Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users – but the new hardware requirements might leave many computer owners out in the cold.
Windows 10 owners will be offered Windows 11 as an in-place upgrade, delivered through the Windows Update system, when the operating system is released later this year.
However, the Windows 10 PC will need to meet a stricter list of minimum hardware requirements to receive Windows 11.
That spec includes:
- A dual-core, 64-bit processor
- 64GB of storage
- 4GB of RAM
- UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics
The TPM 2.0 requirement may rule out many older systems, even if they tick the rest of the boxes. The TPM is a dedicated chip that ensures encrypted disks can’t be tampered with, for example, and is not something that is user upgradable, meaning computers without those chips won’t be able to run Windows 11.
Owners of Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems also look set to miss out on the free upgrade offer, although computers of that vintage are much less likely to meet the minimum hardware requirements anyway.
Windows 11 will be released in the fall, with Microsoft making early beta versions of the operating system available to those in the Windows Insider program from early next week.