I’d like to feel optimistic about Windows 11. But after months of reporting on its rigid hardware requirements, which will leave millions of PCs in the past, a successful Windows 11 launch seems impossible. Microsoft almost remedied things last Friday when it announced that users can manually install Windows 11 on underpowered PCs. But the company forgot to mention something important—it won’t provide software or security updates for systems that take advantage of this “loophole.”
To be honest, the Windows 11 installation “loophole” wasn’t worth much praise in the first place. Even with Microsoft’s official guides and documentation, only tech-savvy folk will manually install an OS on their PC. Average users who want Windows 11 are forced to buy a newer PC if they don’t own one already, and most people are average users.
But the “loophole” is better than nothing, and a lot of people were just excited to hear that their current PC will run Windows 11. That’s what makes today’s news so frustrating—Microsoft refuses to provide Windows Updates when you install Windows 11 on an underpowered PC.
That means you need to manually install every Windows 11 update if your PC has a pre-8th gen Intel Core CPU. It also means that Microsoft will refuse to send you security updates, which often contain zero-day bug fixes, and may even withhold driver updates.
Unless you’re the kind of person who enjoyed dealing with manual updates and driver downloads in the 90s and 2000s, I suggest avoiding this mess. The risk to your security (and your sanity) just isn’t worth it. You should either stick with Windows 10 or buy a new PC that’s Windows 11-compatible (if you really care that much about Windows 11).
If it makes you feel any better, there’s a decent chance that Microsoft is just trying to downplay its Windows 11 installation “loophole.” The company hasn’t optimized Windows 11 for older hardware, so if ordinary people try the OS on their underpowered PC, they may be left with a bad impression. Maybe Microsoft will go against its word and provide updates for old PCs on Windows 11, although I seriously doubt it.