Microsoft advances plans to add a watermark to Windows 11 on older computers

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The Windows Insider Post famous the watermark, first tested in February, in the latest build to be distributed to the entire Windows user base.

After upgrading to the latest preview version of Windows 11 (build 22000.588), users have noticed a watermark on the desktop that says: “System requirements not met.” A similar message appears in the Windows 11 Settings app as well.

Microsoft has not officially admitted that it is implementing the watermark for unsupported hardware, omitting it from the release notes of the latest preview build, although testers have reported it since the update.

Microsoft’s decision to impose minimum hardware specifications was controversial. Only computers with a TPM 2.0 chip, Intel Coffee Lake 8th Gen or Zen 2 CPUs, or a higher spec processor will be able to run the operating system without seeing the watermark.

This means computers with hardware older than the Coffee Lake series of chips, which were released in 2017, won’t be able to reliably upgrade to Windows 11.

Formerly, PC users used open source solutions to manipulate Windows and allow an upgrade on unsupported hardware. Users who went this route will likely see the watermark on their machines when Microsoft releases the preview version to the broader base of Windows users.

Testing of the watermark by Microsoft began in February 2022, when users saw the same “System requirements not met” message on their desktop and in the Settings app. At the time it was said that whether users voluntarily installed Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, they should risk compatibility issues later.

Microsoft said on its support page that device malfunctions were a opportunity and they were not guaranteed to receive security updates. The exception to the rule is virtual machines, which will not be subject to the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11.

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