back to article Got enterprise workstations and hope to run Windows 11? Survey says: You lose. Over half the gear's not fit for it

Fallout from the notorious hardware requirements of Windows 11 continued this week, as IT management outfit Lansweeper published research showing well over half of surveyed workstations didn't make the cut. The news was even worse for servers; the survey showed less than 1 per cent of virtual machines were capable, going by …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

    Why ? Because Borkzilla says so ?

    Windows 1 0 was supposed to be the last Windows. Frankly, I see no reason why there should be a Windows 11 - there's nothing in there that can't be handled by a patch.

    Borkzilla is going to have to come to terms with the fact that companies are not there to endlessly stop working just so the latest, "greatest" Borkzilla software can be installed.

    You know what people like with computers, Borkzilla ? Stability. There's no reason an OS should last less long than the hardware it runs on.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

      Because, eventually, security updates will stop. And if you then cop ransomware or some other malware, your neck will be on the block.

      1. jockmcthingiemibobb

        Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

        Pfft. More importantly if it's backed up correctly and you' workstation data isn't particularly sensitive then who cares? Half our workstations are still Windows 7. Only a lack of apps or hardware actually shitting itself will take my Win7 laptop out my cold dead hands.

        1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

          Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

          Snap.

          Retired now and only a small fleet: 2 x W7 laptops, 1 x W7 desktop, 1 x Linux ultraportable (for when watching the telly) and 1 x W10 laptop for testing purposes - oh nearly forgot 2 x RPi 3B+ and 1 x RPi4B

          1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

            So basically most people running W7 machines will be safe - the majority of users have upgraded to W8, W10, and will move on to W11, buying new hardware all the time so the malware is targeting the new environments because the vulnerability numbers are much higher ... So our older systems are now quite secure. I use W7, so much faster to log in and get things done every day than the W10 machines that I work on

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

        Yes, eventually, as in 2025. People will definitely be using 10 until then, likely later. So the predictions that lots of sales will start in 2022 are extremely optimistic on Dell's part. The problem is that nobody really wants any of the stuff in Windows 11. The only feature that interests me in the slightest is the Android app compatibility thing, and I know I'm going to test it out, play around for maybe two or three hours, then never use it again. The features to be had are not worth the upgrading.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

          I'm willing to bet Microsoft will end up updating Windows 10 beyond 2025. They were forced to extend Windows XP's life for years due to the inability of PCs to run newer versions that had higher resource demands. Windows 11 is similar to XP in that it orphans a much larger number of older but still operating PCs than 7, 8 or 10 did.

          Corporate customers won't want to pay for "extended support" for perfectly adequate PCs they aren't ready to replace. They will see it as Microsoft artificially restricting what hardware can run Windows 11 as a scheme to raise some extended support revenue. If Redmond hears enough whispers that enough have begun seriously considering Mac or Chrome we'll see that date extended another couple years.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Gimp

            Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

            > If Redmond hears enough whispers that enough have begun seriously considering Mac or Chrome

            Aw, come on, the IT people will come here to complain and rant, and then will go back to their offices buy Microsoft, because "Nobody got ever fired for buying Microsoft", and that's what your bosses and users know and expect anyway.

            It's a captive market, and no matter how much abuse you give him, he will slavishly come back for more. See icon.

            1. Snake Silver badge

              Re: Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft

              Again I say, Windows is only a "captive" market because of the applications we run on it. We are captive to the applications, their functionality, which FOSS still does not replicate after decades of waiting.

              We stick with Windows because it runs the apps we use & need to get our jobs done.

      3. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

        That just means Microsoft is turning Windows 10 into ransomware.

        1. karlkarl Silver badge

          Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

          This has basically been the case since XP. They blackmail the less technical users and threaten them with "Ooh, you might get a virus". To be fair, antivirus companies have been doing this for years.

          In reality, just use an application-level firewall to block in/out *everything* apart from your web browser. This is good enough for 99% of consumers and would even make Windows 95 more secure than Windows 11.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

            Trouble is that the typical consumer home PC these days only connects out through a NAT firewall, so is only accessible to the outside world by actors misusing web sessions or sending email attachments. (Okay if the PC has a built in mobile modem things are slightly different, but these seem to have gone out of fashion).

            So actually what is needed are good browser-based protections: No Script, Adblock etc. and email attachment scanners...

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

              No, what's really needed are newer, tighter standards. The web should go back to being a passive conveyor of information while active sessions should be reserved for protocols designed for interactivity like VNC.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

                You misunderstand. Some attacks occur entirely through JS, and your tighter standards might do something about those, but a lot of them are more basic redirections which standard HTML could do. Take, for example, the fake download link method. Find a page where you can download a program and has ads. Post an ad on it with another link that also says download. Users click on the wrong one and download your executable instead. A firewall can't prevent that, and even eliminating JS in its entirety can't prevent that. Ad standards and enforcement could prevent that, but I'll be dead by that point. At least a modern machine both limits what that compromised executable can do and has a chance of recognizing it and blocking it before the user clicks.

    2. Nate Amsden

      Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

      a good reason to change the version is breaking changes like these new hardware requirements. Imagine how many more would be upset if they couldn't upgrade to the next Win10 because so much hardware was retired from support(which has happened to some users over the years at some points I recall articles popping up), but obviously not this scale of retired hardware.

      hopefully Win10 from here on out behaves more like LTSC as in minimal feature changes, as MS shifts to focus on Win11.

      1. Snake Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: new hardware requirements

        But, based upon my (not absolute) research, the "new" hardware requirements are bogus.

        Note that the Core i7-7820HQ was added to the Approved list, late, after much consternation over lack of support on a still-available Microsoft product.

        So Gen7 CPU's *can* handle Windows 11...the claimed "CPU hardware requirements" are all in the driver support.. Read: Intel Gen7 CPU's and chipset drivers aren't written in DCH, which started widespread support with Gen8 Intel CPU's. There is nothing structurally preventing Gen7 CPU's from being able to run Windows 11, as far as I can tell (and the added i7-7820HQ proves), Gen7 CPU's have all the facilities needed.

        The issue is: Microsoft & Intel don't want to write DCH drivers for the legacy hardware. My belief is that Microsoft, or Intel for that matter, is indeed writing DCH drivers for the i7-7820HQ in order to keep their Surface Studio 2 relevant, saleable, and existing customers (who dropped BIG coinage) happy.

        Everyone else on Gen7 can suck dirt.

        1. NATTtrash
          Trollface

          Re: new hardware requirements

          Now, does that sound like "abuse of a monopolistic market position"?

          Who would have thought...

          1. Snake Silver badge

            Re: market position

            Well, if what I said is true, we can at least begin to understand the thinking that must have occurred between & at Microsoft, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Intel, Supermicro, Gigabyte, MSI and any other board-level system integrator / designer:

            All their Gen7 boards were released with "legacy" DC-level Windows 10 drivers. Microsoft wants Windows 11 to be DCH-only in order to support a greater level of system integrity...

            so therefore, in order for a legacy Gen7 device to fully be supported within the enhanced Windows 11 security model, DCH drivers would need to be written.

            But, exactly, who is going to pay for this?

            It will probably take several hundreds to a few thousand man-hours to rewrite the Gen7 drivers in DCH. The problem is that these devices are, indeed, "legacy" - no owner pays for support. The purchases were years ago.

            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            My personal belief is that Microsoft is intentionally being vague about the Windows 11 hardware driver requirements in order to save face for its partners. If I am right, and the Windows 11 compatibility issue is simply one of drivers, and this was said at the beginning, all hell would have broken loose at the partners. Every Gen7 owner would be wondering when and where the new drivers would be available, writing and phoning in constantly to keep up with the development of the new drivers.

            And, if a company announced that they wouldn't be investing in the development of the new Win11 DCH drivers for the legacy hardware, it would be WAR. Every owner would be up in arms with the company, the media would pick up the battles, and the board / chip company would take a MAJOR hit in customer goodwill, market share and stock evaluation.

            The entire thing would be a blow-up moment for the industry: the first Windows where legacy hardware support was not a given, and the first Windows release where a company flatly said "Tough, we're not updating for you, buy new only!".

            The manure would have hit the fan HUGE for the computer market.

            Instead, Microsoft is being vague, playing coy. They say that Gen7 will not be supported due to 'new, advanced' features, and leaves it at that. With no specifics, a lot more people will be frustrated and upset that their 'legacy' hardware won't be compatible, but they won't be heads-will-roll angry. They've been told to keep using Windows 10 until their next hardware update, at which point they can get Windows 11 compatibility.

            Play the cards low-key to avoid a major industry vs consumer battle, that's the plan as I see it.

            1. GreyWolf

              Re: market position

              Insightful.

              I think you are probably right.

            2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: market position

              Yes, but the TPM 2.0 requirement is bogus. That alone is going to stop me from upgrading even on my AMD Ryzen 9 3950X systems that have TPM 2.0, because I don't want to have to maintain different flavors of Windows and my i7-3770 based non-TPM systems have a good fraction of a decade life still left in them. Also, my fleet of i7-7820HQ laptops with 2.0 TPM have had, as their #1 failure mode, the TPM module itself used by bitlocker. But that just means the laptops are already Dell Disasters.

            3. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: market position

              That argument would work quite well if it weren't for the many people running the beta builds on lots of hardware that doesn't meet the requirements. Old chips, and in some cases, chips that never were supposed to run Windows 10 have been made to run Windows 11 correctly. There is, therefore, no reason they can't use legacy drivers. If Windows 11 cannot do so on release, it is only because they've cut out that code intentionally to break them. Windows has always supported backward compatibility with most things, and that has been one of its strengths when scheduling the year of Linux on the desktop, at least in the office. This probably won't dethrone them, but it isn't helping their case.

              1. Snake Silver badge

                Re: Windows 11 Beta

                Again, Windows 11 can use legacy drivers, Microsoft has admitted that even the release build will allow it.

                https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/windows-11-unsupported-update-waiver/

                But Microsoft won't tech support the systems using legacy drivers, and that tech support includes security profiles which Win11 promises to improve over all previous versions on Windows.

                Microsoft is cutting their foreseeable costs by saying "Yes, you can run Windows 11 on the older gear...but you're on your own". Why? Because Windows 11 is / will be marketed as more secure and (hopefully) more stable thanks to that added security, and people will inevitably install Win11 on older hardware...and then, also inevitably, some of those legacy hardware users will call out Microsoft to complain when their system got spyware, adware, a trojan or worse, ransomware.

                And then Microsoft will say "Remember when we told you that installing on your older system isn't our problem?"

                If Microsoft said they will support hardware that can't be secured under their new, or future-proposed, security models, they would take the heat when some of those old systems still get their security broken.

                1. s2bu

                  Re: Windows 11 Beta

                  More stable? Ya, right. If you want stable Windows, that was about NT3.51. After that they started really muddying around with Cutler’s design to improve performance.

                2. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: Windows 11 Beta

                  This argument mostly doesn't work for two reasons. First, if you get malware on your machine, it's probably not because you have old drivers. Yes, your hardware may have vulns which are a problem, but you could have that now and it's not Microsoft's problem. So new drivers will probably be a little better, but not as big a deal as you make it out to be. Second, their stated requirements do not exactly align with your driver plan. There are processors older than that generation with more modern drivers and there are components which don't have them but will still work under Windows 11, to say nothing of the TPM requirement which has a similar age effect but nothing to do with drivers. If that were the only reason, it really would make sense to say so and check for that.

                  One other problem: they're not just saying that they won't help with support. They're also actively putting stumbling blocks in the way whenever the hardware doesn't meet their requirements. Sure, for the insider builds, they're minor and can be circumvented with a few scripts or registry changes. I do not think it will stay that way as production builds run along, and in any case I wouldn't do that on others' machines. If Windows 11 becomes insecure on older hardware, it's almost certainly not due to outdated drivers. It's because Microsoft will have made the update process so convoluted that people don't patch the holes that will be there, and in that case Microsoft is entirely culpable for what will happen to the users.

        2. Smirnov

          Re: new hardware requirements

          I'm running the Windows 11 Preview on a number of systems, amongst them a HP z640 (XEON E5 v4 Broadwell), a Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140 tablet (Core-M) and the zBook 15 G3 (Core i7 6th gen) I'm typing this on. All these systems have TPM 2.0 as standard and Windows 11 installed on them without any hacks or tweaks. It just works.

          As to drivers, from what I have seen at least on the z640 and this zBook all drivers are DCH. Heck, the z640 has an old Geforce GTX 770 4GB card, and guess what, the Nvidia Windows 11 driver for that almost ancient (in technological terms) graphics card is DCH.

          What many forget is that Windows 10 also dropped support for many older processors (for example, Ivy Bridge support dropped I believe some four years ago!). The difference is that "dropping support" only means that MS doesn't help you if you encounter problems with newer Windows 10 versions on old hardware, which is fair enough. Only with Windows 11 they decided to make this "support" a much bigger issue than it really is.

          Microsoft behaves like idiots here. Stating that only newer CPUs are supported is fine (and I see no problem with the TPM 2.0 requirement, although allowing TPM 1.2 would be great), but what's new is how much they go out of their way to discourage using Windows 11 on older systems with threats of instability and loss of update rights, stopping only short of actively blocking installation on unsupported systems.

          Which is really a shame, considering that Windows 11 Preview has shown here to be much better than any version of Windows 10 has ever been. It's also the first version where using it on a tablet/convertible isn't a painful experience.

          1. VBF

            Re: new hardware requirements

            "The difference is that "dropping support" only means that MS doesn't help you if you encounter problems with newer Windows 10 versions on old hardware, which is fair enough. Only with Windows 11 they decided to make this "support" a much bigger issue than it really is."

            Well for most people MS Support is about as useful as a f***ing chocolate teapot anyway!!!! It’s the last place I go to find solutions – I’m more inclined to go to Windows 10 Forums / Windows 11 Forums or Tom's Hardware

            1. Smirnov

              Re: for most people MS Support is about as useful as a f***ing chocolate teapot

              "Well for most people MS Support is about as useful as a f***ing chocolate teapot anyway!!!! It’s the last place I go to find solutions – I’m more inclined to go to Windows 10 Forums / Windows 11 Forums or Tom's Hardware"

              Not just for most people, MS business support isn't exactly stellar either.

          2. xenny

            Re: new hardware requirements

            You sure about the dropped CPU support? I'm writing this on an Ivy Bridge machine running 20H2, and we still deploy Nehalem machines for some people without problem.

            1. Smirnov

              Re: new hardware requirements

              "ou sure about the dropped CPU support? I'm writing this on an Ivy Bridge machine running 20H2, and we still deploy Nehalem machines for some people without problem."

              Yes, I am. We are using Windows 11 Preview in anger on our machines and everything has been working fine (better than in Windows 10) and pretty much rock solid.

              We have some Ivy Bridge E workstations (and I also have one as my personal gaming rig) but I haven't tested Windows 11 on them so far, however these machines all have only TPM 1.2 (non-upgradeable) so for now I assume they will be out.

              Nehalem, well, it's really time to retire them, not just because they are really old but also because they suffer from major security holes that will remain unfixed (Sandy Bridge and newer got microcode updates, Nehalem didn't).

          3. Snake Silver badge

            Re: DCH drivers

            Well, there are a lot of drivers in the Windows stack and remember, some devices are hidden by default in the Device Manager until you ask to display them.

            From the sounds of it Microsoft wants to impress upon Windows 11 a full-DCH driver profile. Read as: no "Legacy" devices nor any DC drivers. That doesn't mean that Windows 11 won't / can't support DC drivers or Legacy devices, but it means that (from the sound of it) Windows 11 will not guarantee its driver stack security profile when doing so.

            Now, the "H" in "DCH" means that the UI for any driver-required interfacing shall be a HSA UWP or Desktop Bridge app. I believe this has many functions from Microsoft's view: standardized distribution and update channels, greater security thanks to known schemas and scope declaratives, and possibly a somewhat standardized user experience.

            I, also, have installed Windows 11 Preview on an "unsupported" system, a Lenovo P71. All systems met the Windows 11 approval except the Gen7 Xeon, again my guess is simply CPU or chipset driver support. I haven't used Windows 11 much beyond checking to see if it worked as advertised but I will try to dig around the driver stack to see if any legacy / DC drivers are in there (and I'm sure there will be).

        3. thondwe

          Re: new hardware requirements

          Digging I've come across some information which suggests mandatory support for "Virtualization Based Security" and/or HVIC is the root cause of the Hardware requirements and why MS really chose to stick an "11" tag on the new build. It's available in 10, but the mandatory support requirement isn't?

          If they'd been a bit more upfront might have helped? My suspicion is that it isn't on by default for upgrades (not on my insider build) - but could well be for OEM shipped installs?

          There are subtle differences in CPU specs between the i7-7820HQ and the i5-7200s I have (with TPM 2.0) which may explain why one can run W11 and the other can't?

          Also may explain why support for VMs is a bit vague - nested VM support?

          1. s2bu

            Re: new hardware requirements

            Except the 7th Gen Xeon in my Lenovo P71 has all of that.

        4. MrDamage

          Re: new hardware requirements

          Tin Foil Hat Theory:

          The reason for the hardware requirements, is so MS will only have to deal with Win10 -> Win11 upgrades.

          Lower the requirements, and we'll start seeing machines that were Win7/8 -> Win10 -> Win11, and retaining all of the legacy crap from the first run of upgrades because MS don't know how to clean house properly, and OEMs insist on all sorts of bloatware.

          The double upgrade would certainly introduce a swathe of issues MS would most certainly not want to deal with, so they made a "requirement" to avoid having to deal with it.

        5. Arthur Daily

          Re: new hardware requirements

          Apparently there are 3rd party install scripts to bypass this TPM nonsense. Apart from driver rewrite costs, I think MS cannot or does not want to pay for all the faulty Intel speculative security defect workarounds to backport into drivers. Or they could outsource driver re-writes to freelance coders on the web. Even Linux had to be discrete in building in intel cpu workarounds. And remember, if you cant read or control your own tpm memory, then it can be abused by leaking uniquely identifying to refuse patches or track what you do.

    3. ZenaB

      Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

      The primary reason I've heard for creating a new version was down to the kernel changes necessary to support the new "wonky" processors that are coming out soon. Desktop processors are starting to go down the big.LITTLE route that mobile processors have been doing for a while, so the scheduler has to handle things completely differently.

      Yes that on its own doesn't mean Windows11 comes into existence, but it resolves the support nightmare that's bound to happen when someone gets one of these new processors and has tries to make it work on Win10 - saying Win11 is the minimum required is a *much* easier check than trying check Win10 versions or patch levels.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

        And I'm ok with that.

        What's definitely not ok is obsoleting PCs that are brand new. Even Apple don't do that - macOS Monterey runs (albeit crappily) on a 2015 mac.

        The Intel 7700K was only launched in 2017, and was manufactured until end of 2019 and there are still new, boxed ones for sale right now.

        Dell are still selling Intel Gen 7 laptops today.

        In 2025 those machines will be less than four years old, so within Dell's standard five year hardware support period.

        1. ZenaB

          Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

          Oh absolutely I'm not saying it's right, just that IMO that's one of the primary reasons they're doing a Win11.

          The TPM stuff should absolutely be a *strongly recommended* thing rather than a requirement, plus MS should have made it clear a long time ago that the next version will need this, rather than springing it on the industry a few months before launch. I feel that they took the opportunity in the break of versions to make this extra demand.

    4. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

      > Why ? Because Borkzilla says so ?

      Probably because computers (desktops and laptops) should become like smartphones and have an expected lifetime of 1-2 years.

      Can you only imagine the profits lost when people and companies held on to a computer for years, sometimes almost a decade? Shocking!

      Despite the hollow "green" rhetoric, nowadays there is a push to make everything disposable, including big, expensive appliances. You use it for a year or two, then it falls apart or something independent forces you to throw it away and buy a new one. Profit!

      1. Col_Panek

        Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

        I'm writing on a 12 year old HP/Compaq that came with Vista. I've upgraded with more DDR2 RAM and a small SSD... oh, and MX Linux.

        So why upgrade?

        1. JohnTill123

          Re: "an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years"

          You're lucky. I recently upgraded my accountant to Windows 10 from Windows 98 running on a clone from 1994. The only usable file transfer hardware was a 3.25" floppy disk drive.

  2. G40

    Words fail me. What is driving this madness?

    1. UCAP Silver badge
      Joke

      Microsoft needs your money for its Xmas executive splash-out.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Nah....

        SatNad need to buy a new island lair where he can continue to plot how he can fight off Bezos and rule the world /s

        Hey MS... [see icon]

    2. YetAnotherJoeBlow Bronze badge

      To require an unnecessary minimum level of cpu support smacks of a deal struck between OEM(s) and Microsoft.

      The TPM revision was added to bring in servers to the party.

      1. Smirnov

        The TPM revision was added to bring in servers to the party.

        Windows 11 isn't really aimed at servers.

        1. DavidYorkshire

          Re: The TPM revision was added to bring in servers to the party.

          It's notable that Server 2022 is W10-based, presumably to avoid this issue with servers as they know that most companies wouldn't tolerate it. It does of course create a messy situation, as normally in the past new versions of client and server versions have been in sync (roughly).

          I've checked our computers for compatibility and it's low - only a couple of the workstation are supported, and few of the standard desktops. Numbers are higher for the laptops as that's what we've mostly bought in the past 18 months.

          On a related note, I'm sure that, like me, many want to avoid mixed versions. Easy enought with the machines updated via WSUS, but look at Intune carefully if you use that - from looking at it and communications with Microsoft, there appears to be a new policy section called 'Feature updates for Windows 10 and later (preview)', which allows you to create a policy setting maximum version and apply it to groups of computers - 21H1 is currently the most recent available, but presumably W11 and W10 10H2 will appear there in due course.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the other hand

    this means plenty of decent hardware second hand laptops becoming available soon as corporations aim to renew their fleet.

    1. fnusnu

      Re: On the other hand

      Yes, but only good until Oct 2025 unless you are going to run another OS.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: On the other hand

        ... but only good until Oct 2025 unless you are going to run another OS.

        Eh?

        What's this unless nonsense?

        Of course I will be running another OS.

        I have not used a M$OS for a great many years now save exceptionally (XPSP3) on a VM under Devuan Beowulf.

        O.

      2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: On the other hand

        I am not going to run another OS - why should I change from W7?

      3. Col_Panek

        Re: On the other hand

        (x)Ubuntu 25.10.

        Or one of the other 300 Linuxes.

        1. Alan Bourke

          Re: On the other hand

          Really? Fantastic! I'll just load up all the software that I need to run my real business in the real world (and sneak Call Of Duty and Far Cry on too wink wink) ...

          Oh.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Alan Bourke - Re: On the other hand

            Your business should provide you enough to be able to pay MS tax and to cover the cost of the games you mention. In this case, the recommendation does not apply to you. Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that. We can still be friends.

          2. Tomato42

            Re: On the other hand

            You may want to look up Proton compatibility list, you'll likely be surprised...

      4. GreyWolf

        Re: On the other hand

        "Yes, but only good until Oct 2025 unless you are going to run another OS."

        Why yes, yes we are.

        Linux will run just fine on second-hand business hardware.

        And this is at HALF the price of new flimsy consumer blingy shiney.

        Down here in the weeds, we are looking forward to the flood of cheap goodies...

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand

      Potentially...

      Remember there is a chip shortage that will take a few years to resolve, adding a requirement for a further 700M systems to be replaced by 2025...

      I could be doing 2+2=5 but it does seem MS really don't want corporations to be running Windows on the desktop beyond 2025....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On the other hand

        I have said this for a few years now, not the date, but not wanting windows used. I have thought this ever since Satya took over. His interest is in Azure, and Azure only. He doesn't care how people use it, just that they do. Once office is mostly complete for use in browser (or they have Linux versions), Windows will be dumped, it will be maintained server side in azure, for those that have workloads that need it, but on prem there will be nothing new.

        Clients he doesn't care, its mostly given away. He wants subscriptions, to do that the first step are general, increase EA prices, which they have done, then remove / don't add functionality to on prem stuff, they have done. If that doesn't move people to the cloud, remove the product from on prem.

    3. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: On the other hand

      I doubt that this will force many companies to "upgrade" their old PC Fleet!

      Accountants rule and upgrading PC's to win11 is going to be LOW on their "must do" list.

      The ONLY companies that are likely to accelerate new pc deployments (for Windows 11) are those that are Microsoft partners. Microsoft likes their "Partners" to run the latest of everything.

      And i bet many of them will still not upgrade.

      Why replace a perfectly good pc?

    4. BobChip
      Linux

      Re: On the other hand

      - and on which you will still be able to run Linux systems for years to come. Win 11? Who on earth really needs or wants it? Certainly not me. I'm now looking to upgrade my 15 year old Dell laptop to a really cheap, high spec one. Running mint 20.2 of course.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    11A?

    Is this where MS will suddenly announce that they have developed a new improved win11 that will function with older machines and without admitting they had seriously failed to consider what their customers want and need (again).

    If anyone has got a funtioning OS that could be rolled out seamlessly and work with and along side windows as well as stand alone, now is the time to market it.

  5. PerlyKing Silver badge
    Meh

    What's the rush?

    My current client has only just switched over to Win10, I wouldn't expect another change for at least 2-3 years.

    1. andy gibson

      Re: What's the rush?

      I'm planning at least five.

      1. Keven E

        Re: What's the rush?

        I was planning on retiring in 5 years... maybe I'll push it forward to 4 years just so I don't have to be any part of the flush.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "well over half of surveyed workstations didn't make the cut"

    What's churn for?

    There's no 'conspiracy' but there doesn't have to be. All sectors of the vendor community caught on independently ages ago that it pays to keep us 'upgrading'. After all, what keeps the revenue stream flowing?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: "well over half of surveyed workstations didn't make the cut"

      Do I hear a massive sigh of relief?

  7. FabricWalls

    I thought boneheaded decisions like this went away when Bonehead Ballmer left.

  8. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Stop

    Describing Windows 11 as an "upgrade"

    From Merriam-Webster, "Upgrade" means:

    - to raise the quality of (nope)

    - to extend the usefulness of (nope)

    - to replace something with a more useful version or alternative (nope)

    - to raise the classification an usually the price of without improving the quality (yup!)

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    No-one expects

    “Our chief weapon is reliability, reliability and security; two chief weapons, reliability, security, and compatibility! Er, among our chief weapons are: reliability, security, compatibility, and near fanatical devotion to the bottom line! Um, I'll come in again...”

  10. BJC
    Facepalm

    Compatibility tool fail

    Not sure what it says about the quality of Win11 but, out of curiosity I thought I run the upgrade compatibility tool to determine whether my work PC would qualify. The compatibility tool failed to run and issued the warning "You'll need Windows 10, version 1803 or later to install this app". That might be fair enough but I'm running Win10 20H2!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Compatibility tool fail

      Well the compatibility tool only goes so far, from my experience you still need to research both the CPU (it may have a software TPM2 that has been disabled in favour of a separate TPM1 module) and the system BIOS (it may allow you to disable the TPM1 module and/or enable the CPU TPM2 module).

      1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

        Re: Compatibility tool fail

        Well the compatibility tool only goes so far, from my experience you still need to research

        Why should most users be expected to perform that sort of research ? The tool should run, after all it is on a supported OS.

        Perhaps it should come with a warning "If this tool doesn't run then your PC is not compatible with Windows 11"

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Compatibility tool fail

          >Why should most users be expected to perform that sort of research ?

          Totally agree, however, my experience, albeit from a few months back, was that it simply gave a yes - no verdict. Whilst a simple 'yes' is usable, the simple 'no' isn't particularly as all that maybe required is to change a BIOS setting or add memory...

          >Perhaps it should come with a warning "If this tool doesn't run then your PC is not compatible with Windows 11"

          Well I can see some daft MS employee or fanboy jumping to that false logic conclusion. Unfortunately, Joe Public will be taken in by it and purchase a new PC...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tpm emulator as evidenced service?

    A tpm module for efi could solve half of the problem. It could be a high level api emulation to keep it light.

  12. ITS Retired

    If Microsoft keeps this up,

    they will eventually drive too many people away to other operating systems, never to return. Then MS will fade away in the setting sun.

    1. NATTtrash

      Re: If Microsoft keeps this up,

      I admire your faith in humanity...

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: If Microsoft keeps this up,

      I left at Win8 launch. The writings been on the wall quite a while.

      Come and join us. Proton on Steam is very, very good indeed. Libreoffice is good enough for home WP/Spreadsheet tasks.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: If Microsoft keeps this up,

        I use LibreOffice right now, TYVM, but gaming is still a problem on Linux. Sure, there's Proton, but there's also too many Garbage ratings. Plus, what about the non-Steam games out there? Not to mention support for more-esoteric hardware that may not be even heard of in the Linux world (like my Brother P-Touch label printer).

        1. Anomalous Cowturd
          Stop

          Re: If Microsoft keeps this up,

          Lots of Ptouch printers are listed in the Ubuntu 20.04 driver list...

    3. ercoloid

      Re: If Microsoft keeps this up,

      Unfortunately, they wont.

  13. Denarius Silver badge

    another Vista ?

    see title

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: another Vista ?

      Hasta la Vista, Microsoft! I left and ain't coming back!

  14. nojobhopes
    Flame

    Environmental homicide

    Microsoft aren't personally trucking millions of machines to landfill, but they are pushing them on their way.

    When will their corporate responsibility annual statement start measuring the tonnes of gear which their upgrades obsoleted? https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility

    And don't get me started on the vast tracts of human time wasted.

    1. nojobhopes
      Facepalm

      Re: Environmental homicide

      Aww someone gave them a certificate. https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE2Bv1s

    2. Fred Daggy

      Re: Environmental homicide

      If ever there was a case for Governments starting to declare this as a man-made environmental disaster, this is it.

      1, FORCE microsoft to keep the patches flowing on pain of death (ok, large enough fines that they hurt the big shareholders), or

      2, FORCE microsoft to keep lower the requirements for Windows 11.

      In the general sense, though, if any company has a DRM lock on their hardware and/or remote activation, then they should be forced to lodge the WORKING source code and build specifications with a 3rd party (or govt). So that devices can be released and perform their functions until end of life. Not the life of the company, or end of life of the profit stream, end of life of the actual consumer hardware.

      Your choice Microsoft.

      My ancient iPad mini got a security update just this week. It IS possible to keep supporting older operating systems, its just not profitable to do it.

      We do rolling upgrades of PCs at work - we are NOT going to scrap those.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Environmental homicide

        These companies probably have enough clout to be able to successfully lobby to get the government changed to defang such a threat.

        Consider, has ANY company been SERIOUSLY stung by the GDPR to date and had it stick?

    3. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: Environmental homicide

      Yes, Microsoft (and the software industry in general) is an environmental hazard. Software "upgrades" frequently cause perfectly working hardware to go to the landfill.

      This gets surprisingly little exposure.

      1. GreyWolf

        Re: Environmental homicide

        "This gets surprisingly little exposure" ... because that is not what's happening.

    4. DavidYorkshire

      Re: Environmental homicide

      Ah come on, they are clearly really conerned about the environment - just look at this and see if you aren't convinced: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ww/accessories/sustainability/ocean-plastic-mouse

      (just ignore the vast numbers of computers which will be scrapped as a result of W11, and the point that all surface devices have limited or no upgradeability and are mostly difficult to repair...)

    5. GreyWolf

      Re: Environmental homicide

      "Trucking millions of machines to landfill"

      No, I suspect lots of those will go into the refurb market.

      The OEMs will squeal when they realise that those refurbs are eating their consumer-bling products because they are (a) half the price (b) far more robust.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Environmental homicide

        >No, I suspect lots of those will go into the refurb market.

        But these can only be installed with Win10 (until 2025) - assuming MS continue to sell refurbishers Windows 10 licences (or W11 licences with downgrade rights).

        So this probably means refurb PC's won't be having Windows installed, so it is beginning to look like Linux is going to be your friend whatever your preferences, unless ReactOS progresses rapidly...

  15. tip pc Silver badge

    Immutable OS’s are the answer

    Separate the OS from the apps and data and you then start caring a lot less about the os.

    Web apps have been the future for over a decade now, remember Steve Jobs didn’t want users to install apps but came up with a way for people to save html5 apps on your idevice, still works today but few know about or even use it.

    With cpu independent languages like Java, html etc and the proliferation of web delivered apps there is little future need for a paid for OS when it can all be done on a chrome book in a browser window.

    The os vendor then take care of os security and patching, leaving the user to get on and do their work.

    Windows will have a fight on its hands to remain relevant in a world where people will wonder why they need an expensive Intel powered machine to use their web app when their expensive phone and tablet can do the same task.

    1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

      I would have upvoted you but for the small fact that I think your scenario is even worse than reality. If you really meant immutable os and suggested building it in to the hardware in such a way that it couldn't be overwritten I might be interested.

      --why they need an expensive Intel powered machine to use their web app when their expensive phone and tablet can do the same task--

      Have you noticed that the screens aren't quite the same size?

      1. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

        Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

        I can compile openwrt onto a SD card, flip the write enable toggle and then run it on my laptop or desktop with a USB to SD converter.

        We've had live OS installer CD's, so yes, why not ?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

          Among other things, you'll find that installing things, changing OS configuration, and updating components for security are kind of hard when it's done that way. I assume you'll have a writable location where you put all your programs, and eventually all your utilities, until your immutable OS is just a kernel floating around with all the same problems that a mutable OS would have.

      2. DavidYorkshire

        Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

        "If you really meant immutable os and suggested building it in to the hardware in such a way that it couldn't be overwritten I might be interested."

        Acorn RISC OS was like that - only way to upgrade was to open up the computer and physically replace the OS ROMs. I did this with a number of machines back in the mists of time (mid 1990s).

      3. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

        I would have upvoted you but for the small fact that I think your scenario is even worse than reality. If you really meant immutable os and suggested building it in to the hardware in such a way that it couldn't be overwritten I might be interested.

        see this handy register explainer

        https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/18/kinoite_immutable_fedora/

        Have you noticed that the screens aren't quite the same size?

        I've been able to display my phone screen on my tv or monitor since my iPhone 4, I've also been able to use bluetooth keyboards with smart phones for a long time now.

        Samsung has DEX which has been a thing for a while,

        https://www.samsung.com/us/explore/dex/

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_DeX

        take a look at what is actually possible

      4. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

        there is also this explainer about SSV's

        https://eclecticlight.co/2021/08/11/should-you-clean-install-big-sur-or-monterey/

    2. Adelio Silver badge

      Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

      I Like your optimism, but as far as web apps are concerned, most of them are rubbish.

      When i compare "thick" clients with their web equivalents they are clunky, less sophisticated, work worse , show much less stuff on a screen and slower. Now their only saving grace might be that they might look a little prettier. But i am not even sure about that.

      I use a NON touch screen(s) with a keyboard and a mouse as do 99% of windows users.

      They are getting better, but the amount of code required to make a web app works HALF as good as a traditional thick client app is mind boggling.

      I understand the reasons for going to web apps. But what SHOULD have happened is that they re-design the web so that apps could work easily.

      And can someone tell me why the current trend is to show a small amount of information on a LARGE screen? I mean 5 or 10 pieces of information on a HD screen, really? Just so it can also cater for people using a dammed phone.

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: Immutable OS’s are the answer

        I understand the reasons for going to web apps. But what SHOULD have happened is that they re-design the web so that apps could work easily.

        the web is very flexible.

        If its needed to just present a result or accept input then its fairly ubiquitous, so long as a browser vendor is not tied down then future browser security updates are taken care of by someone else (yes could mean borkage to your app too)!!

        Apps that actually crunch data locally could still just have a web front end sending api calls to the app backend. Web presentation should provide greater presentation innovative freedom for the app designer and enables 3rd parties to potentially integrate.

        A Web app could mean that huge compute resources can be centralised so the user needs far less capable rendering of a result or it could mean that a program is run in the local browser or it could be a bit of both.

  16. John70

    They said Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows. No new version just regular updates.

    If I'm having to change my hardware for Window 11 to install, Microsoft should give all editions away for free.

  17. Fursty Ferret

    I work for a FTSE 100 company and most of our computers are still running Windows 7. Having attempted to use Windows 11 on a decent machine as a daily driver so I know what other people are going to get themselves in for, I can confidently say that it's going to be Vista all over again.

    Honestly, it's ******* awful. Everything lags, even with dedicated GPUs. New right-click menus literally populate line-by-line as they open, and then resize. Even changing from the light theme to dark theme requires a restart to make everything change. File Explorer can't handle multiple copy operations, and crashes. Teracopy rescued the day but shouldn't have to. Games lose focus even though there's nothing running in the background. High-DPI displays get insanely blurry legacy apps.

    If they said this was an early beta and due for release in June next year, I'd nod thoughtfully and encourage them to keep working hard. To release it now will just cement people into staying on Windows 10.

    1. Smirnov

      Can't confirm any of that'. I'm running the Windows 11 Preview (although not the Dev Channel ones) on several systems including a bunch of workstations (one which has an old Geforce GTX 770 graphics card), desktops, laptops and a tablet, and I am not seeing anything of what you describe.

      There initially have been a few minor issues (such as the explorer and with it the taskbar occasionally crashing and restarting) but these have been fixed through updates, and so far the Preview has been better than Windows 10 has ever been for me.

  18. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    Fscking hell I'm sticking to Windows XP

    1. Smirnov

      Re: Fscking hell I'm sticking to Windows XP

      I don't know, if I suddenly decided to stick with an obsolete and unsupported version of Windows I'd probably go back to WindowsNT 4. To hell with ACPI, soft power off and all that newfangled USB stuff ;)

      1. Fred Daggy
        FAIL

        Re: Fscking hell I'm sticking to Windows XP

        Found an old copy of Windows 2000 Pro, and Sp4 disk. Installed it on Virtual Box on my mac. Indeed on a USB SSD. It just runs like it stole something.

        Same config and Windows 10 mostly works, sorta. It's not the virtualisation that is the problem, it's the extra layer of crud that makes it 100 times slower than Windows 2000. I shudder to think what will happen to Windows XI.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fscking hell I'm sticking to Windows XP

        I ran into an elderly 2K box connected to the world only by a bunch of modems pretending they were telephone lines as a voicemail system a couple of years ago.

        The software kept crashing after ~15 years faultless service. I wrung another few out of it by sticking the software that was crashing as a service, instead of an application.

        But trying to figure out how to do basic admin tasks like run as a service under 2k after all these years was a bit more challenging than I would have liked. :/ I'm not sure how well i'd do with NT4 and things like manually assigning IRQ's etc these days.

        1. Smirnov
          Coat

          Re: I'm not sure how well i'd do with NT4 and things like manually assigning IRQ's

          "I'm not sure how well i'd do with NT4 and things like manually assigning IRQ's etc these days."

          Simple, leave IRQ assignment to your Microchannel based computer ;)

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: I'm not sure how well i'd do with NT4 and things like manually assigning IRQ's

            From what I remember this issue wasn't so much the IRQ's but shuffling the various memory areas so everything fitted.

  19. Binraider Silver badge

    Chromebook is doing pretty well as an alternative format. For a basic mail-and-browse machine sub £500, it's pretty good. Not for me, but you could recommend one to grandma pretty easily over a poor performing laptop with seriously enforced software obsolescence and perma-subscriptions.

    Mainstream full fat UNIX-derivatives aren't quite there yet for mass accessibility, but there are an awful lot of very good options for those with an inkling to dabble.

    1. Adair Silver badge

      'Mainstream full fat Windows-iterations aren't quite there yet for mass accessibility' - works just as well in a being a truthful description of reality.

      Linux/OS-X/Windows/... - all general purpose OSes 'are not quite there yet for mass accessibility', and probably never will be because they are intrinsically complex, and lots of people are simply either not that bright or not that interested, or both.

  20. Peter D

    Corporates won't be interested in this for quite a while

    We have around 300 Dell laptops with docking stations i7 9th gen, 16GB memory and we have no plans to move to Windows 11. Most companies are the same. Our machines are all identical and stable. As far as I'm concerned there will be no move until we do a hardware refresh.

    1. keith_w Silver badge

      Re: Corporates won't be interested in this for quite a while

      And that is exactly when most larger companies will be moving to 11. if they are on 10 or 7 on whatever hardware they are on, they will stay on 10 or 7 until that hardware is refreshed. 10 isn't due to be EOL until 2025, so what are these guys moaning about, they'll still get their updates.

  21. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Like they give a shit.

    Corps went from XP to 7 to 10 almost without exception.

    11 won't be on their radar anyway, they always skip a release as the support cycles are good for it and there's no business benefit in having the latest shiny when what's in place works.

  22. naive Silver badge

    W11 is perhaps MS its IBM PS/2 MCA moment

    Maybe history repeats itself and this time MS gets killed by its desire to do better.

    It seems probably that the public backlash will be such that they will have to do a retreat on this strategy, they are probably just probing if the market is ready.

    Sending 700M machines to a landfill for security reasons seems a bit rich in a time when everybody cares about climate, protection of nature and the economy which in most places is not strong.

    Technically MS is correct in its assessment that it needs CPU's with virtualization to enable secure services.

    Virtualization on ARM enables banking apps on mobile phones without anyone losing money due to malicious apps stealing money.

  23. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Older Hardware

    My elderly Linux boxes run the latest version of Linux Mint very well. I do need to update at least of the boxes for other reasons but it is not now critical and does not look like it will be critical for several more years. I am not sure if any of my boxes could run Bloatware as a Disservice 10 and none can run 11. The Rejects of Redmond have basically said to me we don't want your money. I think I will oblige them.

  24. Kev99

    Another indicator of microsoft's predatory monopolistic practices

    "Got enterprise workstations and hope to run Windows 11? Survey says: You lose. Over half the gear's not fit for it " As they did wit win7, win10 and now win11, microsoft has written software that purposely does not run on existing equipment and has compelled other software companies to march to its tune so microsoft's sycophant hardware companies can reap the billions in profits from new machine sales. I can load the latest Linux onto machines that are 10+ years old and it runs fine. With a little tweaking one can the latest macOS to run on old equipment, with the exception of the original 1,1 & 2,1 mac pros. And that could be overcome if someone can figure out how to replace the 32-bit EFI with a 64 bit.

    1. DavidYorkshire

      Re: Another indicator of microsoft's predatory monopolistic practices

      They've never gone anywhere near this far in the past - Vista was a dog on hardware close above the minimum spec, but would run, W7 ran better than Vista on the same hardare, and W8 / 10 run fine on hardware bought with W7. I've come across hardly anything which wouldn't run W10, even in its early days - think we had one old laptop which had been hanging around for years as a test machine which wouldn't due to an unsupported graphics chip, but that was all.

      We currently have some desktops still in use approaching 8 years old (upgraded with SSDs), and they are fine with W10 for basic office stuff.

  25. Trendline Tech
    Thumb Down

    Just Say No

    I currently own several very high-end PCs. My main rig is a less than 3 years old Dell Precision Tower with an i7 processor running at 4.2GB, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, a Samsung 970 Pro M.2 boot drive, a 2TB Western Digital Black storage drive, a 4GB NVidia video card, Windows 10 Pro, UEFI Boot, Secure Boot, a TPM2 chip, and all the latest updates and patches.

    I also have a 3 ½ year old 17” Dell Precision laptop running an i5 processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, a Samsung 970 Pro M.2 hard drive, NVidia graphics, UEFI Boot, Secure Boot, a TPM2 chip, Windows 10 Pro, and it too is loaded with all the latest updates and patches.

    Both these rigs are powerful, blazing fast, reliable, and have never given me a bit of problems.

    NEITHER of these machines are suitable to run Windows 11, having “failed” the most recent version of Windows PC Health Check. Apparently their processors are "too old."

    Does Micro$oft REALLY expect that I (and millions of other users) are going to scrap our machines and spend many thousands of dollars for new equipment just so we can run a questionable, new version of their user interface, and be subjected to even more data collection and ad viewing?

    Way to go Micro$oft. In the middle of a world-wide chip shortage, and a severe shortage of new PCs period, you have shown a complete lack of awareness to real-world conditions, and demonstrated once again that the only thing that matters is filling your bank accounts even more.

    No thanks. I'll pass, continue to use the still-supported Windows 10, and will wait until it's time to purchase a new machine on MY TIMEFRAME.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Just Say No

      "Does Micro$oft REALLY expect that I (and millions of other users) are going to scrap our machines and spend many thousands of dollars for new equipment just so we can run a questionable, new version of their user interface, and be subjected to even more data collection and ad viewing?"

      What if Microsoft counters with an "offer you can't refuse" by leaving a Game Over exploit on old OS's while most people are stuck running WINE-unfriendly Windows-only programs?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Trendline Tech

        Re: Just Say No

        If Microsoft were to intentionally plant a bug in their OS that caused it to self-destruct just so they could force people to buy a new product, it would be an act of extortion unprecedented in any previous business practices. It would also be the end of Microsoft as a company. They would never survive the millions of lawsuits filed by people all over the world, and the likely bans on marketing their products in most countries.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Just Say No

          Then why hasn't it happened already? In fact, several attempts to cut the Microsoft leash have apparently ended in failure and they came crawling back.

          IOW, Microsoft and the like are priming themselves to become TBTF companies that will be bailed out instead, lest they take countries with them should they fall.

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