Microsoft may withhold security, driver updates from unsupported Windows 11 PCs

The clarification comes after Microsoft said people with unsupported hardware could manually update to Windows 11

Last week, Microsoft extended an olive branch to Windows power users when it said that people would be able to manually install Windows 11 on computers that may not meet the system requirements. However, it seems that the tech giant neglected to mention that it may block updates to those installations.

Microsoft told The Verge that unsupported PCs upgraded to Windows 11 wouldn’t be entitled to receive Windows updates. Further, the company said it may even withhold security and driver updates.

That’s a fairly significant technicality and potentially a huge blow for people planning to go the manual route with the Windows 11 upgrade. As a bit of a refresher, Microsoft faced significant criticism following its Windows 11 unveiling because of confusing and misleading system requirements. Moreover, the company’s PC Health Check App, which was pitched as a way for users to easily check if their PC would support Windows 11, didn’t explain why a computer failed the check (an updated version is in testing now). Ultimately, this led many Windows users, especially enthusiasts with custom-built desktops, to believe their (often relatively new) computers wouldn’t be eligible for Windows 11.

So far, the Windows 11 upgrade saga has been a complete mess, and Microsoft hasn’t even released the update yet. When Microsoft said it would allow computers that didn’t meet the system requirements to do the upgrade manually, it seemed to make the mess a little less messy. That way, people with perfectly capable hardware that wasn’t on the  official support list could still get and run Windows 11, but with the caveat that Microsoft didn’t recommend or officially support doing that. However, the company’s stipulation that it may withhold updates from devices that go this route throws another wrench into the increasingly confusing situation.

The Verge points out that the statement may be Microsoft trying to protect itself against potential legal headaches from people who manually install Windows 11 and run into issues down the road. However, the company may also genuinely plan to withhold patches.

Of course, those savvy enough to manually install Windows probably won’t have many issues performing manual software updates too. But with Microsoft pushing out almost weekly security updates, that could become tedious very quickly.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. At this point, it doesn’t make sense to take any action regarding Windows 11, especially one that will cost you money. We’re still likely a few months from release and, given how confusing the upgrade is, I expected there will be plenty of change in the coming months. For the majority of people, it makes more sense to wait for the actual Windows 11 release. Once the software is out and the dust is settled, you can make a more informed decision about the upgrade process, whether that means installing a TPM module to make your system compliant, building a new system, or just sticking with Windows 10 for the foreseeable future.

Source: The Verge