Re: The reason for the hardware requirements
I think we are seeing the problems of Middle Age for Windows. It's too many things to too many people.
To hardware manufacturers, it's a way to drive sales. But that's no longer really true - the performance gains from hardware aren't there, there isn't the new killer product either. And normally more than wiped out by new generation of telemetary collection.
Then there is the monetisation of the user. Before it was just about the license. Now, it's about ongoing revenue streams. Direct advertising or selling the profile.
The Office division sees Windows as a way to shift Office licences.
Entertainment division sees Windows as a platform to consume rented entertainment (only, no BYO)
The cloud division sees Windows as a way to consume cloud services - eg Microsoft 365.
The database division sees Windows as a way to consume SQL licences.
Probably missed a few, but you get the idea.
So MS management now have to satisfy all these stakeholders. There isn't much wriggle room for Windows to grow in new an exciting ways. To some extent, I think Apple are now in much the same boat. Only Linux and the various *BSDs, with "benevolent" dictators seem to have a sense of purpose and drive.