In brief: If you've managed to upgrade an "unsupported" PC to the final release of Windows 11 (build 22000), you may have noticed that you can still receive Windows updates even though Microsoft said you're not entitled to any. For now, that means you'll continue to get cumulative updates, but there will come a time when the company stops that -- likely the first major update for Windows 11, whenever that lands.
With Windows 11, Microsoft has chosen to split its user base in two. Since the OS was announced, the company has repeatedly underlined that it wants to gradually elevate security for consumers to the same level of that found on enterprise systems. To that end, Microsoft had to enact some of the strictest system requirements in recent Windows history, leaving more than half of all PCs out there without an official upgrade path from Windows 10.
There is a way to bypass these requirements and upgrade an “unsupported” system, and we’ve described that in detail here. If you’ve already gone through this process, you are currently the not-so-proud owner of a PC running a somewhat buggy Windows release that will take more than a Patch Tuesday to get right. Today, Microsoft released a new Windows 11 update, but right now it's only for those who are enrolled in the Insider Program on the Release Preview or Beta channels.
This brings us to something that Microsoft said in August -- the company won’t stand in your way if you want to upgrade an unsupported machine to Windows 11, but you won’t be entitled to receive Windows feature updates, as well as security and driver updates. After the Patch Tuesday dropped this week, some users were surprised to find that their “unsupported” PC had been offered the patch.
That’s because Microsoft was talking about Insider builds. Unsupported PCs should have -- at least in theory -- been opted out by now, meaning you shouldn’t be able to see the current update (build 22000.282) until it starts rolling out to the general public in the coming weeks. Senior Program Manager for the Windows Insider Program Brandon LeBlanc confirmed as much this week, but don’t get your hopes up. This still means that Microsoft can always decide to stop offering updates for your machine.
To sum it all up, if you’ve been able to upgrade to build 22000.xxx on an unsupported system, you’ll probably receive cumulative updates just like everyone else. However, you’ll be staying on a revision of that build, unless Microsoft decides you're entitled to the first major update for Windows 11.
As for the 22000.282 update that was released on the Beta and Release Preview channels, it comes with a long list of fixes, including an issue that affects L3 cache performance on AMD CPUs, that likely weren’t ready in time for this month’s Patch Tuesday.