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AMD Ryzen 2000 Users Excluded From Windows 11 Android App Fun

Android apps on Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Earlier this week, Microsoft delivered the most significant update to Windows 11 yet. It introduced some warmly welcomed taskbar improvements, a redesigned Media Player and revamped Notepad (with dark mode). However, one of the other headlining features - the ability to run Android apps in Windows 11 - excludes second-generation AMD Ryzen processors.

AMD Ryzen 2000 series processors are officially supported by Windows 11, so it is somewhat frustrating to see them excluded from a much-ballyhooed new feature. Some might have been waiting for this feature with anticipation, as the Amazon Appstore brings over 1,000 additional apps and games to Windows 11.

If you follow the link in the intro paragraph to Microsoft's official blog post, you will see the minimum device requirements set out as below:

Device Requirements
RAM8 GB (minimum), 16 GB (recommended)
Storage typeSolid State Drive (SSD)
ProcessorIntel Core i3 8th Gen (minimum) or above, AMD Ryzen 3000 (minimum) or above, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c (minimum) or above.
Processor architecturex64 or ARM64
Virtual Machine PlatformThis setting needs to be enabled

Microsoft gave no reason for the "AMD Ryzen 3000 (minimum)" spec requirement, so perhaps it thought the spec lift would pass under the radar. However, reading through the technical details regarding the implementation of the Android compatibility layer, we learn that it relies on Intel Bridge Technology, and thus that technology's minimum system requirements.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Last June, we reported upon the upcoming introduction of Android App compatibility to Windows 11 and noted our concern regarding AMD Ryzen support. Intel clarified that Intel Bridge Technology would "support all x86 platforms (including AMD platforms)." However, a spec difference between Zen+ and Zen 2 processor architectures nixes the former's Intel Bridge Technology support. 

Elsewhere in the above device requirements table, readers will note the 16GB RAM recommendation. In addition, users should install and run their Amazon Appstore apps from SSD rather than a HDD, or face some unspecified woes.

Microsoft Windows 11 Minimum Specs Wrangling Recap

Regular readers will remember the controversy Microsoft caused by setting the minimum recommended system requirements for Windows 11 to either an Intel 8th gen or newer CPU (with a few exceptions) or an AMD Ryzen 2000 or newer CPU. There was a lot of push and pull concerning these processor specs and questions about the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) requirements.

Without going into too much depth on an old topic, Microsoft asserted that earlier processor generations were "not recommended" due to "compatibility or other issues" and systems that weren't up to minimum spec would "no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates."

Mark Tyson
Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Friesiansam
    My wife is still using an R5 2600. I don't think she will be the least bit bothered that she won't be able to use Android apps, if she upgrades to W11.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Or you can just continue to use Bluestacks and be able to use the Play Store, and it runs quite happily on pretty much any hardware you have.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    On one hand, it just sounds like a ploy on Intel's end to undermine AMD.

    On the other hand... AMD, where's your alternative?
    Reply