Windows 11 will reportedly display a watermark if your PC does not support AI requirements

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

With Windows 11 24H2 all geared up to have AI-intensive applications, Microsoft has added a code that will warn you if your PC does not meet the hardware requirements, according to code dug up by Twitter/X sleuth Albacore (via Neowin). The warning will be displayed as a watermark so you know that you cannot use certain AI-powered built-in apps because of an unsupported CPU.

Earlier, it was thought that only PopCnt was the only requirement later but the coding revealed a mandatory SSE4.2 requirement. Regardless, this wouldn't make much difference to practically most users as CPUs that support Windows 11 have SSE 4.2 instructions. Still, it is interesting to see Microsoft adding this check for its AI-powered apps. Some of these applications are likely Advanced Copilot and AI File Explorer. It was also revealed that the upcoming Windows 11 build will include a DirectX AI Super Resolution

Albacore investigated the Windows 11 Insider Build 26200 and found the AI Explorer to have an AI Explorer requirements coded in the operating system. The coding included hardware requirements for the CPU with the required instructions and a minimum of 16GB of memory. For example, he installed the Insider version on a system with an ARM64 CPU. Albacore did find a way to bypass this check by disabling ID 48486440 on the RTM build. 

Interestingly, the software giant added this check since the Windows 11 24H2 will not boot without these instruction sets, according to a previous report. Though speculative, one would wonder if the company has this extra step in case someone uses bypasses to force the OS to boot with an unsupported CPU. 

Check comes during time of criticism

This check comes at a time where Windows 11 has been increasingly criticized by enthusiasts. Microsoft decided to display ads linking to its app store in the form of 'recommendations' in the Start Menu. A few days ago, its Start menu's performance was criticized by a former developer. Microsoft also stifled the ability to customize Windows 11's UI using well-known apps.

We'll simply have to see how the user experience is with the upcoming update, and how flexible Microsoft is willing to be with the wide variety of CPUs and other components in use today.

Freelance News Writer