Today, Microsoft announced Windows 11, it's next operating system. It will release this holiday and will be an free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs.
"The free upgrade will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 PCs this holiday and continuing into 2022," Windows and Surface head Panos Panay wrote in a blog. "And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program – this is a passionate community of Windows fans whose feedback is important to us."
Microsoft also released the minimum system requirements for Windows 11.
Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements
|CPU||1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System-on-Chip (SoC)|
|Graphics Card||Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver|
|Display||720p display that's greater than 9 inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel|
|System Firmware||UEFI, Secure Boot capable|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Internet Connection||Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.|
Windows 11 requires a 1 GHz or faster CPU with 2 or more CPU cores on a 64-bit processor; 4GB of RAM; a 64GB or larger storage device; system firmware that supports UEFI and secure boot; Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0; DirectX 12 compatible graphics; a display greater than 9-inches with a resolution of at least 720p and an internet connection.
Microsoft told Tom's Hardware that all Windows 11 PC's will require TPM - even if they were built by the user. Additionally, the company has published three lists of supported processors: one each for Intel (opens in new tab), AMD (opens in new tab) and Qualcomm (opens in new tab). Notably, it cuts off at 8th Gen Intel Core processors and 2nd Gen AMD, leaving a number of still otherwise good processors out in the cold. It isn't entirely clear if older CPUs that otherwise meet the minimum specification requirements may be allowed to upgrade with a warning.
The free upgrade isn't a huge surprise. Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for a while , and licenses are typically sold to PC and laptop OEMs as well as to businesses.
You can also download and run Microsoft's PC Health Check app (this link will automatically download the software) to see where you stand. Those who can't upgrade can stay on Windows 10, which will continue to be supported through October 2025.
Updated June 25, 9:30 a.m. ET, with confirmation from Microsoft that all Windows 11 PC's will require TPM, as well as lists of supported processors.