It increasingly seems Microsoft is making a mess of availability of Windows 11. We have covered how the company has some strict hardware requirement barriers in place to upgrade to the new platform. Well, a new survey from IT management firm Lansweeper suggests tens of millions of enterprise users will be shut out from Windows 11 and stuck on Windows 10 for years.
According to its Windows 11 readiness survey, Lansweeper shows 55% of enterprise workstations do not match Microsoft’s upgrade requirements. The company uses a scan of around 30 million Windows installations across 60,000 organizations.
While that is nowhere near the whole Windows install base worldwide, it is a good sample. Enough to make one clear conclusion… many enterprises are not prepared for Windows 11 without major hardware upgrade programs.
44.4% of installations would be ready for an upgrade, the study found, with 52.5% meeting requirements for Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (TPM 2.0). Most machines, 91.05%, have enough RAM for an update to Windows 11.
Microsoft’s requirements including TPM 2.0 and 4GB of RAM, but also a GPU compatible with DirectX 12 or newer, UEFI secure boot, a WDDM 2.0 diver, and CPU stipulations. Microsoft also says these requirements also reflect on virtual machine installations.
Until now, Microsoft has taken a tough stance on this subject. The company says any ISO installations will result in devices losing all access to feature and security updates. However, Microsoft has also hinted it may make some concessions.
A couple of weeks ago, I run an older laptop (4 years, so not ancient) through Microsoft’s new PC Health Check tool. This allows users to test if their machine is ready for a Windows 11 upgrade. My laptop passed all requirements, aside from not have a compatible CPU. This is the same result millions of users got when using the tool.
Importantly, many are not really old CPUs, some of them are high-end chips from pervious generations. While Microsoft says it will strictly enforce its TPM 2.0 requirement, it may take a softer approach with CPU compatibility.
Instead of threatening to directly cut off devices with Windows 11 from updates if they do not have TPM 2.0, Microsoft says it may support older CPUs with Windows 11. Although, the company says if the CPU ever becomes a security risk, it will instantly be removed from support.
The biggest problem is Microsoft is just not being clear. There is a lot of mixed information at the moment and with Windows 11 launching this week (October 5), it is time for the company to clearly state its position on upgrades.
Tip of the day: File History is a Windows 10 back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.