Windows 11’s Security Push Puts Microsoft on a Collision Course

When Microsoft debuted Windows 11 at the end of last week, the company heralded the usual advancements in efficiency and design that come with any new operating system. But Windows 11 also comes with a less welcome tick: stricter-than-usual hardware requirements for which PCs can actually run it. Because of what Microsoft has described as security concerns, many devices — even some currently for sale — won’t ever be able to upgrade, leaving a generation of PCs stranded on Windows 10.To run Windows 11, devices must have an Intel Core processors from at least 2017, or AMD Zen 2 processors from 2019 onward. They’ll also need at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of hard drive storage. Microsoft’s own $3,500 Surface Studio 2 desktop, which you can buy new from the company right now, doesn’t make the cut under these requirements. Microsoft is still exploring the possibility that slightly older chips will make the cut, but either way, you’ll need a pretty recent device to upgrade your operating system.“Microsoft has a clear vision for how to help protect our customers now and in the future and we know our approach works,” David Weston, Microsoft director of enterprise and operating system security, wrote on Friday. “We are announcing Windows 11 to raise security baselines with new hardware security requirements built-in.”That baseline appears to hinge on a Trusted Platform Module, or TPM 2.0 chip, a component Microsoft has required in all new Windows devices since 2016.

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