Users of older computers that don’t meet Microsoft’s minimum requirements for Windows 11 might be able to install the new operating system but won’t necessarily receive important updates after doing so.
This was revealed in feedback from Microsoft to tech publication The Verge.
Initially, the company told the site that it wouldn’t block installing Windows 11 using the official images (ISOs) on PCs with unsupported CPUs.
However, these systems won’t necessarily be entitled to receive updates, including essential driver and security patches.
In a subsequent response to The Verge, the company said these updates might be withheld.
The implication is that users who decided to run the operating system on old hardware may have to download updates manually.
Microsoft has been slammed for the Windows 11 minimum system requirements, particularly when it comes to CPUs.
The list of officially supported processors initially did not include any CPUs older than Intel’s 8th generation, which was only released at the end of 2017.
Microsoft has since added a single Intel 7th-gen consumer CPU to the list.
For AMD, Windows 11 will not support processors with first-generation Zen architecture or earlier.
This is despite many users running preview builds of the OS with some of these unsupported processors have reported no problems with performance or crashes, indicating that their systems were more than powerful enough for Windows 11.
Microsoft, however, has maintained the requirements are based on a set of established principles:
- Security — Windows 11 requires hardware that can enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity, and Secure Boot. The combination of these features has been shown to reduce malware by 60% on tested devices, Microsoft stated. For this reason, Windows 11 requires CPUs with an embedded Trusted Platform Module, support for secure boot, and support for VBS.
- Reliability — Devices upgraded to Windows 11 must be in a supported and reliable state. Microsoft said that it had chosen CPUs that have adopted its new Windows Driver model and are supported by its OEM and silicon partners achieving a 99.8% crash-free experience.
- Compatibility — Windows 11 is designed to be compatible with the apps you use, Microsoft stated. It has aligned its minimum system requirements with Office and Microsoft Teams with >1GHz, 2-core processors, 4GB memory, and 64GB of storage.
Windows 10 will still be supported until 2025.