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Microsoft accidentally let anyone upgrade to Windows 11

A Microsoft representative blamed everything on a ‘bug.’

Windows 11 logo
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft seeded the latest Windows 11 22H2 Release Preview to members of its Windows Insiders program earlier this week.

But the upgrade has taken off to a shaky start, with Microsoft accidentally offering the upgrade to owners of unsupported machines.

Reports of the glitch first emerged on Tuesday as owners of unsupported Windows 10 PCs enrolled in the Release Preview Channel suddenly discovered their computers met Redmond’s steep entry requirements.

READ MORE: Windows 12 release date — when is it coming out?

Windows 11 requires an eighth-generation Intel Core CPU or AMD Ryzen 3000-series processor as a minimum. It also insists on support for Secure Boot, as well as a TPM 2.0 module. Many computers — even those sold within the past few years — fail to clear that hurdle.

READ MORE: Oops! Microsoft AI team accidentally spills 38 TB of data

It’s possible to circumvent these requirements by installing Windows 11 from a USB flash drive or DVD. Microsoft strongly discourages the practice, however.

It argues newer PCs can deliver a more reliable experience and take advantage of Windows 11’s security features. In practice, Windows 11 runs perfectly fine on older hardware — with the exception of occasional nag messages.

The sudden loosening of Windows 11’s hardware requirements led some to speculate about a change of heart within Microsoft. Sadly, this isn’t the case.

In a response to the tweet posted above, an ashen-faced Microsoft representative blamed a ‘bug’ and said it was investigating the issue.

Users who upgraded to the latest Windows 11 release candidate can roll back to Windows 10, should they wish.

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Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Past work can be found on The Register, Reason, The Next Web, and Wired.

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