It’s hard to please everyone when you make the world’s most popular desktop operating system, but sometimes it feels like Microsoft doesn’t want to please anyone. To wit, the internet is generally unhappy about the narrow hardware support in Windows 11, but we know this is an artificial roadblock. Not only is it possible for consumers to bypass the restrictions, but Microsoft itself has accidentally released a build of Windows 11 that ignores the CPU requirements.
To run Windows 11, you need 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, an 8th-generation Intel Core CPU or AMD Ryzen 3000-series Zen2 CPU (or better), and a TPM 2.0 module. That last point cuts out a lot of relatively new, powerful computers. By narrowing the hardware support, Microsoft might hope to cut down on the bugs that made so many Windows 10 updates a mess. Still, it messed the latest one up.
Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on the latest update to Windows 11, known as 22H2. This version will include start menu folders, a refined task manager, and improved snap layouts. In advance of general availability, Microsoft usually releases new versions to Windows Insiders, those who have opted into getting early builds of the OS to provide feedback, and boy did they have some feedback for 22H2. The most recent version wasn’t fussed about older CPUs that should have been ineligible for support, offering to upgrade them from Windows 10 right to Windows 11 22H2.
.@windowsinsider my unqualified 7th gen W10 machine Release Preview channel is being offered Windows 11. pic.twitter.com/lSC74OJpbP
— Barb Bowman 🌷💙💛 (@barbbowman) June 8, 2022
It didn’t take long for users on Reddit and Twitter to notice the screw-up, as reported by Neowin. Users with Kaby Lake and even Skylake CPUs saw the updates offered on their systems, and some wondered if Microsoft was going to relax the system requirements for Windows 11. Alas, it was not to be. Microsoft clarified that this was a bug, and its teams would work to address it before the new version rolled out widely.
This whole situation is even funnier considering how aggressively Microsoft reminds everyone about Windows 11’s hardware requirements. In the post announcing the update for those in the Release Preview ring, Microsoft devoted several lines to the strict system requirements.
This probably won’t be the last time Microsoft rolls out a bugged release candidate, but that’s what the Insiders program is for — this would have been a much bigger problem if the millions of systems stranded on Windows 10 had gotten the final 22H2 update because of a bug. Anyone who installed the release candidate build and wants future software support should roll it back, which you can do via the system settings.