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Windows 11: Is your Device Compatible?
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 11 is not built with backwards compatibility in mind. The OS comes with a holistic redesign of the user experience with great improvements in areas such as security, reliability, video conferencing, collaboration, multitasking, gameplay, creating, building, learning and more. In order to be able to meet users’ expectations, Microsoft has set minimum requirements to ensure PCs support the full range of current and future improvements.
Raising the security standard
One of the main points of focus is security in response to increasing cyber-attacks. Windows 11 raises the baseline for security by improving the security default configuration. This requires hardware that can enable protections like Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security (VBS), hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI) and Secure Boot. Tests show that the combination of these technologies reduce malware by an impressive 60%. To be able to do this, all Windows 11 supported CPUs have an embedded TPM, support secure boot, and support VBS and specific VBS capabilities.
Microsoft also aimed for improved reliability and has achieved a 99.8% crash free experience by setting the requirement for Windows 11 to work with CPUs with the new Windows Driver model and are supported by their OEM and silicon partners. Devices that did not mee the requirements reported 52% more kernel mode crashes.
What are the main requirements for Windows 11?
Windows 11 needs to be compatible with Microsoft’s apps and their future versions as they are constantly updated, especially with Microsoft 365’s subscription model. Windows 11 has the fundamentals of >1GHz, 2-core processors, 4GB memory, and 64GB of storage, aligning with the minimum system requirements for Office and Microsoft Teams.
Adhering to these goals, devices running on Intel 8th generation processors and AMD Zen 2, as well as Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series will definitely meet the minimum system requirements. Additional tests showed that a set of PC models meet the requirements while running on Intel 7th gen processors. You can check out the full list of compatible 64-bit processors here.
Microsoft released the PC Health Check App as tool for users to check if their current Windows 10 PCs are eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade. However, feedback showed that the app hasn’t been able to give the expected details and accuracy on why a Windows 10 PC doesn’t meet upgrade requirements. The app has since been improved with the feedback in mind and rereleased for members of the Windows Insider program. The minimum system requirements page is where you can currently learn more.
All of this means that if you were on the fence about updating your hardware, now’s the perfect time to do so, especially if you want the latest in security features. However, If your PC doesn’t meet the system requirements for Windows 11, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to upgrade to it but you will not get all of the new features and your installation will be unsupported by Microsoft. But don’t worry – the still excellent Windows 10 will continue getting updates and support until 2025 so you have plenty of time to make the most out of your hardware and there’s no need to rush for new PCs.