In a blog post published on 27th August Microsoft announced an easing of requirements for Windows 11. The bad news is that it is a very minor concession and users who were hoping for less strict requirements are sure to be disappointed. While Microsoft has added a handful of seventh-generation Intel processors to the list of compatible processors, other requirements have not changed at all:
We did identify a set of PC models that meet the principles while running on Intel 7th Gen processors that we did not originally include in our minimum system requirements. Based on those findings, we have expanded the list of compatible 64-bit processors to include the following:
- Intel® Core™ X-series, Xeon® W-series
- Intel® Core™ 7820HQ (only select devices that shipped with modern drivers based on DCH (Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support Apps) design principles, including Surface Studio 2 ~ source
No additions have been made to the list of supported AMD processors at this time. There are lots of rumors doing the rounds at the moment, perhaps the most significant of which is that, while users with PCs that do not meet requirements will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11, they will be able to download the ISO and perform a clean install:
A restriction to install the OS will only be enforced when you try to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Windows Update. This means anyone with a PC with an older CPU that doesn’t officially pass the upgrade test can still go ahead and download an ISO file of Windows 11 and install the OS manually ~ source
However, Microsoft has since reportedly added the proviso that those users who clean install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware will not receive updates via Windows Updates, including security patches. As I mentioned earlier, confusion reigns.
Hopefully, Microsoft will clarify these rumors in the near future. However, I do not believe much of this will be resolved until Windows 11’s official release. The way I see it, Microsoft has well and truly dug a hole for itself with the harsh requirements for Windows 11, and trying to dig its way out of that hole while retaining dignity is proving to be difficult.
As I have stated on many previous occasions, Microsoft’s decision-making surrounding the release of a new Windows 11 operating system has been unfathomable. Microsoft’s original concept of creating a united userbase under Windows 10 appears to have been thrown out the window and, with Windows 11’s divisive requirements, we are now heading for quite the opposite. Back to the future?