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More than 4 in 10 PCs still can't upgrade to Windows 11

Research by Lansweeper shows Microsoft's stringent hardware requirements still at play

Nearly 43 percent of millions of devices studied by asset management provider Lansweeper are unable to upgrade to Windows 11 due to the hardware requirements Microsoft set out for the operating system.

Microsoft made it so that Windows 11 does not install on devices that lack a recent TPM-equipped CPU. It is possible to get around this restriction although it isn't a perfect solution and potentially not long term.

Lansweeper said 42.76 percent of the estimated 27 million PCs it tested across 60,000 organizations failed the CPU test, albeit better than the 57.26 percent in its last test a year ago. Altogether 71.5 percent of the PCs failed the RAM test and 14.66 percent the TPM test.

"We know that those who can't update to Windows 11… will continue to use Windows 10," said Roel Decneut, chief strategy officer at Lansweeper, whose customers include Sony, Pepsico, Cerner, MiT and Hilton hotels.

He said that even if enterprises are prepared to upgrade their PC fleet to meet the system requirements of Microsoft's latest OS, there are "broader issues affecting adoption that are out of Microsoft's control."

"Global supply chain disruption has created chip a processor shortage, while many are choosing to stick with what hardware they have at the moment due to the global financial uncertainty."

PC CPUs certainly aren't in short supply now, if anything computer makers are finding themselves in a position where they are seeking out demand rather than fighting it off with a stick, as end user businesses consider their budgets in light of worsening economic conditions.

Windows 11 is the best growth prospect for the PC industry in the next year, IDC said, as more and more corporates start to consider replacing aging systems. Generally, enterprises wait for 18 months after an OS was released before they adopt it.

Meanwhile, Microsoft admitted last week that admins trying to provision new hardware and applying a WIndows 11 update might hit a brick wall, giving some credence to those taking a cautious approach.

We've asked Microsoft to comment.

Other findings from Lansweeper show adoption rates for the latest OS are improving, running on 1.44 percent of computers versus 0.52 percent in January. This means the latest incarnation has overtaken Windows 8 in the popularity stakes but remains behind market share for Windows 7, despite that software going end of life in January 2020.

Adoption is, unsurprisingly, higher in the consumer space.

Some 4.82 percent of the biz devices researched were running an OS that wasn't fully supported and 0.91 percent had servers in their estate that are end of life.

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