Microsoft has pulled back the curtains today on Windows 11 and along with new features and an updated interface, the company is making changes to the minimum specs to run the OS as well. These updates will only impact low-end devices and the majority of devices running Windows 10 today, will be able to run Windows 11 too.
Notably, to install Windows 11 Home, an internet connection is now required but for enterprise customers, you will still have an offline setup option. Further, for Home users, you will also need to create an MSA (Microsoft account).
In addition to the connection requirement, a dual-core 64bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage are now the baseline requirements. These are modest changes but do move the baseline forward for Windows and this also means that every device running Windows 10, may not be able to run Windows 11.
But the real change is for the Windows 11 Home configurations requiring Internet and an MSA as that may not sit well with users who are concerned with tracking. Microsoft previously faced issues with Windows 10 telemetry in various markets and made several updates to Windows 10 to address these concerns.
The concept of forcing the user to create an account for the OS is not new and the functionality has been baked into Windows 10 for years. Other operating systems also push similar requirements but expect to hear loudly from privacy advocates that Windows 11 will be a step backward when it comes to keep your identity a secret when using the OS.
The reason that Microsoft is making this change is that they determined much of the friction of using Windows 10 was related to not being signed into an MSA. While you can debate if that rationale is accurate or a just cause for forcing the mandate, Microsoft believes this to be true and is making the change only for Windows 11 Home devices.
There’s a lot happening in the world of Windows 11 today, if you want to stay updated on what’s happening with the OS and how it impacts users and IT Pros, check back here frequently.