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Got enterprise workstations and hope to run Windows 11? Survey says: You lose. Over half the gear's not fit for it

30 million Windows devices in 60k orgs studied

Fallout from the notorious hardware requirements of Windows 11 continued this week, as IT management outfit Lansweeper published research showing well over half of surveyed workstations didn't make the cut.

The news was even worse for servers; the survey showed less than 1 per cent of virtual machines were capable, going by Microsoft's requirements, of running the wunder-OS.

The study looked at an estimated 30 million Windows devices over 60,000 organisations, and fingered CPU and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) requirements as the main culprit on workstations. Only 44.4 per cent of workstations met the CPU requirements, while 52.55 per cent of machines had a TPM enabled that would satisfy Microsoft's demands.

Virtual machines fared particularly poorly, since TPM hasn't been a requirement up until Windows 11. Administrators will need to tweak the settings or update their VMs in order to upgrade to Microsoft's latest and greatest. Or stick with Windows 10, which we imagine enterprises will naturally do for a while anyway.

As a reminder, as well as making TPM 2.0 part of the minimum system requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft also took an axe to the supported CPU list. The vast majority of Intel chips must be 8th generation CPUs or above, although a handful of 7th generation chips have now made the list, including the i7-7820HQ, which features on Microsoft's still-for-sale Surface Studio 2.

The excuses given for the carnage are reasons of reliability, security and compatibility.

The new operating system is due to arrive next week and while enterprises are unlikely to update on the day of release, an upgrade will have to happen in the coming months or years.

Dell UK senior vice president and GM, Dayne Turbitt, remarked in July that he reckoned 2022 would be when things kicked off in earnest. Dell had previously put the figure of PCs older than four years (and so unlikely to be able to be upgraded to Windows 11) at around 700 million worldwide.

Turbitt also pointed out that enterprises were only now coming to the end of the Windows 10 rollout, just as Microsoft decided to move the goalposts.

As for Windows 10 itself, figures published by AdDuplex show the last two updates on the vast majority of its 60,000 PC survey, with the 21H1 and 20H2 editions on 38.1 per cent and 36.1 per cent respectively. Windows Insiders running Windows 11 accounted for 1.3 per cent, while Insiders sticking with Windows 10 accounted for a barely measurable 0.3 per cent.

Since the disaster of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, when Microsoft opened the upgrade floodgates before quickly slamming them shut as reports of data-destroying issues came rolling in, Windows releases have been a bit more cautious. With so many systems apparently unable to meet Microsoft's hardware requirements, this latest update might end up being the slowest yet. ®

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