back to article With just over two weeks to go, Microsoft punts Windows 11 to Release Preview

Microsoft has followed up a lacklustre Surface hardware event with a Windows 11 Release Preview for Windows Insiders. Assuming, of course, those Insiders are possessed of an "eligible PC" – for Microsoft does not appear to be backing down on its vendor-delighting and customer-frustrating hardware requirements for the new …

  1. Dave K Silver badge

    I'm waiting to see just how enforceable this all becomes. After all, MS officially blocked Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on newer silicon after Windows 10 came out, yet it took hardly any time at all for enterprising folk online to create a simple script (wufuc) which overrode the block and allowed updates to work once more. I ran Windows 7 for several years on a Ryzen system with no problems.

    Time will tell how this plays out for Windows 11. Or of course whether the stringent requirements simply result in Windows 11 flopping. Either way, I'm not binning a perfectly functioning and capable PC just because of Microsoft.

    1. Test Man

      Getting round software blocks to install patches isn't really a concern, and Microsoft clearly aren't going to be bothered by that. What is a concern is if someone contacted Microsoft with an issue that is on an unsupported system - Microsoft will simply not support it and therefore not help. Nor will they be particularly bothered if a future update or patch caused issues for those with unofficial "unblockers".

      Also about binning a capable system - that's not even an issue for Microsoft, because apart from the fact that you'll be on Windows 10 anyway (which is still supported), upgrades is a miniscule revenue stream - it's been said many times before that OEM sales and volume sales drive the bulk of their revenue, so sooner or later you'll need a new PC and you'll get Windows 11 on it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "sooner or later you'll need a new PC and you'll get Windows 11 on it."

        Nope. Final Windows 10 laptop has now been upgraded to Linux Mint. Further PC purchases will be made with no OS or Ubuntu, which usually means buying direct from the manufacturer. No issues sourcing decent kit if you know where to look, not all manufacturers want to flog computers preloaded with Windows and related bloatware.

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          "sooner or later you'll need a new PC and you'll get Windows 11 on it."

          There was really no reason to "upgrade" for several years, maybe a decade. Intel was basically selling the same processors just with a different name and slightly better clocks, for those into clock measuring contests. People just got scammed by "techies" oh your computer is slow, you need a new shiny one. Where all it needed was SSD and fresh installation of the OS (to get rid of all malware).

          Even new Ryzens are not much better that few years old CPUs unless you do some sort of real time computing or simulations, then any even tiniest improvement counts. For typical home use I doubt there is going to be any reason to update unless there is some breakthrough...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @elsergiovolador - I couldn't have said it better myself

            Case in point, 12 years old Dell Latitude D630. With maximum supported amount of memory and a modest specs SSD it is still a decent laptop. Of course I had to install Linux because Windows XP was the last OS Microsoft deemed do support.

          2. Binraider Silver badge

            I have an ancient in computing terms i7-6700K sat here, and really, apart from "shiny latest PCI-express 4" which almost nothing can usefully exploit for the purposes of my home computer usage, use case, it's a perfectly good PC.

            Out of "shiny" demand I also have a Ryzen 3970X. Not a machine I "needed" but I did fancy an upgrade :-P

            I happen to also do FEA simulation on occassion for a living. I have an "old" intel 5000-series workstation, with nice high clocks and core counts. It's pretty good for that, and - out of Win11 support - according to MS. Testing the same software and models on my Ryzen - perhaps unsurprisingly, the lower core count despite newer architecture meant there were trade offs depending on how parallel your model and solver could go. Yes, I would like a threadripper. But I don't do enough for the modelling time saving to be worth investing in another 4k's worth of workstation, at least not today.

            The FEA modeller I use does have a linux release, albeit only officially for Debian. Not my distro of choice for ease of configuration. I should experiment with it on Mint or maybe Manjaro sometime.

            Win 10 screwing with Audio API's was the last straw for my home PC use case; Propellerhead Reason used to work perfectly with sub 5ms latencies on a ESI Juli@XT soundcard. More or less the only use case I had left for windows, now fails, on latency, and often very choppy audio. "Progress".

            Linux all the way now. And yes, I will have to change DAW because of this - which is a shame having invested in both cost and learning curve with Propellerhead. But I don't blame the latter for the problems; they lay squarely with MS.

          3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
            Alien

            For typical home use... no PC is needed.

            Seriously. Outside tech circles, everything 'typical people' do in terms of computing involves a mobile phone or tablet.

            Gaming and work are the only real major uses left for PCs

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Been there, done that.

          Traded the patented MS disregard for consumers practical needs for praying that the particular Linux distribution, my printer, sound card, video card, mouse, joystick and keyboard all play well together and if they don't fruitlessly scouring arcane and obtuse support forums for someone who had the exact same set of gear, the same problem and actually found a solution. And then if it does work, never install any patches for anything because you just know all it takes is for one update patch to any part of your set up to bolix it up totally.

          1. Chris 15
            FAIL

            oh really?

            Lionux has not been that way for 99.9% of more 'casual' users for some time, but do carry on with your FUD

            1. david bates

              Re: oh really?

              Not QUITE true.

              Mint, for no particular reason, has suddenly decided it has no printers installed and throws a error when I try and install the printer it was using quite happily the other week.

              Also Mint claims to be adjusting the screen brightness on my Thinkpad, but in reality is doing no such thing.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        The devil you know

        Why fret about updating? By the time your W10-running H/W dies W11 will have reached what used to be known as SP3. Folklore ways that was the marker for considering a new OS to be safe to install. No need to hurry.

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: The devil you know

          SP3 was back in the days when Microsoft made a token effort to test their software before a major release. W11 as W10 will be an endless cycle of pushing out bug fixes for the previous bug fixes, and a sprinkle of features you neither want or need.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: The devil you know

            Users are now beta testers, imagine the cost savings! NO need to test in house anuymore

            1. TheProf Silver badge
              Joke

              anuymore

              "NO need to test in house anuymore"

              You're as bad as MS. I'm an unpaid beta tester of your spelling.

            2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

              Re: The devil you know

              Satya Nadella's justification for making us beta testers is so that Microsoft can be more "agile". But I believe it is because Nadella wanted to get rid of expensive employees to increase revenue. And I also believe that the severely limited supported hardware for Windows 11 is so they can get shed even more employees. "Agile" Microsoft no longer has to buy a lot of hardware and pay many good people to test their software. Now they just buy some hardware and pay few people to test.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Wade Burchette - Re: The devil you know

                Why more agile ? There's no other competitor chasing them. Even if they stop innovating right now, they could carry on for more than two or three decades before any competition might show up.

      3. ITMA Bronze badge
        Flame

        "What is a concern is if someone contacted Microsoft with an issue that is on an unsupported system - Microsoft will simply not support it and therefore not help"

        I have news for you - having a "supported system", even paying for support is no guarantee with Microsoft you will get any. At least not what any normal IT person would class as "support".

        I have an outstanding issue with Microsoft with their Outlook.com service (the subscription "Premium" or "add free" as it used to be called,service NOT the free one) and the support with the issue on that has been APPALLING!

        It was worse than amateurish. It was utterly childish.

        I've had to escalate it TWICE by firefiring off emails to Nedella, plus the PR contacts in the US and UK to get anything to happen. The first time nothing concrete happened, despite promises when it was supposed to be in the hands of someone senior at Redmond, and then summarily closed without explanation.

        The second time got further and raised with the "Engineering teams" who, without any testing, came back (via an "escalation manager") saying "It's all fixed."

        Bollocks was it fixed! How the hell can anyone serious in IT claim a problem is fixed without ANY form of testing to verify it.

        It has currently been re-opened again after I fired off shed loads of evidence showing that they may well have fixed "A problem", but what ever that was they had NOT fixed THE problem.

        Plus a comment to the effect of "A problem is not FIXED until the customer has tested it and verified it is fixed".

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "A problem is not FIXED until the customer has tested it and verified it is fixed"

          I don't think Microsoft look on you as a customer. Customers are OEMs who ship Windows installed on computers. They don't have your problem.

          1. ITMA Bronze badge

            "I don't think Microsoft look on you as a customer. Customers are OEMs who ship Windows installed on computers."

            Strange as it may sound, but Microsoft have an area of their website divided into sections for various products, mostly software - called A Shop.

            You can buy products directly from Micosoft through the shop and I'm not refering to the likes of X Box games.

            Very handy for buying Microsoft 365 licences especially if you multiple email domains without having to buy complete licences for each. Unlike buying from somewhere like GoDaddu.

            That is precisely how I purchased the subscription licence foteh the specific Outlook.com services that I'm using and have the issues with.

            I'm pretty sure that giving them the money in return for Microsoft providing goods and/or services makes a customer of theirs

        2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

          Microsoft's premium tech support can only give boilerplate responses, which are not responses.

          For instance, someone says "I cannot boot into Windows. I tried (1) and (2) and (3). Please help!"

          Microsoft's response. "We are sorry you are having trouble. Have you tried (1). Next try (2). If that still doesn't work, try (3). If I answered your question, mark this post as fixed."

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Come now, that’s not entirely fair to them. They always also suggest running SFC /scannow as well.

            If that doesn’t work, well, they’re out of ideas.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "sooner or later you'll need a new PC and you'll get Windows 11 on it."

        I don't think I will need a new PC for my entire lifespan and that of my kids. I have a stockpile of about 20 of them and companies churn out new ones into the skip every week.

        Actually, for my up until a couple of weeks back, I had never even booted Windows 8+. Perhaps I will experience Windows 10 in about 15 years.

        As for day to day working on a UNIX workstation (Because consumer Windows is too much of a security hazard), OpenBSD works exceptionally well.

  2. Nate Amsden

    Should users care much?

    I mean why would someone really WANT to upgrade to Windows 11? Windows 10 is supported till 2025 or something? Hell there's still a lot of people on Windows 7. I've been using Windows myself since 3.0 (w/Multimedia extensions!) and back in the 90s(HP DOS 4 before that) there was quite a bit of excitement over windows launches. But really over the past 15+ years there hasn't been. I was an early adopter of Windows 95 beta obviously it was a big step up from Windows 3.1. That turned out to be not so stable(even on release) so I moved to pirated NT 3.51 then NT4 for my home desktop.

    I left Windows behind as my primary OS for Linux around 1998 but still use it mostly for work on a daily basis (in a VM, I also manage a few windows server 2012R2(gasp! it's not Server 2019! but they work and still get updates! oh and one 2008R2 system no updates there but works fine) VMs on top of the ~700 Linux VMs).

    Point is at the end of the day Windows 10 isn't going anywhere. Software will still work for it for a long time, hell vendors are still providing support for Windows 7, though not sure how much longer. AV software, web browsers etc still getting regular updates at least. Expect the same for Win10 through at LEAST 2027 I'd say. It's 2021, your hardware will be realllllllllly old by 2027 if it's not new enough to be certified by Win11 today (I assume none of mine is though haven't bothered to check since I have no need to).

    Stop stressing out about these hardware requirements, do yourself a favor don't worry about Win11 for another 2-3 years at least.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Should users care much?

      I actually was looking forward to Windows 11 originally, simply because I consider Windows 10 to be an ugly, inconsistent mess of an OS. Hence the opportunity to move to a new OS that didn't look like a bag of spanners sounded quite appealing. Of course, optimism has faded quite considerably since then...

  3. Uncle Ron

    Joke

    The article said, "Microsoft does not appear to be backing down on its vendor-delighting and customer-frustrating hardware requirements for the new operating system."

    "Vendor-delighting" is the key phrase here. If I had even a scintilla of a stray thought that this new hardware BS would have even a tiny impact on malware, virus-ware, ransom-ware, data-theft, bugs, leaks or any other of the mountains of insecurity Windows represents every single day, I'd cave to it. There is no such assurance anywhere in any of the coverage I have seen. Evil-doers will get around this new HW nonsense in 5 seconds. It is a pure JOKE. Further, the focus on VIRTUAL INSTANCES is of NO INTEREST to me. I have no interest in implementing and managing and dealing with the complexities and performance hit of operating a virtual machine to get around the non-benefit of Windows 11. Forget it. When 10 goes out of support, I'm going to Linux. I intend to leave Microsoft behind forever.

    1. JDPower666

      Re: Joke

      People say that with every new Windows version, and guess what, almost everyone still uses Windows.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Joke

      And the eco-crowd is nowhere to be seen. This is quite low hanging fruit to shame Microsoft into supporting old hardware and reducing e-waste...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Joke

        "And the eco-crowd is nowhere to be seen."

        Migrating from one single issue to another takes time.

    3. BobChip

      Re: Joke

      Good decision! But why not just "go Linux" immediately? The last version of Win that I actually "used", in the sense of properly understanding the OS, and doing productive work on it, was XP. I started out dual booting XP and Ubuntu, and after a few months I realised that I was preferentially booting up Linux more than 95% of the time. Decision made. Microsoft in the trash can. No more hours of waiting to be borked by the latest Win update. Linux updated in a few tens of seconds, while I could go on working as well, mostly no need to restart the system, no more BSOD etc. Now a very content user of Mint 20.2, which I use for all my WORK. All the software I need, plus my Epson scanner and two printers (HP laser and Canon inkjet) all perfectly integrated and supported.

      To quote Jack Reacher, Never Go Back!

      If you must use MS for any reason, there is always Virtual box. Not for Win 11 apparently, but seriously, who cares?

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Past use by date

    That main desktop background bothers me. It looks like some sort of gills of a mushroom that grew on some stale organic matter.

    Or maybe it looks like gyri and sulci of a brain that has been craving personal data and ran into severe withdrawals.

    Like in those war on drugs ads "This is our brain if you don't feed us your data."

  5. HildyJ Silver badge
    Boffin

    FYI Updated compatibility checker

    Microsoft released a new (and much more helpful) version of their compatibility checker:

    https://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp

    Of course this only addresses whether, not why.

  6. Dacarlo
    Devil

    Grumpy Cat Say's No

    I shan't be downgrading to Windows11. I wonder if it's possible to calculate the carbon footprint of the extra chips needed to support the hardware they require...

  7. Grunchy

    Windows 10 will be the last version

    https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/7/8568473/windows-10-last-version-of-windows

    "Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10." That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company's Ignite conference this week.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 will be the last version

      Corporate speak is pretty much meaningless - they use ambiguous constructs and weasel words to give certain impression, for example to score some PR points or to deliver managers some much needed dopamine kick.

      Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10

      Was probably true at the time, given how 11 looks rushed. Wouldn't be surprised if over-ambitious managers saw those shiny UI updates and just had to call it 11 out of all the excitement.

      It always fascinates me when managers force some ridiculous changes, because they could say (hypothetically) "I got 11 out, when those before me said 10 is the last one, look how powerful I am" - and everyone knows it's just a 10 with some lipstick on.

    2. AndrewB57

      Re: Windows 10 will be the last version

      "That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company's Ignite conference this week"

      Article is dated 7th May 2015. That Was The Week That Was

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsofts handling of this roll out screams: "We don't give a fuck, just buy a new computer if you want the new Windows."

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a time to be a supplier!

    Working from home - those that can already are.

    BYOD means households are the IT supplier.

    Economies had a kicking, recoveries wobbling.

    Energy supply issues.

    COP26 couple of weeks away.

    MS giving Boz and "the team" a lesson in fucktardary.

  10. Nick L

    You may well already have the hardware... certainly for security

    Most recent intel (since gen 4) or AMD processors support TPM functionality natively - you just need to enable it in the BIOS. "Just need" is not necessarily that intuitive though. I had to disable CSM - the compatibility support module - and then platform keys generating to enable secure boot. Then enable PTT in bios (or fTPM for AMD) and you should find that your computer meets win11 requirements. Not terribly obvious!

  11. Nastybirdy

    Guess I'll pass.

    I simply have no reason to upgrade my processor right now, certainly not for fscking WINDOWS of all things. My (admittedly somewhat aging) rig can still run pretty much every game I throw at it at high settings with minimal issue. So yeah. Fuck off, Microsoft. I'll stick with Win10, thanks. I have no idea what you're trying to do with this nonsense but I think you're in for a short, sharp dose of reality really soon.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Law of unintended consequences?

    As far as I can tell Win11 is a concerted effort to boost the market share of Linux on the desktop (been using Win11 for a few months now)

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