Microsoft has reportedly started to hit Windows Insider Program members testing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware with a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" message informing them that they're no longer allowed to use the operating system.
The Verge reported that Microsoft sent affected testers this message: "Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Your device is not eligible to join the Windows Insider Program on Windows 11. Please install Windows 10 to participate in the Windows Insider Program in the Release Preview Channel."
Microsoft said in June that Windows 11 would require 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen or 8th Gen Intel Core processors or newer as well as a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 security chip. But public criticism of those system requirements led it to evaluate the operating system's viability on 1st Gen AMD Ryzen and 7th Gen Intel Core CPUs.
The company then announced on August 27 that it would add support for certain processors—the 7th Gen Intel Core X-series and Xeon W-series and the Intel Core i7-7820HQ in specific circumstances—to Windows 11. It won't budge on the CPU generation requirements, however, purportedly because of reliability issues.
An official workaround is expected to allow Windows 11 to be manually installed on unsupported hardware, but Microsoft plans to disable the Windows Update utility on those installs. Now it's removing systems featuring that hardware from the Windows Insider Program, too, closing off another way to use the upcoming operating system.
Microsoft said Windows 11 would start to roll out to new devices on October 5. But it's not expected to reach all existing systems until mid-2022, so Windows 10 users who want to upgrade will have a while to buy a supported CPU and TPM. Assuming they can find either of those products in stock, that is, which is easier said than done.