Much of the pre-release discussion around Windows 11 focused on compatibility. Specifically, would Microsoft shut out millions of PCs from upgrading because of their CPU, and how strictly would the requirement for TPM 2.0 be enforced. It seems Microsoft’s threats of cutting OFF unsupported machines were empty… at least for now.
Microsoft was taking a hard stance on incompatible Windows 11 machines. Specifically, the company said those installing the platform on PCs without TMP 2.0 would not be eligible for feature updates or security patches.
I wrote at the time that Microsoft was unlikely to stand by this threat. Blocking feature upgrades is easy to understand, but the company faces issues by not patching unsupported machines. Simply put, those installations of Windows 11 could make the whole platform unstable if Microsoft does not take care of them.
It is also the fact the company has said it will take a softer stance against incompatible CPUs. Microsoft said it would continue to support those machines until the processors become a problem.
This week, Microsoft rolled out October 2021 Patch Tuesday. This was the first patch even for Windows 11 since the platform launched earlier in the month. Despite Microsoft’s threats, users running the OS on incompatible PCs were able to download and install the patches.
It seems Microsoft will not cut off unsupported PCs after all. What will happen in the future remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see how the company tries to enforce its Windows 11 requirements in an effective way.
The company says TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot (another upgrade requirement) are essential to the platform. However, it is hard to see how the company can stop people upgrading without these features.
Tip of the day: Windows Aero Shake is a handy feature that lets you quickly reduce screen clutter with a shake of an app’s title bar. Doing so minimizes all windows other than the one in focus, allowing you to focus solely on what’s at hand. Another wiggle lets you undo Aero Shake, maximizing the other Windows again so you can continue working.
Unfortunately, the feature can also have unintended consequences. Those who move their windows about or have dual monitors may notice that they’re accidentally activating Windows shaking. Luckily, enabling or disabling Aero shake isn’t too hard.