Windows 11 on incompatible systems: Windows Update is working fine
Yesterday was the first Patch Tuesday after the release of the Windows 11 operating system a week earlier. It was clear that Microsoft would release the first cumulative update for Windows 11 on the day.
One question that users from all over the world had before the first update was, whether updates would be delivered to systems that don't meet the minimum system requirements of Windows 11.
Especially one sentence by Microsoft stuck out: If you proceed with installing Windows 11, your PC will no longer be supported and won't be entitled to receive updates. The company did its best at being as ambiguous as possible, and users were worried that their devices would not even receive security updates if they did not meet the minimum system requirements. Ultimately, this would result in users having to go back to Windows 10 or install a different operating system altogether on the device.
Yesterday's release of KB5006674 for Windows 11 provided a definitive answer, one that Microsoft did not provide. A quick test on several devices running Windows 11, all but one not meeting Microsoft's system requirements for Windows 11, resulted in a successful update delivery.
The cumulative update, updates for Microsoft Defender Antivirus, the .NET Framework, and the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool were all delivered via Windows Update.
A successful delivery does not necessarily mean that future updates will also be provided, but it is clear that customers, who run Windows 11 on devices that are not compatible officially, will receive updates.
Microsoft could have meant feature updates all along when it mentioned that there was no guarantee that incompatible devices would get updates. Devices may run into the same compatibility issues when feature updates are released: Windows Update may not work and other means of updating need to to be used, e.g. through programs such as Rufus and downloading Windows 11 manually.
The first feature update for Windows 11 will be released at the end of 2022, likely around October 2022. Windows Update should work fine until then, and even afterwards, as all home versions of Windows 11 are supported for 24 months after release. Enterprise customers get even 36 months of support.Advertisement