Microsoft may not provide Windows 11 updates to older computers
Microsoft has clarified that it won't block the installation of Windows 11 on computers with older CPUs if you update using the ISO disk image. However, a major caveat has been reported which you should know about before going this route. Microsoft is threatening to deny you Windows Updates and maybe even security updates if you install Windows 11 using this method. Here's more.
When Windows 11 was unveiled, Microsoft emphasized that older hardware will not be able to upgrade to the new operating system. In fact, all computers (supported and unsupported) would need to enable Secure Boot (UEFI) and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that's either physical or baked into the BIOS. These features allow Windows 11 to deliver significant security improvements over Windows 10.
Until now, Windows Insiders were able to upgrade to Windows 11 on supported hardware. Other users had to perform a fresh installation using the Windows 11 ISO disk image. The Verge reported that Microsoft didn't say in its original briefing, but has now clarified that unsupported computers will not receive Windows Updates. Additionally, optional driver updates and security patches may be denied.
Microsoft might just be saying this to avoid legal repercussions that might arise when those running unsupported hardware aren't able to use the improved security offered by Windows 11. It could also be a boilerplate statement since the company has occasionally delivered updates and security patches for old and discontinued operating systems for free despite announcing otherwise.
The Verge reported that Microsoft didn't clarify if it will not provide patches to older hardware running Windows 11 right from the get-go or at some point in the future. This suggests it could also be a genuine threat from Microsoft. For those who didn't know, Windows 11 won't support anything older than an eighth-generation Intel processor and the Ryzen 2000 series processor.
This means that you'll be stuck using the version of Windows 11 that you installed using the ISO file until you manually update using another ISO. This method isn't just tedious. It could require you to format your storage drives when you update and manually patch compatibility issues caused by missing drivers. This isn't impossible, but Microsoft could leave some users no choice.