Microsoft updates the Windows 11 minimum system requirements, but it's not good news for many

When Microsoft first announced the minimum system requirements for its upcoming operating system, most people didn’t take much notice. Surely Windows 11 wouldn’t be too different from Windows 10, right? Wrong.

Primarily as a result of its support for TPM 2.0, Windows 11 won’t run on a lot of systems, especially older ones. This caused a lot of negative feedback, leading Microsoft to reconsider whether or not it had made the right call, and today it announces its findings.

If you were hoping a PC that previously failed the compliance test would now suddenly be eligible for the new OS, we have some bad news.

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Microsoft says it has concluded that "the compatible 64-bit processors selected, 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, UEFI secure boot, graphics requirements and TPM 2.0 are the right minimum system requirements to deliver on the principles we established to best support you."

So, in a nutshell, if your PC doesn’t support TPM 2.0 it won’t be able to (easily) run Windows 11. Although of course there are always workarounds.

The software giant has made some adjustments to the minimum system requirements however.

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 Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support Apps (DCH) design principles, including Surface Studio 2)

Microsoft has also gone into more depth on how it arrived at its list of minimum requirements:

  • Reliability: Devices that do not meet the minimum system requirements had 52 percent more kernel mode crashes. Devices that do meet the minimum system requirements had a 99.8 percent crash free experience.
  • Security: Windows 11 raises the baseline of Windows security by improving the security default configuration to combat increasing cyber-attacks. These requirements were informed based on trillions of signals from Microsoft’s threat intelligence as well as input from leading security experts like the NSAUK National Cyber Security Center and Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. Additional details on the background and value of Windows 11 baseline are below.
  • Compatibility: People continue to increasingly use their PCs for video conferencing, productivity and gaming. To ensure all Windows 11 devices can run a core set of applications to meet those needs, we set the minimum system requirements to align with some of the most commonly used apps.

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