Windows 11, Can You Upgrade?

Windows 11 will be new PCs this fall, just in time for Christmas gift giving. It will also be available for upgrade for computers with compatible hardware. It will require a minimum CPU of 1 gigahertz, 64 gigabytes of storage, and a minimum of 4 gigabytes of RAM. In the computing game more is always better. These are pretty modest requirements and most older PCs will have no problem.

Now The Bad News

I think it only fair that Microsoft will require some of the newer more secure hardware to upgrade. Windows 11 will need UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, a replacement for BIOS), and it must be Secure Boot capable. This is understandable because this more secure technology has be around for more than a decade.

Really Bad News

The big problem and most controversial is Windows 11 will require TPM (Trusted Platform Module) version 2.0, a dedicated microcontroller designed to secure hardware through integrated cryptographic keys. No computer before 2016 has this and would be disqualified form the upgrade. Many newer computers have TPM 2.0 but it is not enabled. Many less informed people would think their machine doesn’t qualify.

Microsoft has just made the choice to make this a requirement. There is nothing about Windows 11 that requires this action. Microsoft is allowed to do what it wants with its products but this will disappoint many of the hardcore enthusiast.

I am righting this post on my 2014 laptop running Windows 11 with no TPM. It required a little bit of hackery but it is running great. This hack demonstrates that this requirement is artificial, or they are trying to help out the hardware venders sell more computers.

The Really Really Bad News

If the TPM thing wasn’t bad enough, Microsoft is requiring that you only run on Windows 11 only certain processors. There are computers that were purchased two years ago that can’t upgrade.

Tom’s Guide Compatible CPU List

I can’t help but think this will all change before the release. It must because, when Windows 10 came out they were saying that they wanted to get everybody using it. One operating system for everyone. This is going to fragment the market and force them to support multiple OSs.

Check Your Hardware Compatibility

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