Microsoft finally seems to be getting serious (well, serious-ish) about urging users running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware to upgrade their systems — or downgrade their version of Windows.
Since the January 2023 Patch Tuesday update, users running the production version of Windows 11 2H22 on unsupported hardware have reported, via the Windows Feedback Hub and Microsoft's forums, seeing a watermark that says "System requirements not met. Go to Settings to learn more" in the lower right corner of their desktop.
"Going to settings and clicking the "Learn more" hyperlink brings me the to the Microsoft website talking about installing 11 on devices with system requirements un-met. It also suggests reverting back to 10 and that you can only do this 10 days after upgrading," reports one user on the Microsoft Community forums (opens in new tab). Another user on the Windows feedback hub reports they bought their PC with Windows 11 preinstalled, and are only now seeing this message.
Microsoft first demoed this watermark 'feature' for Windows Insider testers last March, so it's not too surprising that it's finally made its way to the production build. Not all users are seeing it, however, so Microsoft may be testing it on select accounts or rolling it out slowly (or both).
Windows 11 has some surprisingly strict minimum system requirements, because it requires TPM 2.0 security. As a result, Windows 11 is only officially supported on CPUs equivalent to, or newer than, Intel's 8th-Gen (and some 7th-Gen) and AMD's 2nd-Gen processors. It also requires 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, minimum. If your PC meets these requirements and you're getting this message, you may need to enable TPM 2.0 in your BIOS.
At the moment, it looks like unsupported systems will only have to deal with a mildly-annoying watermark, but this could be the first step toward more drastic measures. Microsoft has warned that it will disable updates on unsupported systems (though this clearly has yet to come to fruition, as you'll only get the watermark if you install the latest update).
So, just go buy a new CPU (says Microsoft). Or uninstall Windows 11 and downgrade to Windows 10, which you can do if you're within the 10-day window. Or hide the message with a registry edit (or a lighter-colored wallpaper).
Microsoft: Well don't do that.
I am dreading the forced windows 11 update. 3 drive 4TB I have to back up. Then switch on secure boot and TPM which will wipe my install. Then reinstall windows. Restore backup. Then update to 11. Just....ugh.
Also my 3770k system...what ewaste
Even on mobo that have TPM 2.0, it is often turned off by default in the BIOS.
But Microsoft will simply throw out an incorrect warning that the system lacks TPM 2.0.
And the average person has no idea what a BIOS is, let alone TPM 2.0.
Windows 11 is just a pointless mess.
It's only a matter of time. Microsoft has it within their power to force you to buy more hardware you don't need. At some point it'll be demanded by the bean counters as a service to their stock price.
In reality this watermark is hardly the most outrageous thing. But it is a few more pieces of straw to add to the fire to be sure. The real outrage was TPM 2.0, which would've been something big enough to cause users to switch to something else such as Linux.
It used to be that Windows OS had 95% of the market lumped together considering every version. At the time, linux did not even register, it was lumped with "other" and "other" was pitifully small.
They aren't even breaking 75% anymore. Mac wins 3 to 1, however, yes. plenty of people are moving to linux. ChromeOS is big enough on its own to be counted separate, bringing Linux over 5% and Mac over 15%. Most of the unknowns today are most likely all some flavor of linux or another. What people are not using in huge numbers are HaikuOS or QNX.
In roughly a decade, Microsoft has lost 20% of the desktop.
Why is the biggest disappointment- the 7700hq laptop the only one with the watermark? Because the TPM 2.0 firmware is out of date and ASUS made the laptop for W10 and never thought to put out an update.
Maybe I'll take it back to W10. There's this Atlas version that is pretty light and might give me better battery life.
I really hate the UI design of Windows 11, but I use my laptop so infrequently that I'm fine with 11 being on there. Having to deal with Microsoft throwing watermarks on the screen or harassing users to upgrade perfectly good hardware is annoying -- especially when newer laptop hardware is so thermally constricted that it can't perform to the level of older hardware.