Making people feel bad about the PCs they use is a weird attempt to be popular, but it looks like Microsoft might be doing just that.
According to the latest version of Windows (opens in a new tab)Windows 11 January 2023 Update, which continues to roll out globally, has started showing a new desktop watermark that says “Unmet System Requirements”.
When Windows 11 launched, it came with a complex set of requirements, including the need for TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module), a rather obscure feature that allowed many PCs and laptops to run Windows 11. no problem. (as they did with Windows 10), being deemed unsuitable for the operating system.
This led to a situation where people with new and powerful PCs were told they couldn’t run Windows 11, as well as people with older hardware who, until then, hadn’t felt the need to upgrade.
It wasn’t long before workarounds appeared to allow people whose hardware didn’t meet the minimum recommended requirements to install Windows 11 – and for a while it looked like they could run the operating system without TPM 2.0.
It’s time to harass
However, it seems that Microsoft is not content to let this continue, as it is testing the implementation of a visible watermark on PC desktops that do not meet the requirements. While Microsoft isn’t (yet) blocking updates for these machines, some people may find the watermark annoying enough to upgrade their PCs.
Annoying people to spend money updating their hardware is definitely a risky way to get people on your side, and from Microsoft it will likely claim that these watermarks act as a warning that the PC used is not secure.
This argument might be more convincing if Microsoft clarified the benefits of TPM 2.0. The fact that people who have used Windows 10 (and even Windows 11) on devices without TPM 2.0 without any issues will also undermine Microsoft’s claims.
Instead, it’ll probably just annoy people, and most will either ignore the watermarks or find a workaround to remove them. Meanwhile, for people who simply can’t afford new hardware, the watermark might make them feel ashamed of the devices they use.
Rather than take this approach, Microsoft would be better off emphasizing the importance of TPM 2.0-compliant hardware or (even better) changing the Windows 11 requirements so that more people can use it officially.
We’ll keep an eye on this to see if Microsoft eventually includes the watermark for everyone in future Windows 11 updates.
Leave a Reply