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Microsoft pushed 'inaccurate' Windows 11 upgrade to unsupported devices

Softening requirements to spur hardware sales? Nope, it was an error

Microsoft says it has dispatched a fix for a glitch that saw it offer an "inaccurate upgrade" to Windows 11 for some users running Windows 10 on computers that were ineligible to receive it.

On February 23, upgrade promotion banners reached unsupported devices – those not meeting Microsoft's stringent minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11.

"Some ... ineligible Windows 10 and Windows 11, version 21H2 devices were offered an inaccurate upgrade to Windows 11," Microsoft said on Saturday.

Company engineers "detected" the issue and "resolved in the same day."

"These ineligible devices did not meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 11. Devices that experienced this issue were not able to complete the upgrade installation process."

It may take 24 to 48 hours for the fix to "propagate to all devices," the company added. "Affected users do not need to take any steps."

Microsoft accidentally turned off hardware requirements for Windows 11 in June following the emergence of a bug that was subsequently fixed.

Windows 11 does not install on PCs that do not have a recent TPM-equipped processor. The set of requirements are listed here. There were some whispers in the channel recently that Microsoft may loosen those requirements but this remains a point of speculation.

A PC maker close to Redmond told us they feared performance would take a hit and this isn't something they are urging Microsoft to do. Of course more richly configured machines generate higher margins.

Analysts are expecting a bigger refresh of Windows 10 PC fleets by corporate enterprises this year, with Gartner telling us previously that many organizations are already launching pilots.

"Upgrades of existing systems are likely to take longer as there isn't really a huge need until later in 2024 when the end of life for Win 10 starts looming," said Steve Kleynhans, research vice president.

Microsoft is scheduled to support at least one Windows 10 release until October 14, 2025.

According to Stat Counter, Windows 10 was running on 68.75 percent of PCs worldwide in January, versus 18.13 percent for Windows 11. Windows 7 took a 9.62 percent share of desktop Windows versions, with Win 8.1 clinging onto 2.31 percent and Win 8 and XP the remainder. ®

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