Microsoft have had to clarify Windows 11’s system requirements and confusing messages coming out last week. As I detailed in my previous post gone are the hard and soft requirements and its now just single set of minimum specifications based on “we were guided by the following principles”:

  1. Security. Windows 11 raises the bar for security by requiring hardware that can enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot. The combination of these features has been shown to reduce malware by 60% on tested devices. To meet the principle, all Windows 11 supported CPUs have an embedded TPM, support secure boot, and support VBS and specific VBS capabilities.
  2. Reliability. Devices upgraded to Windows 11 will be in a supported and reliable state. By choosing CPUs that have adopted the new Windows Driver model and are supported by our OEM and silicon partners who are achieving a 99.8% crash free experience.
  3. Compatibility. Windows 11 is designed to be compatible with the apps you use. It has the fundamentals of >1GHz, 2-core processors, 4GB memory, and 64GB of storage, aligning with our minimum system requirements for Office and Microsoft Teams.

The key part is the processor:

We are confident that devices running on Intel 8th generation processors and AMD Zen 2 as well as Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series will meet our principles around security and reliability and minimum system requirements for Windows 11

So anything less than a 8th gen Intel, AMD Zen 2 and Qualcomm 7 series will not install Windows 11 which rules out a lot of recent PCs. There is still hope for 7th gen devices:

We will test to identify devices running on Intel 7th generation and AMD Zen 1 that may meet our principles

Microsoft could extent support to old devices later in the development process. Microsoft have also pulled the PC Checker tool which didn’t give very clear reason why your PC couldn’t be updated. For now the best way to check is to read Microsoft Windows 11 hardware requirements.

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