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Microsoft Now Says Windows 11 TPM Requirement Is For Version 2.0

The company has updated its documentation to say that its previous guidance on the minimum TPM security requirements was incorrect, and that TPM 1.2 is no longer considered to be sufficient.

Microsoft has updated its documentation around the minimum Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security requirements for installing Windows 11, saying now that PCs will be required to have a TPM 2.0 chip in order to run the operating system.

In the updated documentation, Microsoft has removed the reference to a “hard floor” for Windows 11 that would’ve allowed PCs with TPM 1.2 to still install the new OS.

[Related: Microsoft Partners: Windows 11 Is An ‘Important’ Update For Security, Productivity, Collaboration]

Now, Microsoft says the compatibility requirement for Windows 11 is, in fact, a TPM 2.0 chip. “This article has been updated to correct the guidance around the TPM requirements for Windows 11,” Microsoft says on the documentation page.

TPM 2.0 was only released in 2019, suggesting that PCs made prior to that year may be incompatible with Windows 11.

In an email to CRN on Friday, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that “TPM 2.0 is a minimum requirement; Windows 11 will not install without it.” The spokesperson also noted that TPM 2.0 is a “an industry standard, not just something Microsoft follows.”

In its announcement of Windows 11 on Thursday, Microsoft had said that a security chip, such as the TPM 2.0 chip, would be required to run the operating system on a PC.

However, Microsoft’s original documentation had characterized TPM 2.0 as a recommendation rather than a requirement. According to the original documentation, as long as a PC had at least TPM 1.2 - which was released in 2011 - it would meet the minimum security requirements for Windows 11. Microsoft had said that devices with TPM 1.2 would “receive a notification that upgrade is not advised,” but wouldn’t be prohibited from installing Windows 11.

Microsoft’s updated documentation removes those references, instead listing TPM 2.0 as one of the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

“Devices that do not meet the hardware requirements cannot be upgraded to Windows 11,” Microsoft says on the documentation page.

Solution provider partners of Microsoft have told CRN that the decision to require TPM 2.0 is a positive move for bolstering security among customers.

“It’s great to see Microsoft taking more serious steps in making sure their OS is as secure as possible,” said Miguel Zamarripa, CIO of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Simpleworks IT. “Any step you can take to harden your security is a positive one, including making TPM 2.0 a requirement.”

Ryan Loughran, reactive service manager at Valiant Technology, a New York-based MSP, said he is glad to see Microsoft “putting security in the forefront” with Windows 11. “Requiring TPM 2.0 is a great move,” he said.

Microsoft also released minimum requirements for Intel, AMD and Qualcomm processors needed to run Windows 11.

For Intel Core chips, support for Windows 11 starts at the eighth-generation line, meaning that PCs with seventh-gen Intel Core chips and older would not be compatible with Windows 11, based on Microsoft’s disclosure.

The first builds of Windows 11 will begin rolling out to Windows Insider testers early next week, and Windows 11 will be generally available this holiday as a free update for compatible Windows 10 PCs, Microsoft said. Windows 11 will only see one major feature update per year, in contrast to the twice-a-year feature updates for Windows 10, the company disclosed.

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