Technology... it's always changing and Microsoft made a big press release on its newest version of Windows on June 24th. It was a big deal because in 2015 the industry was told Windows 10 would be the final version of Microsoft Windows. It was the vision of Microsoft that the Windows Operating System would be more of a Service rather than a Product. In our opinion this was an idea borrowed from Apple. See, when you own an Apple Product you can update to newer versions of Mac OS as each version comes out, without having to go to a store a buy an upgrade like you had to with Microsoft Products. This was of course assuming your device could handle the minimum requirements. No manufacturer in the realm of technology is going to support a specific piece of hardware forever... This change is 2015 was a surprise for us all, since Microsoft made a good portion of its profits from Operating System Upgrades in the past. Even more surprising was any device with a valid Certificate of Authentication and/or License Key for Windows 7 could update to Windows 10 for free. This allowed a lot of users to hold on to their previous Desktop PC or Laptop without having to buy a new machine all together.
Remember what I said about technology always changing? Yea you guessed it, Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows and its called - Windows 11... and we hope Microsoft's Marketing Department didn't spend too much time coming up with this new name. If you're interesting in watching the official trailer from Microsoft it has been embedded below:
There are some pretty cool ideas being shown in the video, many of which have been enhanced or improved upon from Windows 10. Many of these features have existed for years yet Windows Users are still star struck when they're shown them. For example split screen apps have existed since Windows 7. But from the video it appears it will be much easier to configure quad windowed apps than with previous versions.
The idea of migrating from one system to another and picking up from where you left off will be super helpful too. This may be a big game changer for users with Android Smart Phones. If you didn't know Google and Microsoft have both buried the hatchet and been doing a lot of collaborative work together. In fact the new Microsoft Edge Browser (that one with the blue and green swirl) is built on Chromium. Granted this service will relay completely on cloud synchronization. Speaking of the Cloud it looks like Microsoft will be forcing users to setup a Microsoft Account when they upgrade to Windows 11 or get a new computer with Windows 11 pre-installed. The days of Local Accounts will only be available in the Linux World it seems.
The graphical user interface, or GUI (pronounced gooey) has shown some amazing improvements. Rounded edges, information streamlined in widgets, pinned apps in the quick launch bar at the bottom... wait that looks familiar.
Yea iCaveDave you're right, some ideas were stolen. Here's 6 ways Microsoft copied Apple with Windows 10
Skype = iMessage
Continuum = Continuity
Cortana = Siri
Windows 10 is a universal OS = iOS and OSX Migration
But let's not forget the Top 10 features that Apple stole from Windows
Minimizing to Document Windows into App Icon
System Preferences = Control Panel
Time Machine = Backup and Restore
Terminal = Command Prompt
Active Sync = Exchange
Mac Path Bar = Windows Address Bar
Back and Forward navigation buttons in folder windows
Screen Sharing = Remote Desktop Connection
Command + Tab = Alt + Tab
Finder Side Bar = Windows Navigation Pane
So what does Windows 11 mean for users like yourself? Well let's look at hardware requirements:
Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and up... 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)
System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
4GB of RAM
64GB of storage
DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 Driver
Display of 720p, 8-but per color channel, at least 9-inch diagonal
Internet Connection and Microsoft Account: Windows 11 Home requires an active internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete initial, first-use setup of the operating system, or when switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S-mode.
Requirements three thru eight are no big deal... as a repair shop we rarely see devices with less than 4 GB of RAM and even with Solid State Drives most people are running 128 GB of storage unless its a stripped down Tablet or budget Chromebook. Graphics requirements are pretty low, Internet Connection is pretty common these days, if you didn't have Internet you wouldn't be reading this blog. But requirements one and two... ouch! If your device is older than 2017 and is classified as residential is likely doesn't support TPM. Business Class equipment has been using TPM for quiet some time so a set year is hard to measure. These changes will likely require a lot of users to ditch their old gear for something newer... but why?
After much confusion last week, Microsoft attempted to explain its hardware requirements again yesterday, and it sounds like the main driver behind these changes is security. Coupled with Microsoft’s hardware requirements is a push to enable a more modern BIOS (UEFI) that supports features like Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module).
When you combine TPM with some of the virtualization technologies that Microsoft uses in Windows, there’s an understandable security benefit that we’ve discussed in detail previously. Microsoft claims that a combination of Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security, hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), and Secure Boot “has been shown to reduce malware by 60 percent.”
You obviously need modern hardware to enable all these protections, and Microsoft has been building toward this moment for years. TPM support has been a requirement for OEMs to gain Windows certification since around the release of Windows 10, but Microsoft hasn’t forced businesses or consumers to enable it.
Microsoft’s decision to force Windows 11 users into TPM, Secure Boot, and more comes at a pivotal moment for Windows. It’s Microsoft’s operating system that’s always caught up in ransomware and malware attacks, and things are only going to get worse if the level of Windows hardware security doesn’t go up a notch.
What is TPM?
TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is a microchip integrated into the hardware of the computer. It is designed to carry out all cryptographic operations. It provides hardware-level of security to the device by performing various security measures. The TPM is also used to generate, store and limit the use of cryptographic keys. The TPM improves the security of the device by a step. As it’s a part of motherboard hardware, the attacker can’t remove it and attempt to access its files anywhere. The chip provides hardware-based authentication.
Ways to find out if your PC/Laptop has TPM 2.0 for Windows 11
There are two ways to check if your PC has TPM 2.0 or not.
Let’s talk about the first and easy method first.
First of all, press the Windows+R shortcut using your keyboard.
You’ll now get a prompt, now enter "tpm.msc" word in the box and click Ok.
Now, you’ll get a pop-up with the title TPM Management on the local computer.
There you will get a box with the title Status, Now check whether it is saying “The TPM is ready to use” or not.
If it is showing “The TPM is ready to use”, now check the version of it, the version will be mentioned in the last box. If it has 2.0, then congratulations, your system is eligible for Windows 11. Or if it’s showing “Compatible TPM cannot be found” then connect with your manufacturer, as it might be enabled via BIOS as many come with TPM chips but we have to enable it manually.
Let’s have a look at the second method.
Moving into the second method, for this, you’ll need a few MBs of internet data. First, download the PC Heath Check App.
Now install the app, similarly, you install other applications with allowing all the permissions.
Now open the app, and you’ll find one Check now option on the first page of the app with the title Introducing Windows 11.
Click on it, it will now tell you that whether your system is eligible for Windows 11 or not. If eligible, it means your PC/Laptop has a TPM chip.
Also note that the PC health check app is having some issues with custom-built PCs, so if you have a custom-built PC, then try the first method, it will work properly. The PC Health Check app sometimes denies the request on custom-built PCs even it has a TPM chip. Further, if your system doesn’t have a TPM chip, it can be both added or enabled manually, you can connect with the manufacturer for more details and there are different methods of different systems and manufacturers.
You can also check out this link for two other ways to check if your device has TPM
Now before you go off the deep end, be mindful that Microsoft Windows 10 support still has several more years of life ahead of it. In fact the End of Life for Windows 10 is good through October 14th of 2025. So you'll continue to receive security updates for at least another four years from the write date of this article.
I hope this blog answers a lot of questions. Bringing Your Tech to Life is looking forward to demoing Windows 11 as part of the Windows Inside Program like we did with Windows 11. If you're interested in learning about the Windows Insider Program you can learn about it here.