Traditionally, we think of Windows as an operating system for the masses, and each new version is an easy upgrade, even for those who use old PCs. Now, six years after being on the market, Windows 10 78% Among all Windows installations, Windows 7 was launched in 2009 (12 years ago!), ranking second with 16%. Windows 10 is growing so fast, because there is absolutely no reason not to upgrade.It is available for every PC running Windows 7 or 8, and it is free (see How to get Windows 10 for free or cheap) And it has many new features.
Microsoft did not make Windows 10 free and easy to upgrade out of goodwill. The company wants to spend time supporting the latest operating system, and hopes that people will use features such as the Microsoft Store and Edge browser. It hopes that developers will use its latest SDK to develop breakthrough applications that will help the development of the platform.
But Windows 11 has changed all of this, leaving a large number of Windows 10 computers-even high-end workstations three years ago-in the cold because they cannot meet the minimum requirements that have been important since the launch of Windows 7 in 2009. For the first time since.To be fair, these new requirements, especially the requirements TPM Modules (see below for more details) and DX12 GPU, designed to provide a higher security and lowest performance baseline than we have seen before. Microsoft even seems to expect a large number of users to continue using the current operating system, and recently announced plans to support Windows 10 by 2025.
This is an earth-shaking change for Microsoft, because the company has previously placed the adoption of the new operating system above most others. In fact, the company may be disappointed because it took two years longer than expected. 1 billion monthly active devices For Windows 10. For Windows 11, it takes longer, and like Android devices, there may be more computers running older operating systems than the latest operating systems in the coming years and years. This is bad news for users and developers.
|Windows 7||Windows 8||Windows 10||Windows 11|
|CPU||1GHz CPU||1GHz CPU||1GHz CPU||1 GHz, dual-core, 64-bit|
|Graphics processor||DX9 capabilities||DX9 capabilities||DX9 capabilities||DX12 capabilities|
|storage space||16GB (32-bit)/20GB (64-bit)||16GB (32-bit)/20GB (64-bit)||16GB (32-bit)/20GB (64-bit)||64GB|
|Show off||not applicable||1024 x 768 (if you want to run store applications)||Minimum 800 x 600||1280 x 720, 9 inches|
|BIOS||not applicable||not applicable||not applicable||TPM 2.0 / UEFI secure boot|
At first glance, these new minimum requirements do not seem too demanding. According to Stephen Baker, vice president of analyst firm NPD, less than 4% of PCs sold last year had storage drives of 64GB or less, and the number of systems less than 4GB was “not relevant.”In other words, almost all new PCs in 2020 meet the requirements, even if they don’t have one of them The best solid state drive.
However, most people don’t buy a new PC every year. In fact, according to Baker, the average replacement cycle for computers is 4 to 5 years. And I believe we all know people or have older computers at home.
You might think that the only computers affected by these changes are netbooks or laptops under $200, such as the Dell Inspiron 3000 series (circa 2018) and Amazon VivoBooks, some of which have recently had 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. However, even mainstream workstation CPUs that came out in 2018 may not be able to run Windows 11.
Intel’s Xeon W-3175X, It was launched in the fourth quarter of 2018 at a price of $2,999, with 16 cores, but no built-in TPM support. You can buy a motherboard with a TPM connector and add a TPM chip afterwards, but many systems do not have this feature by default. It’s hard to say that a large HEDT (high-end desktop) less than three years ago shouldn’t run Windows 11.
TPM: Someone’s transaction killer
The problem for most users is not the memory, storage or GPU requirements, but the need for TPM 2.0. This is a feature that most consumers don’t even know. It did not exist on many computers a few years ago and has been disabled in many current The same is true on the system.
The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) provides a secure way to store encryption keys, certificates, and other sensitive data in hardware. For example, if you use Bitlocker encryption, TPM will prevent others from removing your hard drive, pasting it on another computer and reading the data.
in a Blog post Today, Microsoft explained the reasons for its TPM requirements by saying:
“Future PCs need this modern hardware root of trust to help defend against common and complex attacks, such as ransomware and more sophisticated attacks from nation-states. By requiring a built-in root of trust, TPM 2.0 improves hardware security standards.”
And, to be fair, TPM 2.0 is not new.Since 2016, Microsoft Required “All new device models, product lines or series” devices implement and enable TPM 2.0 by default. However, it is clear that this only applies to company partners that manufacture OEM laptops and desktops, because many current motherboards have TPM disabled by default, and some recent high-end chips do not carry it.The good news is that if you have a processor from the past three to five years, you are likely to Enable TPM in UEFI BIOS And solve this problem.
But there may be many PCs that are at a critical point without TPM functionality.Senior writer Michelle Earhart According to reports, the Core i7-6700K she bought in 2016 does not have a TPM option in the motherboard BIOS, so she may be out of luck. Some motherboards provide the ability to add a physical TPM module as an upgrade, but who would do that?
Microsoft’s compatible CPU list does not list any Intel processors older than the 8th generation Core And any AMD CPU is earlier than Ryzen 2000 series (The first generation Ryzen is not on the list). However, a Microsoft spokesperson said that these CPUs are listed because they have a TPM. Therefore, in theory, if your CPU is not on the list and does support TPM, Windows 11 will be installed regardless of whether it is through firmware or hardware upgrade of the chip. .
According to Microsoft, if you don’t have a TPM, you won’t be able to install Windows 11.According to Microsoft Compatibility document, TPM 2.0 requires a “soft floor”, Windows 11 will warn you that installation is not a good idea, and you can’t install Windows 11. The “hard floor” has TPM 1.2 (many people still don’t). For any floor, you need to enable some type of TPM, and you need to use BIOS in the native UEFI code to enable secure boot, not compatibility or legacy mode.
Please also note that there will no longer be 32-bit Windows. Therefore, if you have an old netbook with a 32-bit processor, it cannot run Windows 11.
Windows 10 only requires DirectX 9 support, while Windows 11 requires your GPU to handle DirectX 12. DirectX 9 is a standard that dates back to 2002 when it was first introduced on Windows 98, Me and XP, but version 12 only started in 2015.
Now, to be fair, DirectX 12 can be used with Nvidia GPUs as old as Fermi (GTX 400), AMD chips as old as Graphics Core Next (Radeon 7000), and integrated Intel graphics cards dating back to Haswell (2013).But if you want to throw Windows 11 into your Viliv N5 UMPC, This is my personal favorite, it runs on the 2010 low-power Atom processor, you are out of luck.
At some point, Microsoft will inevitably stop supporting truly old hardware, and in most cases, the minimum requirements for Windows 11 are indeed very low. However, the TPM requirement itself may force many people with five-year-old computers to either stick to Windows 10 or upgrade to a new computer.
The cynic in my heart said that Microsoft and OEMs are looking for reasons to drive the new PC upgrade cycle. But it is also inevitable that you need to improve your own requirements in order to ensure a good user experience through graphical features such as rounded edges and semi-transparent widgets, or modern security features such as secure boot. Just don’t expect to see 1 billion active devices in Windows 11 soon.
Note: As with all our columns, the views expressed here belong only to the author, not techy’s points as a team.