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Microsoft accidentally turned off hardware requirements for Windows 11

Zero day? Yeah, we'll get to it. Running Windows 11 on old CPUs? OMG WE MUST FIX THIS NOW!

Microsoft has accidentally turned off its controversial hardware compatibility check, thus offering Windows 11 to computers not on the list.

Windows 11 does not install on computers that lack a recent TPM-equipped CPU, although there are exceptions (notably for some of Microsoft's own hardware, which failed to make the cut in the original list). It is possible to circumvent this limitation, although there is no guarantee that a future version of Windows 11 won't slam the door permanently.

However, users noted overnight that that PCs on the Windows Insider Release Preview ring without a qualifying CPU were offered the update without the usual terse rejection message.

Could Microsoft have softened its stance? Perhaps the less-than-stellar uptake of Windows 11 has resulted in a rethink at Redmond? As of May 2022, according to Statcounter, it's yet to overtake the obsolete Windows 7, let alone catch up to Windows 10.

Sadly not. The Windows Insider team were swift to respond that it was business as usual in the Windows world. Namely, something went wrong and needed fixing.

It will not help the Windows team in their efforts to justify the Windows 11 hardware compatibility list. Particularly when Microsoft itself will cheerfully put out a build with some of the checks removed.

One also cannot help but notice the difference between Microsoft's response to recent zero-day vulnerabilities and the speed at which it moved so that its flagship operating system would not be sullied by incompatible hardware.

Users who managed to perform the update can roll it back.

While it would be nice to pretend the incident might have signaled a quiet change in policy, it is perhaps more a sign of Windows' legendary quality control (or lack thereof). ®

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