Unsupported Windows 11 devices will get a desktop watermark after all

Ben Myers

Posts: 197   +78
TPM 2.0 is the stumbling block? Well, it is a requirement, but plenty of systems with processors earlier than 8th generation Intel have TPM 2.0 built right in and ready to be enabled.

But the real limitation is something that Microsoft never explained well, namely, why 8th gen or later? What about 7th gen? What about LGA2011, as another person said? Why not 6th gen?
(I am not up to speed on all the AMD CPUs, so I'll leave it to others to challenge why not earlier AMD chips.) There has been a lot of waffling around this subject, but no precise, accurate and factual public explanation.

Writer Potoroaca and possibly more eminent tech journalists still need to push back on Microsoft for a better explanation than "8th gen because we say so", but I doubt we will hear anything more than more crickets in response, with the computer manufacturers, er, marketeers, all silently cheering Microsoft's silence.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
Yes, and in addition to that all that, given the security features that use TPM can be turned off by the user anyway, and indeed are left off when upgrading from prior installs where they were previously off, it makes no sense to mark the whole O/S as unsupported when it is in fact supported to run it configured such that the "required" TPM features are not used and therefore not required.

There are good ways to provide security options and to encourage users to use them. Telling stories that are at best confusing and may appear as if intentional deceptions to sell new hardware are not among them.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 197   +78
Yes, and in addition to that all that, given the security features that use TPM can be turned off by the user anyway, and indeed are left off when upgrading from prior installs where they were previously off, it makes no sense to mark the whole O/S as unsupported when it is in fact supported to run it configured such that the "required" TPM features are not used and therefore not required.

There are good ways to provide security options and to encourage users to use them. Telling stories that are at best confusing and may appear as if intentional deceptions to sell new hardware are not among them.
The simple fact, unfortunately, is that Microsoft says configurations that do not meet its CPU requirements will be unsupported. Microsoft says so, and that's that!

Then, too, what does Microsoft "support" mean? It should mean they don't fix bugs reported from "unsupported" systems, but they are possibly worse than any other company to contact for tech support and bug reporting anyway.

This all makes me wonder that if one has hardware that meets Microsoft's requirements 100%, but TPM is shut off in the BIOS, whether this will prompt display of the watermark? I shouldn't have said so. Microsoft may be reading this thread, even as I type. I'll give Satya ideas.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
TPM 2.0 is the stumbling block? Well, it is a requirement, but plenty of systems with processors earlier than 8th generation Intel have TPM 2.0 built right in and ready to be enabled.

But the real limitation is something that Microsoft never explained well, namely, why 8th gen or later? What about 7th gen? What about LGA2011, as another person said? Why not 6th gen?
(I am not up to speed on all the AMD CPUs, so I'll leave it to others to challenge why not earlier AMD chips.) There has been a lot of waffling around this subject, but no precise, accurate and factual public explanation.

Writer Potoroaca and possibly more eminent tech journalists still need to push back on Microsoft for a better explanation than "8th gen because we say so", but I doubt we will hear anything more than more crickets in response, with the computer manufacturers, er, marketeers, all silently cheering Microsoft's silence.
I’m pretty certain that the reason that pre 8th gen systems are not supported is whilst older CPUs do support TPM 2.0, the older chipsets dont have it as a standard, meaning there is a possibility you don’t have the module on the board with something like a 7700K. MS are aiming to make this update as simple as possible, you or me might be technically capable to buy and add a TPM module but not the average windows user.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
I’m pretty certain that the reason that pre 8th gen systems are not supported is whilst older CPUs do support TPM 2.0, the older chipsets dont have it as a standard, meaning there is a possibility you don’t have the module on the board with something like a 7700K. MS are aiming to make this update as simple as possible, you or me might be technically capable to buy and add a TPM module but not the average windows user.
The claim I've seen in a Microsoft blog is that the concern really is about a missing, lesser known, CPU feature, that would result in unacceptable performance despite the presence of a compatible TPM 2.0.

Of course that's hogwash since Win 11 can be configured to not use those services in the first place. Microsoft could have just said either 1) be aware some optional features of Win 11 (and Win 10) are not best-compatible with older hardware; or 2) we will continue to offer security patches for Win 10 for those customers we exclude from Windows 11. Choosing to both cut off the security patches while also offering no update path, absent any compelling justification for the havoc they will wreak, is what I find so unconscionable.

I've been mad about this for months. What's new this week is we have a larger societal context where the US President is warning citizens they must secure their systems, while a silicon shortage (and other more general economic challenges) are limiting the availability of new systems. Is Microsoft really going to try to defend this hill that it must strip all protection from hundreds of millions of system due to its own arbitrary decision? If so I hope Congress legislates them into dust by making clear they are liable for every one of the downstream incidents on the abandoned machines.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 197   +78
I’m pretty certain that the reason that pre 8th gen systems are not supported is whilst older CPUs do support TPM 2.0, the older chipsets dont have it as a standard, meaning there is a possibility you don’t have the module on the board with something like a 7700K. MS are aiming to make this update as simple as possible, you or me might be technically capable to buy and add a TPM module but not the average windows user.
How simple can it get? You run their app, it looks for presence of TPM 2.0, and it generates a report of what you have to do to be fully complaint with their requirements, including TPM 2.0. There is zero uncertainty here with a well written compatibility test.

This hard line of Intel gen 8 or later treats us all as if we are dolts. It is not the first time Microsoft has treated its ultimate customers like dolts. But Microsoft Windows OEMs smiled at this holiday season with bright and shiny Windows 11 and so many people finding out that their computer won't run Windows 11.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 197   +78
The claim I've seen in a Microsoft blog is that the concern really is about a missing, lesser known, CPU feature, that would result in unacceptable performance despite the presence of a compatible TPM 2.0.

Of course that's hogwash since Win 11 can be configured to not use those services in the first place. Microsoft could have just said either 1) be aware some optional features of Win 11 (and Win 10) are not best-compatible with older hardware; or 2) we will continue to offer security patches for Win 10 for those customers we exclude from Windows 11. Choosing to both cut off the security patches while also offering no update path, absent any compelling justification for the havoc they will wreak, is what I find so unconscionable.

I've been mad about this for months. What's new this week is we have a larger societal context where the US President is warning citizens they must secure their systems, while a silicon shortage (and other more general economic challenges) are limiting the availability of new systems. Is Microsoft really going to try to defend this hill that it must strip all protection from hundreds of millions of system due to its own arbitrary decision? If so I hope Congress legislates them into dust by making clear they are liable for every one of the downstream incidents on the abandoned machines.
Or maybe another anit-trust action? Or the EU taking action against Microsoft, which is more likely where the governments are more friendly to actual people, not corporations?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
I've been mad about this for months.
With all due respect this is irrational. Your current PC may not get the reskin that Windows 11 offers. But that is all you will miss out on. A reskin isn’t something worth being mad about for months. Windows 10 will remain functional for everything you can do today as a home user after October 2025.

I have Windows 11 on my laptop and my PC remains unsupported so is on Windows 10. Honestly I prefer windows 10, my main gripe with windows 11 is that they have gimped the right click menu, also the volume bar only responds to a mouse wheel scroll if you’re mouse is in the volume window.

Personally I think 7 years of support at a minimum is much better than what most smartphone manufacturers give us. I wish I saw the passion you have for long term security updates you have for Windows from the general tech community when it comes to smartphones. People even praise Apple for offering 5-7 years of support, which is less than MS is giving us.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
With all due respect this is irrational. Your current PC may not get the reskin
I could not care less about the re-skin. What I am mad about is what I'm estimating to be 100 million plus devices that will stop receiving security patches, will still be in service, and will soon cause serious problems for their owners and for any person who is dependent on the services they may be linked to.

I get that this is not on the general publics or any lawmaker's radar yet, but once the implications of this disgusting attack on the world's IT infrastructure are more clear, I expect MS will face substantially more headwind on this. To the extent the US is in a declared cyberwar at that time, I might go so far as to call it treasonous.
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 197   +78
With all due respect this is irrational. Your current PC may not get the reskin that Windows 11 offers. But that is all you will miss out on. A reskin isn’t something worth being mad about for months. Windows 10 will remain functional for everything you can do today as a home user after October 2025.

I have Windows 11 on my laptop and my PC remains unsupported so is on Windows 10. Honestly I prefer windows 10, my main gripe with windows 11 is that they have gimped the right click menu, also the volume bar only responds to a mouse wheel scroll if you’re mouse is in the volume window.

Personally I think 7 years of support at a minimum is much better than what most smartphone manufacturers give us. I wish I saw the passion you have for long term security updates you have for Windows from the general tech community when it comes to smartphones. People even praise Apple for offering 5-7 years of support, which is less than MS is giving us.
There is a simple registry hack to fix right-clicking in Windows 11. I saw it in a ComputerWorld article by Eric Geier. I did it to my Windows 11 laptop, and now right-click works like it should, without the time-wasting extra click.

I have to wonder how many Microsofties think seriously about Windows as a tool for our productivity, rather than for the gamers and casual users who seem to be the impetus for these changes. And the new glitzy sparkly Windows 11 UI.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
I wish I saw the passion you have for long term security updates you have for Windows from the general tech community when it comes to smartphones. People even praise Apple for offering 5-7 years of support, which is less than MS is giving us.
Smartphones in general are not linked to infrastructure. I am not aware of any hospitals, police departments, or pipelines that have been shutdown over a phone security bug. If there were a steady drumbeat of stories like that, I expect you would start seeing more focus on it.

I'm also not sure how many 5-7 year old phones are in active service in the US for IT / app-related purposes. As with Windows 7, once the number of devices and the importance of what they do is small enough, the risk becomes moot.

As with PCs, I'm focused exclusively on security patches. Patches related to new features are at provider's discretion, market can choose as it wills.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Smartphones in general are not linked to infrastructure. I am not aware of any hospitals, police departments, or pipelines that have been shutdown over a phone security bug. If there were a steady drumbeat of stories like that, I expect you would start seeing more focus on it.

I'm also not sure how many 5-7 year old phones are in active service in the US for IT / app-related purposes. As with Windows 7, once the number of devices and the importance of what they do is small enough, the risk becomes moot.

As with PCs, I'm focused exclusively on security patches. Patches related to new features are at provider's discretion, market can choose as it wills.
I think you would be surprised at how many businesses and infrastructure are still on Windows 7 today and even in some cases are still on XP. And it’s funny you mention hospitals. One of the worlds largest employers and health services, the National Health Service in the U.K. still had thousands of machines on Windows XP in 2020, 6 years after MS stopped producing security updates for it. They employ 1.4 million people and support the health of 70+ million Brits.


The fact is, ending security updates for Windows 10 will not result in a mass switch off. I don’t know why you are under the impression this will happen. It’s never happened before and nobody is saying it will with Windows 10. Can you explain why you think this?


There is a simple registry hack to fix right-clicking in Windows 11. I saw it in a ComputerWorld article by Eric Geier. I did it to my Windows 11 laptop, and now right-click works like it should, without the time-wasting extra click.

I have to wonder how many Microsofties think seriously about Windows as a tool for our productivity, rather than for the gamers and casual users who seem to be the impetus for these changes. And the new glitzy sparkly Windows 11 UI.
For me, Windows 11 is a marketing exercise and they decided to throw some security standards in for good measure. But it effectively just does the same job as Windows 10. OEMs get the most use of it because they can put Windows 11 stickers on their products boxes and in their marketing. That’s it. TPM won’t be a requirement to do most if not all of the things we do today for years after Windows 10 falls out of support.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
The fact is, ending security updates for Windows 10 will not result in a mass switch off. I don’t know why you are under the impression this will happen. It’s never happened before and nobody is saying it will with Windows 10. Can you explain why you think this?
The 2025 transition will be unique for the very large number of devices which will be excluded from update to a supported version (that part is on Microsoft), while still being very much mission capable for routine home & office use (that part is a general IT trend of relative performance gains getting smaller while absolute performance remains far beyond what is actually needed for many use cases.)

For comparison, the path from at least W7 on was continuous for all devices: if you had Windows 7 on a device, by the time Win 7 and Win 8 were end of lifed, you had an option to update that device in place to a supported O/S.

I actually don't recall the last time that a large volume of devices were rendered unsupportable, but in any event it would have been far enough back so that 1) the rate of hardware capability growth relative to office need was still significant (so there was good reason to update the devices), and 2) we were still in a more innocent time as far as ransomware, cyberwar, and other malware impacts were concerned.

Just so I can agree with you on something, let me state I give Windows 11 the same review you do. I think it is well-named in that a lot of things take 1 more step than they did in Windows 10. It feels like Microsoft forgot they still power desktops that are used for work and not just casual play / media consumption.

It does have one important feature that Win 10 does not, at least for owners of newer/better monitors: the HDR support is much better.
 

BigCatsByte

Posts: 11   +9
Hardware freedom is what made Microsoft OS what it is today. If I wanted to be Gimped by hardware, I would buy a Mac.


PS, I love Macs too and own several of them.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
The 2025 transition will be unique for the very large number of devices which will be excluded from update to a supported version (that part is on Microsoft), while still being very much mission capable for routine home & office use (that part is a general IT trend of relative performance gains getting smaller while absolute performance remains far beyond what is actually needed for many use cases.)

For comparison, the path from at least W7 on was continuous for all devices: if you had Windows 7 on a device, by the time Win 7 and Win 8 were end of lifed, you had an option to update that device in place to a supported O/S.

I actually don't recall the last time that a large volume of devices were rendered unsupportable, but in any event it would have been far enough back so that 1) the rate of hardware capability growth relative to office need was still significant (so there was good reason to update the devices), and 2) we were still in a more innocent time as far as ransomware, cyberwar, and other malware impacts were concerned.

Just so I can agree with you on something, let me state I give Windows 11 the same review you do. I think it is well-named in that a lot of things take 1 more step than they did in Windows 10. It feels like Microsoft forgot they still power desktops that are used for work and not just casual play / media consumption.

It does have one important feature that Win 10 does not, at least for owners of newer/better monitors: the HDR support is much better.
The 2025 “transition” is first of all will not really be a “transition” for most people and it’s also not unique. Windows 10 will have received roughly similar lengths of support as previous Windows versions. You also seem to be under the delusion that windows 10 will become unusable after this event. This is simply not the case, unsupported OS’s do still work and are in use today, even in critical infrastructure, you can protect older OS in other ways than relying on MS to patch things. Windows 10 will more than likely be in use for longer after support ends than previous OS purely because of the hardware requirements of Windows 11.

Honestly, you need to get it out of your head that Windows 10 machines will become victims of mass malware attacks and/or become bricks after October 2025. That’s not going to happen. There might be a few IT depts somewhere with a particularly stringent security auditor who asks the director to ensure all 7+ year old hardware is replaced to enable Windows 11. But in general the worlds infrastructure will be unaffected.

There are dozens of reasons to be mad at MS. But this isn’t one of them.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,126   +1,670
We agree that Windows 10 will still be in wide use after the 2025 transition. Where we disagree is what the massive negative global impact from lack of security patches will be.

If you turn out to be correct, you'll have earned the right to tell me that you told me so. If I turn out to be correct, Microsoft should be sued out of existence for the massive avoidable global harm they will have inflicted for no justifiable reason whatsoever.

Windows 7 support may have had a similar lifespan as Windows 10, but the key point is the devices running Windows 7 were then supported on Windows 8 and Windows 10. The device support lifespan has been continuous all these years. That's like 10-20 years worth of devices that will all go out of support on the same day in one huge cliff in 2025.

You seem to think that because unsupported Windows 7 is not a significant source of global harm that Windows 10 won't be either. But a tiny audience of less than 1% of devices whose users just refused to update is not at all the same as what may be a 50%+ huge chunk of existing devices that can not update period.

Malware authors do not appear to be investing much effort in targeting the tiny Win 7 population. That will not be the case when bad actors know there is a huge Windows 10 population, still in service, and for which any time invested in developing exploits will pay off for years to come as the exploits they discover will never be patched.

And there will be still be a not-small number of devices thrown out early. That's also bad but I'm more worried/angry about the first part.
 

wizardB

Posts: 240   +114
I have seen absolutely no reason to use 11 it offers nothing new except ads and I have ads.