Microsoft may adjust Windows 11 minimum system requirements
Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system may support more processors than initially announcement by Microsoft through the system requirements. Microsoft released the first Windows 11 Insider build on June 28, 2021 for testing. Like Windows 10 Insider builds, the primary purpose of builds for Windows 11 is to gather Telemetry and to a lesser degree feedback.
Insider build PCs provide Microsoft with lots of data on the build and operating system; they are run using numerous hardware and software combinations, and Microsoft uses the data to detect issues and bugs. The approach is far from perfect, as most updates do introduce bugs and issues, but it is essential for Microsoft.
One of the main points of criticism in regard to Windows 11 was the minimum system requirements that Microsoft set for the operating system. The processor requirement, 8th generation or higher, and the TPM 2.0 requirement, prevent many devices, including several of Microsoft's Surface line of devices, from being fully compatible with Windows 11.
Microsoft's explained that the stricter system requirements would improve security, reliability and compatibility with Windows 11. Practically, there is no good reason to limit Windows 11 to the listed processor generations, as the operating system would certainly run as well on a 7th generation and maybe even a 6th generation CPU.
Why then did Microsoft decide on these strict system requirements? Is it because it wants hardware to be pushed (and thus also OEM copies of Windows 11), or because it wants users to experience a fast responsive system, something that can best be achieved with the latest processors?
In the announcement, Microsoft confirms that the information in regards to system compatibility have caused confusion, and that its PC Health Tool, the program to check whether a system is compatible with Windows 11, was part of the problem. Third-party Windows 11 compatibility tools were created that offered better explanations.
Microsoft announced that it will temporarily remove the application and release an updated version in the Fall 2021.
7th generation CPUs
Windows 11 Insider Builds will install on 7th generation CPUs according to Microsoft's announcement,
Below you will find changes we are making based on that feedback, including ensuring we have the ability for Windows Insiders to install Windows 11 on 7th generation 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.
Data will be gathered and it may result in a lowering of the system requirements for the final version of Windows 11.
The system requirements of Windows 11 are not set in stone yet. The testing of 7th generation processors is a strong indicator, the removal of the PC Health Tool another. Microsoft will adjust the system requirements to get more users on Windows 11 using Windows Update.
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