Microsoft is sticking to its guns with the minimum requirements. Following the announcement of Windows 11 earlier this summer, which will replace Windows 10 as the flagship operating system from the company this autumn, Microsoft revealed the specifications required to run the new software on your PC. And the specs caused an uproar.
Microsoft stipulates that all machines will need TPM 2.0, which is an obscure security feature (well, it was obscure until Microsoft shone a spotlight on it following its Windows 11 announcement) that has always been pretty niche. In fact, it’s so niche that most standalone motherboards automatically disable TPM 2.0, so you’d need to dive into their BIOS to re-enable the feature.
Unfortunately, that’s not all.
The Redmond-based company has also released a strict CPU compatibility list. You’ll need at least an eighth-generation Intel processor, dubbed Coffee Lake, which launched in October 2017. That’s less than four years ago. So, you’ll need a pretty recent machine to enjoy Windows 11. You’ll also need at least a second-generation Ryzen CPU to upgrade to the new operating system.
These specifications have left a huge number of Windows users – who are quite happily using Windows 10 and would like to upgrade – in the dark.
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But Microsoft isn’t going to make any changes to its requirements anytime soon. Microsoft Program Manager Aria Carley recently addressed the issue during an Ask Me Anything webcast. When asked about the controversy, Carley said: “Group policy will not enable you to get around the hardware enforcement for Windows 11. We’re still going to block you from upgrading your device to an unsupported state since we really want to make sure that your devices stay supported and secure.”
Yikes. Well, that about sums up it.
Microsoft will check the specifications of your machine before you download Windows 11 via its Windows Update app. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, the US technology firm won’t let you even download the installer. So, at least you’ll know before committing to a huge download.
Carley did admit that she’s well aware that “it sucks” for those who have a relatively recent build that can’t upgrade. However, Microsoft is sticking with the requirements to “keep devices more productive, have a better experience, and better security than ever before so they can stay protected.”
Microsoft has confirmed the first hardware running Windows 11 will launch before the end of the year. However, the download for users to upgrade their existing machines to the all-new operating system won’t be available worldwide until next year.
Windows 11 is a pretty radical upgrade. It brings a completely reimagined Start Menu in the centre of the screen, all-new interactive widgets, new options to manage multiple windows on-screen across multiple displays, faster connections to Bluetooth peripherals, and more.