 10.

  9. Avatar

    cayres

    And here i am stuck with 2010 tech , im still using an i5 650 first gen cpu with 8gb of ram and a 256gb hdd running Win7 ultimate , yes i know MICROSOFT keeps saying its dead but Win 7 is so much faster than Win 10 and besides i dont use my PC for banking so not worried if it gets virus , its lasted the last 10 years now with no security updates lol

  10. Avatar

    jimem1

    I've had an original Surface Pro 1 running Win 10 Pro in insider program Dev channel. Overnight it updated to Windows 11. It is slow but it runs.

    OS Name Microsoft Windows 11 Pro

    Version 10.0.22000 Build 22000

    Other OS Description Not Available

    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

    System Name DESKTOP-B2LNVUT

    System Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

    System Model Surface with Windows 8 Pro

    System Type x64-based PC

    System SKU Surface_PRO_1

    Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3317U CPU @ 1.70GHz, 1701 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)

  11. Avatar

    javial

    I'm trying Windows 11 in an Intel Core i7 5930K with 6 cores at 4,2 GHz. (all cores with overclocking), hyperthreading, 128 GB. RAM at 3000 MHz, 1 TB. Samsung 960 NVMe, Geforce GTX 1070, without TPM, and runs very well, rapid, fluid and zero problems.


    Seems to be that the CPU and TPM requirements are only for Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected and code integrity (HVCI), and CPU's that have adopted the new Windows Driver Model, no more.


    I also see some options in Windows Defender, in Windows 10 and 11, that you can only activated depending on your processor or ir you have a TPM module.

  12. Avatar

    sabarrett

    Yeah, I don't think anyone will understand this other than a ploy to move people to new hardware. I have a Lenovo i5 440S with Windows 10 and it performs admirably. Enough so that in additon to Word, Excel, Edge, Python and Arduino programming, I can run Fusion 360 and model small items for 3D printing. Sure, its not like a new i7, but I don't expect it to be. I realize that its old and will need to be upgraded. However for casual use in home, it performs fine. I don't have an issue staying on 10, but please, give me some form of a reasonable technical response, not a "its old and won't run it" excuse.


    If the story is '11 is just like 10, only modernized'... why the change in requirements? It just doesn't fly.

    • Avatar

      chrismoore

      Because your PC is not "secure" and it does not comply with Microsoft's principles of security :)

      In all seriousness, Microsoft is not understanding that people don't upgrade every 3 years like they did in the 90s because the rewards are just not that great. Your Lenovo performs admirably - and if you actually did upgrade it, the performance gains you'd experience would be very tiny. You would get some, but $1000 worth? Doubtful. In reality, a new PC would feel "about the same" as your current.

  13. Avatar

    Tom

    My 11 year old Pentium 860 is trucking along fine on the first Insider Build of Windows 11. I realize the security is not "trusted" but this computer is used only as a test platform.

  14. Avatar

    arnstarr

    My T460p Thinkpad is ready and waiting for the first beta build (I'm skipping Dev). I want MS to see my 6th gen i5 quad core (no hypertheading) will be sufficient!

  15. Avatar

    geoff

    I'm happy to see the hardware requirements increase. It creates a secure PC fleet that Windows can target. And Microsoft has required that all licensed OEMs include TPM 2.0 for the last 5 years or so. It's not that onerous.


    I don't understand the cut-off between Core Gen 7 and Core Gen 8. Perhaps there are enhancements (spectre? Meltdown? USB3? new instructions? Capability of the inbuilt graphics?) - but if there is, Microsoft should say what they are.


    Yes, I have a second PC which is a Surface Pro 4, and my daughter still has one as well. They (allegedly) can't run Windows 11, but I accept that they are old devices near the end of the line (and I could leave them on Win 10 anyway. That IS a valid option). Like I said, those two SP4s are old devices already demoted to 'second PC' duties.


    Microsoft should hold the line on this one. Progress is always difficult, but a new OS is a suitable milestone for increasing the hardware baseline.

  16. Avatar

    cloudysulphur

    I don't understand what Microsoft is thinking.


    I bought my Surface Pro 4 in 2016, and five years later it is ineligible for upgraded versions of Windows.

    This is a shorter upgrade-eligible period than the (terribly) short support window that Apple uses for OS X.


    I don't understand why my other PC (A Haswell Xeon e3 with 32GB of memory is also ineligibe-- it is powerful enough).


    One of the great strengths Windows has is that is runs great on older hardware. Microsoft is throwing that away with Windows 11.


  17. Avatar

    rycott

    The leaked build worked perfectly fine on my Thinkpad X220 with 2000 series Intel i5. It's highly amusing they have to test the 7th gen processors to see if they can work with what is basically Windows 10 with a new UI.


    Sounds like the heat is already getting to them.

  18. Avatar

    JH_Radio

    No idea if my posts are being posted or not. but This won't help me! Or anyone I know. Its not as if 4 years from now these PCs won't run Windows 10 or run it so badly that an upgrade to 11 wouldn't run on them! This is absolutely insane in my book! All because of some TPM chip? come on! I mean... in one case I'd need to upgrade the ram from 4GB possibly but other than that? yeah.

  19. Avatar

    dougkinzinger

    To me it makes sense to include the 7th gen of Intel chips. But what about the poor 6th Gen - this means my gaming PC won't pass muster. :D

  20. Avatar

    thewarragulman

    Good, last year I bought a used Surface Laptop 1 with a 7th gen i5 & 8GB of RAM as a spare PC to loan out to people when I need to work non their PC as well as run on the Insider Program, which bothered me when Microsoft said 8th gen or newer was required as this machine (as well as my main daily driver which is 1st gen Ryzen) is still more than capable to run Windows 11 (since 8th gen is really just a minor refresh of 6th and 7th gen processors). I'm hoping that Microsoft will come to their sense and allow these slightly older processors to run, as anything older than 6th gen Intel would be time for an upgrade anyway in my books.

  21. Avatar

    foreignmike

    I am all for TPM 2.0 as a requirement if it means better security for Windows users. I don't know the deal with not allowing a specific CPU generation (assuming of course it has TPM 2.0 support), so maybe that should be changed.


    But really all this drama from customers is overblown; my guess is this is from a small but vocal crowd of the userbase. Windows 10 will still be supported until 2025 and you get to use all the same apps / programs that you have been using since Win7/8. Heck Windows 11 runs and kinda looks like Windows 10, so its not like you're missing much (like jumping from Win 7 to 8 to 10, that was a roller coaster!).


    I do hope Microsoft doesn't cave into this small base of users at the expense of platform security for the rest of us.


    Final thought - I'll be honest, i thought there would be more of an uproar regarding dropping 32-bit, guess not haha

    • Avatar

      Rann Xeroxx

      Do you realize the amount of e-waste that would be generated just to fulfill the hardware security requirements? If MS wanted to basically lock down W11 if your system does not have hardware security then that would be fine. Hell, Linux has pretty good security when not running as root, why can't a $2 Trillion dollar company achieve that with paid developers?

    • Avatar

      Greg Green

      Win 11 gets DirectStorage, Win 10 does not. This will be a major benefit to some gamers and it matches technology on the latest Xbox (I believe).


      it’s hard for MS to say they’re interested in gamers when it denies an estimated 60% of them a breakthrough technology.

    • Avatar

      dftf

      "I am all for TPM 2.0 as a requirement if it means better security ..."


      I'm sure in some-ways it does, but a TPM (and Secure Boot) do nothing to stop the scourge that is ransomware, which is becoming an international crisis.


      "I don't know the deal with not allowing a specific CPU generation ..."


      Well, some older CPUs cannot be patched against Spectre and Meltdown -- at least not on a firmware-level, only by Windows doing-so at the kernel-level, which reduces performance. So maybe it could be argued older CPUs should also be dropped for security-reasons too?


      "Windows 10 will still be supported until 2025 and you get to use all the same apps / programs "


      Yeah, I don't get why people seem to instantly now need Windows 11 and act like Windows 10 has suddenly dropped-down dead! Games and Microsoft's own app aside, most other apps still even support Windows 7 as of now! VMWare Player 16 is the only one I use I can think-of that doesn't... the next major VLC Media Player 4.x release is only-just dropping support for Vista and XP. All major web-browsers, including Microsoft's own Edge, all still get updates on Windows 7 too, and Microsoft Security Essentials continues to receive new definition-updates, too.


      "... I thought there would be more of an uproar regarding dropping 32-bit ..."


      Yeah, I've seen literally no-one arguing against it. Even-though on a number of times in the recent-past, when I've argued on here Microsoft should drop it, someone would immediately reply to tell that would impact their 16-bit legacy mission-critical app, or 16-bit ODBC database connector, or some multi-million pound device they purchased in the late 90s which only has a 32-bit driver, and they cannot afford to upgrade any of them.


      Until Windows 11 is announced, then suddenly it seems none of that now matters? (Or maybe they're just going to run such devices on a segmented network, not connected to the Internet, and running an older version of Windows on them -- which is what I've argued they always should have done anyway!)

      • Avatar

        chrismoore

        Even in the world of Linux it's tough (though not impossible) to find a distro that supports the 32-bit architecture. We've seen that requirement coming for a while.

  22. Avatar

    bluvg

    (Posted this in the Premium post last week, but it seems non-Premium members can only post, not read, those comments)


    Surprising that I haven't seen anyone mention the same exact TPM requirement for Server 2022 for Secured-core. No one seemed to complain about that requirement for Server, though we've known about it for much longer. Their explanation for Server also gives some insight around the Windows 11 requirement.


    This is a better justification to me than anything else for the major version increase. It's immediately clear to everyone which is fundamentally more secure, 11 or its predecessors. This kind of total simplicity is something Microsoft rarely achieves (XP SP2 etc.).

    • Avatar

      dftf

      "but it seems non-Premium members can only post, not read, those comments"


      Yes, can concur: it shows how many comments there are at the top, but at the bottom it just says "0 comments" and let you post one, but not read any existing ones. Seems a bit odd.

    • Avatar

      miamimauler

      "(Posted this in the Premium post last week, but it seems non-Premium members can only post, not read, those comments)"


      I raised this last week and Paul pretended he didn't know what I was talking about. Btw, support know about it as I informed them about two weeks ago and they replied that thy had the ticket but didn't offer any answer to my question asking if this a bug in the new comment system or new site policy.

      • Avatar

        bluvg

        Thanks for the confirmation and background info. I don't assume any intent on anyone's part, and as a standard free member, have no expectations. Just thought it was a bit odd.

        • Avatar

          miamimauler

          Agreed, I'm not for a second suggesting any foul play. It's just frustrating why they won't just tell us if it is a bug or new site policy.

          If it is site policy now then fine, they can do what they want on their site.


          However, it's poor form to take something away from readers and not explain it.

  23. Avatar

    cnc123

    I don't see any actual progress or a real explanation. I see a decision to maybe walk back a bad policy very, slightly. I have no issue with the TPM stuff. It's the CPU requirements at are unreasonable without a real technical explanation, and not platitudes and generalities.


    I said this on another thread, but if you force people to buy new computers to be supported, a lot of them are going to decide they don't want the expense or complexity of Windows and will buy Chromebooks instead.

    • Avatar

      dftf

      I still don't see the massive issue that requiring TPM is going to solve...


      One of the biggest security-threats being faced globally right now is ransomware, which mostly comes through socially-engineered attacks (i.e. get someone to download an open a file, or run a dodgy app), or sometimes through a vulnerability in an app itself, a device-driver, or a firmware-level issue, such as Spectre and Meltdown.


      How will a device with a TPM and Secure Boot mitigate against such threats?

  24. Avatar

    huddie

    I don't understand why they impose this 7th gen minimum either. My laptop is a Core i7 6500U 6th gen with TPM 2.0 and runs Windows 10 well. What exactly is it about Windows 11 that pushes the bar so much higher ?

    • Avatar

      strato

      maybe it's about surveillance. Big brother, probably. MS needs to know everything about you, after all. it will do so by all possible means. we will be the slaves of Microsoft. or maybe not. but anything is possible.

    • Avatar

      dmitryko

      It's about Hypervisor-Enforced Code Integrity (HVCI) requirement, which needs some specific hardware features:

      • 64-bit CPU with virtualization, i.e. Intel VT-x, AMD V;
      • Native UEFI Mode 2 or 3 (i.e. legacy Compatibility Support Module (CSM) disabled);
      • UEFI 2.5/2.6 features like Memory Attributes Table (MAT), Windows SMM Security Mitigations Table (WMST), and Secure Memory Overwrite Request (MOR) v2;
      • Second Layer Address Translation (SLAT) in Intel VT-x2 Extended Page Tables (EPT) and AMD V Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI);
      • IOMMU virtualization in Intel VT-d, AMD Vi, or ARM SMMU;
      • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, hardware or firmware-based;
      • HVCI compatible drivers.


      Also HVCI code integrity 'works best' with Intel Mode-based execute control for EPT (MBEC), which is only available since Skylake EX / Kaby Lake, or an equivalent AMD Guest-mode execute trap for NPT (GMET), only available since Zen 2.

      • Avatar

        Greg Green

        They should’ve explained this at the outset and referred to Win 11 as a security update requiring compatible hardware.


        though doing that without calling Win 10 unsafe would’ve convulsed the marketing department.

    • Avatar

      scovious

      I agree, any processor with enough GHz should be able to run Windows 11. If having a generational cutoff is only about protecting from exploits and I am going to be stuck on Windows 10, then I will still have the same exploits open to me. There's no added security until I buy a new PC which isn't something decided by Windows; buying a PC is decided by personal finances and how well existing PCs can run the apps we choose to use. No one with a well functioning PC would be tempted to replace it for "security" unless they were flush with cash.


      Performance wise my computers could easily last another 6 years because I buy high performance PCs to last me a decade or longer. After the pandemic I am in no position to afford a replacement much sooner than that. I bought one computer 2 years ago and it's not only blocked on it's processor but it has no TPM and no TPM slot, since it uses a custom motherboard so it can't be updated ever.


      If there isn't a Windows 11 Lite with a security warning, then someone will hack together an ISO that lets people like me run the latest and greatest OS without the security blanket. Is that or remaining on Windows 10 really their preference? They can't honestly expect everyone to be able to spend a few thousand dollars upgrading their hardware so Microsoft can make wide reaching statements about Windows 11 security. It's so strange coming from a generation of giving Windows away for free to everyone and everything that could run it.

    • Avatar

      bluetoothfairy1

      They want YOU to spend $$$ on a new PC, so THEIR shareholders can be happy about revenue numbers. Leaving all jokes and cynicism aside, this is what I really think is happening and MSFT should be just humbly honest about this and come out clean:


      W11 is big enough update to last another 5 years and they probably want to ensure that machines who install it in 2021 can still reliably and comfortably run it in 2025 or 26. Now, 7th gen may be perfectly capable of running W11 now, but will it keep up with updates (which they've undoubtedly already put on the long-term roadmap) 4-5 years from now? It would be a guaranteed marketing fiasco, if latest updates of W11 (or whatever they call it) in 2025 started taking these machines out of commission. I had been a die-hard Apple user for almost 20 years and they were famous about artificially killing off perfectly working machines with every iteration of OS X. I have had numerous tricked out Mac minis, which ended up being a paper weight. I switched to Windows. I think MSFT learned a lesson from Apple's PR stunts. Only Apple is brazen enough to just brush them off.


      I too have a 5th Gen i5 Dell, with 16GB RAM, SSD, which runs W10 like a dream. Sad to see it go into the closet. Same for my Surface Go Gen 1. But having spent two decades on Apple side, this is totally normal and very few people complain and fork out the cash... It's sad.

      • Avatar

        ram42

        I agree with you, it smacks of forced obsolescence to generate revenue. My primary desktop is a machine I put together in 2011(!), with a second gen Core i7, 16GB, SSD, and a halfway decent GPU. It runs Windows 10 like a dream as well--and considering Windows 11 doesn't seem like some dramatic leap in technology, I would bet money that it would purr along on 11 with little to no issues.


        This whole situation is hilarious. Microsoft's chronic inability to communicate has, and will continue to lead to confused and angry consumers--especially those who are not technologically inclined. Maybe 11 is a fine update, but they'll end up with egg on their face over another needless debacle.

  25. Avatar

    Piyer

    The Microsoft blog does not seem to make any sense - at least to me.


    Even today, thousands of machines like POS, industrial tablets etc are being sold with J1900 chips and 4th gen CPUs.


    We have sold over 250 devices in 2021 with Windows 10 Pro/IoT for commercial and industrial use cases.

    Why is Intel still selling these chips to the board manufacturers if they are insecure?


    Microsoft could clarify that if any device currently running windows 10 64 bit, should be able to upgrade to windows 11 with a clause that the TPM2.0/secure boot enabled devices would be recommended.

    • Avatar

      Greg Green

      Or more specifically clause that improved security will only occur with specified chips.

    • Avatar

      dftf

      I'd assume such devices would likely be running the "Windows 10 IoT" edition (what used to be called Embedded)? In which case, maybe for that specific SKU not all the sae hardware requirement will apply?

  26. Avatar

    lvthunder

    I think someone told Panos that we still sell machines that don't meet the requirements to run Windows 11.

  27. Avatar

    cseafous

    So we all just beta tested the PC Health Check tool. Okay. I was wondering how the requirements were going to work if MS still intends to compete with low end Chromebooks or will these requirements not have an impact in that market?

    • Avatar

      mikegalos

      As an FYI, TPM 2.0 has been a Chromebook requirement since it was created.

    • Avatar

      dftf

      Seeing as Chromebooks are "always-on" devices, when it comes to Internet-connectivity, I believe for such low-spec devices Microsoft's solution will be a cut-down version of Windows 11 (similar to editions like "Thin PC", "POSReady" or "Embedded") where it boots directly into a Remote Desktop style session and connects to a Windows 11 desktop running in Azure in the cloud. So very-little processing is done locally, you just stream (Remote Desktop Services style) a remote Windows 11 session.

  28. Avatar

    Varuna Singh

    cries in Surface Pro 4 which is my secondary PC. I'd still try the Dev builds and maybe they change their minds.

  29. Avatar

    dftf

    Oh for f**k sake, this is getting silly now!


    I totally applaud Microsoft for ditching the 32-bit kernel editions of Windows, as that's clearly long-overdue. But on the 64-bit side, they've clearly gone a bit overboard in insisting existing devices have to meet the requirements, rather-than just new PCs.


    If it were me, I'd simply offer a "legacy" edition of Windows 11, that would lack the higher-end features (such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage) and would only be available as a retail purchase, not as an OEM preinstall (where all the current requirements should be met).


    And I'd even up the specs for new devices. So, for example:


    Windows 10 Home: TPM 2.0; Secure Boot; UEFI-only; dual-core AMD64 or ARM64 CPU; 128GB minimum local storage (fully-SSD preferred*); 4GB RAM minimum (8GB preferred); USB 3.0 only* (all ports), with one port providing the ability to reverse-charge*; 1366x768 minimum display; DirectX 12 compliant graphics-card


    *(would not apply to existing devices, only newly-sold PCs)


    Windows 10 Home Legacy (aka Windows 10 L): TPM 1.2 supported, but TPM optional; BIOS or UEFI supported; Secure Boot not required; still require a 64-bit dual-core CPU (no 32-bit kernel editions); 4GB RAM minimum; DirectX 10.x or 11.x compliant graphics-card

    • Avatar

      Greg Green

      I’d say skip the specs and go with recommended minimum, then specify for superior security you must use specified chips and mobos with certain features.

    • Avatar

      rycott

      Crazy talk... are you suggesting that they enforce these new requirements on new PCs but allow older hardware to still be supported in some fashion as well?


      What madness is this you speak of? /s

      • Avatar

        dftf

        Well, it would make sense financially for them.


        If you buy a new PC, a Windows licence included in the cost.


        Or if you want to install Windows 11 on a device that doesn't meet the non-Legacy edition requirements, you'd have to buy a retail Windows licence. (On Amazon UK right now, it's £90 for Home, or £60 for the non-transferable OEM version; or £100 for Pro, and £60-70 for the Pro OEM. Of course, Microsoft could undercut this by offering an in-place upgrade, purchasable via the Store)


        So either-way it's money.


        In-fact, the only area they would lose-out is people who have existing devices that meet the top-level requirements, as they've already confirmed Windows 11 will be a free-upgrade for qualifying devices.

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          rycott

          Let's be real. 99% of people don't care what Windows they are running and wouldn't pay to get an upgrade.


          It's the Microsoft enthusiast people Microsoft are screwing over. Kinda sounds like standard Microsoft at this point.


          *Looks a stack of Windows Phone's and Microsoft Band sitting in a drawer.*

  30. Avatar

    StagyarZilDoggo

    On a somewhat related note: Windows 10 will go out of support just 4 years after its successor is released. That is very little time to get more than a billion devices to be upgraded or replaced, even with less stringent hardware requirements. I think there will be hundreds of millions of PCs still running Win10 when its support expires.

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      Greg Green

      Zdnet estimates that right now less than 40% of the 1.2 billion PCs are eligible for Win 11. I think that those that are only 3 or 4 years old won’t be upgraded for 4 or 5 years.

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      cayres

      Well heres a fact you may laugh at but the NHS in the UK are still using Windows XP on their PCs why ? because it would cost literally Billions of Pounds to upgrade all IT systems in every UK NHS hospital , this is why a few years back the NHS got hit by Wanna Cry virus but what can we do ?

  31. Avatar

    lrayh82

    My VM running on a 3rd gen i7 got updated to Windows 11 so they must have relaxed the requirements.

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