The Zimbabwean Perspective

A look at our lives and the tech we use in them


The Reason why Windows 11 might not come to most PCs(and why Microsoft might reverse that decision)

Sigh Microsoft….the things you make us unpack…

So after Thursday’s pretty successful reveal event and a considerable amount of hype, the Windows 11 Hype train has started to lose some luster for Microsoft because a very clear point has been brought up: it seemingly won’t be coming to most PCs due to a hardware security requirement that locks out most PCs that aren’t from three or so years ago. It’s a complicated situation that even Microsoft themselves seem completely unprepared for, despite causing it.

So why can’t most PCs get Windows 11 (For Now)

Well the basic reason comes down to Windows 11 requiring TPM 2.0 for installation, a security hardware module (known as Trusted Platform Module in full) that protects encryption keys and sensitive data at a hardware level. TPM is more commonly found as version 1.2 , which many more computers were eligible for, bringing out the initial requirements of computers with 2-cores, 4GB of RAM (shown in full below) but it  Microsoft since changed those requirements and left everyone confused and frustrated when it essentially means that now most PCs that don’t have Intel 8th Gen and above processors or AMD Zen 2 and above processors won’t be supported by Windows 11. It’s obviously a very controversial move, one that literally leaves what seems to be the majority of working PCs in the world cut off from Microsoft’s latest OS, yet Windows 10 was basically hailed for supporting PCs that go back as far as 2009! And it has everyone wondering why Microsoft would do this while the company essentially struggles to give a direct answer.

So Why is Microsoft pushing TPM 2.0 so much?

The security answer isn’t ridiculous when wone takes a look at it. After all the supposedly-Russian-backed SolarWinds Hack , and Hafnium Microsoft Exchange Server hacks were both something that TPM could have been very effective against, and they both counted as huge losses for Microsoft. However if the company truly plans to abandon hundreds of millions of PCs all over the world with an OS that it plans to abandon in four years, then it’s obvious that no matter how good Windows 11 is, it will be remembered badly as the OS that forced a lot of people to either abandon their beloved machines or stick to them while counting down. It makes one wonder if there’s any ulterior motive to Microsoft’s decision and direction here.
New requirements vs old . Image: The Verge

There might be…..

It’s been a pretty good time for PC sales
Now this is pure speculation at this exact point, but it feels like Microsoft is also seizing an opportunity here. As we already explained before, Microsoft even pushed Windows 11 as a new OS (when it’s still technically a Windows 10 update) because of how PC sales have shot up during the pandemic and how that’s benefiting them both directly and indirectly as well. Saying Windows 11 requires basically most people to get a new PC means Microsoft already knows PC sales will take another jump forward before maybe that growth stagnates again especially with the pandemic ending. It might even be why current, very old PCs can with TPM 1.2 can run Windows 11 previews while Microsoft can’t seem to get their act together about which pre 8th gen machines can run Windows 11, and even some TPM 2.0 machines as well. To say it puts a bad look on them is an understatement. And no matter their reason, Microsoft needs to get ahead of the situation, and fast.

So will any of this be changed?

Honestly, I think So. My personal opinion still stands by Microsoft definitely needing to get their act together here and needing to get ahead of the confusion, but I do feel that some version of a compromise while be met. After all this is Microsoft, not Apple, and while it might cause a few maintenance and security headaches, Microsoft themselves know there’s more value in getting as many people as possible on Windows 11 as compared to trying to make more people buy Surface or Spectre devices, so they’ll eventually make the concession to probably have TPM 1.2 machines at the very least supported. Or just roll everything back and things work as they have before. After all Microsoft has a history of making moves like this, where they make a controversial move based on idealized statistics, then face backlash that makes them compromise and what comes out in the end is actually pretty okay. In fact they have already apologized for the confusion and there’s hints of changes being made. The Xbox One’s launch is a key example, even if it made that console underrated. Here’s to hoping Microsoft bounces back faster from this mistake than from that one.
Oh and how do you check your TPM version? Well press the Windows Key + R then when the run menu loads, type in tpm.msc and click okay or press enter. A window or terminal should load that states your TPM version (as shown below). Hope it helps!

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