Microsoft Forces Older Machines Out of Windows 11 Beta

The great culling of hardware begins...

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Microsoft has begun their culling of the older hardware already, as the Windows Insider Program to get access to the beta and development rings of their new operating system has started blocking people from it and issuing warnings to reinstall Windows 10.

Yesterday Microsoft announced the release date of Windows 11 but also said that they’d begin allowing users to manually install it via the released ISO, so to see them reverse the lack of restrictions on the Preview Build is a bit weird to see. This is especially weird when we’ve proved it works on hardware that’s really not intended for it.

With the system requirements being upped on Windows 11, it means everything below 7th generation Intel Chips and Ryzen 1 CPUs are being sent to the wayside in the favour of newer, more reliable hardware. In a sense, I can see from a development point of view that just outright not supporting hardware is probably easier on Microsoft, but this massive shift in requirements is going to leave a lot of customers flailing about on a depreciated piece of software even in 2025 when Windows 10 is supposedly meant to be sunsetted.

Microsoft’s Ploy

The thing about this higher system requirement bump is that it’s very clear that Microsoft has both good and your basic capitalist intentions. Their security features are heavily reliant on TPM 2.0 and encryption, especially as Windows 10 has come under attack repeatedly over the last couple of years with ransomware.

However, the need to get Windows 11 into people’s hands is ever rising, as having a split userbase between 10 and 11 is going to cause headaches down the road, as Microsoft will inevitably just shift away from their focus from 10 to very, very light security updates, as they did with 7 and 8 before it.

They also probably don’t want another Windows Vista situation on their hands, if you recall, Windows Vista’s launch and lifespan were bungled due to hardware literally not being able to cope with the operating system, earning its reputation as a dud. Windows 11 is clearly bringing more to the table to require the upgrade – even with evidence it runs fine on older hardware – and this is obviously the Windows team not even tempting fate again.

You also have the very real fact that OEMs, hardware manufacturers, and more all benefit if Microsoft sells more hardware equipped with Windows 11. By ending support for older hardware, it funnels unknowing users to ditch their PCs quickly instead of researching upgrade paths.

Get around the Windows 11 System Requirements

If you’re in need of a PC that’s not going to be affected too heavily by the upcoming Windows 11 apocalypse and rushing of old hardware to an early death, we’ve got some recommendations for PC builds from Budget to excessive 2000 dollar builds! We’ve also got some recommendations for those going off to college or university and what laptops will keep you covered with the impending update!

Joel is a a lover of janky games, Magic the Gathering, and going down rabbit holes. For PC Guide he has written about peripherals, the Steam Deck, retro games, news and more.