After months under testing, Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system (OS) started rolling out to mainstream personal computers (PCs) on 5 October. Mint looks at who will get the latest OS and what devices will support it.
Why is Windows 11 important?
Windows 11 is the first version update to the most widely used PC operating system (OS) in the world in more than five years. When Microsoft announced Windows 10 in 2015, it said it would be the “last version of Windows ever”. Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, the firm turned Windows into a service, which led many to believe that the firm would issue smaller updates periodically, occasionally making sweeping changes to the user interface and issuing new features. With Windows 11, it has not just changed the interface, but has also put minimum requirements meant to enhance security of PCs running on the OS.
What are Windows 11’s PC requirements?
Microsoft designed Windows 10 to run on older hardware, but Windows 11 is more progressive. The five-year-old 7th generation Intel processors are not part of hardware requirements specified for Windows 11. Also, Microsoft has included trusted platform modules (TPM), specialized security chips that carry out cryptographic operations and protect passwords on a device. They are affixed to the PC’s motherboard and are a staple in almost every mid-range and premium laptop. They are useful for enterprises that need special security measures beyond the logins that are based on the usual passcode or password.
Do I have to update to Windows 11?
Microsoft has said it will support Windows 10 till at least 14 October 2025. This means that you can sit on the upgrade for the next four years. Given that there are still devices running Windows XP in India, it is possible that many users will continue using the OS past that date. The OS comes to compatible devices as a free over-the-air update.
Will Windows 11 come to everyone at once?
Millions of computers will get the Windows 11 update. Firms such as Microsoft usually roll out such massive updates in a phased manner to avoid server overloads. But it will also check the eligibility of a PC when rolling this update out, which means that PCs with hardware most suited for Windows 11 will get the update first. The firm expects the update to roll out to all Windows 10 PCs by the middle of next year. Initially, Windows 11 will come to most premium PCs and will be pre-loaded on new store-bought laptops.
What if my PC does not support the OS?
Microsoft does not recommend downloading Windows 11 on PCs that do not meet its standards, such as minimum 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, TPM chips, and supported processors. Windows 11 will not come as an automatic update for unsupported devices, but users will be able to download it off the web. Microsoft has an app called PC Health Check, which can be used to determine if a PC is ready for Windows 11. Some PCs also have TPM chips installed but disabled and you can turn them on by going into your BIOS settings.
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