Windows 11: Hardware fiasco keeps getting worse

If Microsoft intended to confuse and annoy its customers with Windows 11, then it has achieved it. A comment.

Note: This one

comes from our PC-WORLD colleague Gordon Mah Ung (editor-in-chief) and was translated by us.

Microsoft recently announced that it will actually allow PCs built before 2018 to install the upcoming Windows 11 operating system – ending what had become a modern Cuban crisis among PC enthusiasts.

The crisis began in June when Microsoft published a first compatibility test for Windows 11, which essentially threw computers with still powerful CPUs – such as the Intel Core i7-7700K and AMD Ryzen 7 1800X – overboard. Including their own Microsoft Surface laptops. All in the name of safety.

Windows 10 Pro for only 50 euros in the PC-WELT software shop

As you can imagine, the PC community wasn’t too happy to be forced into a smartphone-like upgrade program to get a more secure Windows 11. This has never been the case for the PC, after all, the support of old devices has long been one of the most important pillars.

So most experts expected Microsoft to back down (I didn’t) – and Microsoft apparently did so over the weekend, as we reported in the following message: Windows 11 – Microsoft is changing PC requirements – all supported CPUs

Microsoft made the mess worse with this announcement

But it turns out that Microsoft hasn’t really given in, and in an amazing faux pas worth taping on a high-speed camera and playing back for generations, it may have made the whole mess even worse: Because after the company had told everyone that older PC hardware is not doomed if you manually install Windows 11, it said that it was precisely these “unsupported” PCs that would not receive updates.

In our message (Windows 11 can be installed on older PCs – with restrictions) we explain that Microsoft has announced that supported PCs running Windows 11 are not entitled to receive updates via Windows Update. According to Microsoft, this means that unsupported Windows PCs may not receive security and driver updates.

Users end up in the operating system limbo state

Right. You can leave Windows 10, which will still receive operating system and security updates until 2025, for Windows 11 (which will be available for the first users from October 5, 2021) on your PC and risk not receiving any updates at all. In other words, you can basically voluntarily put yourself in an operating system limbo state that is neither a fully supported Windows 10 nor a fully supported Windows 11.

The worst part is that it just doesn’t make sense. I suspect that many of the skeptics who originally thought Microsoft would buckle assume that Microsoft would simply buckle again.

Microsoft should have stayed tough

I’m not so sure myself about that. While I was really sad to hear that Windows 11 was going to break one of the unwritten rules of legacy PC support in June, I could understand why, and in many ways it was justified. Tearing the patch off for older, less secure hardware would be painful, but I get it.

Microsoft’s recent decision, however, is like tearing the patch off your hairy arm, putting it back on, and then half-tearing it off again because you can’t decide what to do.

I’m not even sure which is worse. If Microsoft completely surrenders and offers updates for everyone, it will feel like all of this suffering has been in vain. And if it chooses to run Windows 11 in an unpatched mode, it could actually expose these customers to more security risks than if they had simply stayed with an updated version of Windows 10.

So congratulations Microsoft. Windows 11’s hardware situation was already a disaster, and now it’s even worse than it was before.

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