Yesterday we wrote that Microsoft's Windows 11 wouldn't technically leave millions behind. However, the company assured us that it won't block you installing Windows 11 on an older CPU as long as you manually install an ISO file. It turns out that even this technicality is not without its technicalities. Microsoft threatens to withhold Windows Updates and possibly security updates from your copy Windows 11 if you choose that route.
We are not certain why Microsoft didn't mention it during our initial briefing. However, Microsoft has since informed The Verge that those without support for Windows will not be able to receive Windows Updates and that security and driver updates may be withheld.
Are you a genuine threat or a CYA?
This could be a cover-yourss move on Microsofts behalf. Microsoft could not issue critical security updates, as we have seen them offer support and sometimes free patches even after it has retired an operating system. To avoid legal problems down the line, I would probably just wish to dissuade people from believing that I offered technical support and warranty for all possible configurations of PCs. It is better to overpromise than underdeliver.
It is possible that Microsoft really does intend to withhold patches at some time in the future, possibly even at launch. Microsoft did not respond to our request for clarification, suggesting that they are happy to accept this as a threat.
Windows 11 is not only about security updates. If you are unable or unwilling to replace your Intel 8th-Gen CPU, Windows 11 could theoretically allow you to go back to manually downloading driver updates for your hardware. This is something I havent had to think about in years. Windows 10 was a delight from the beginning, seamlessly working with my old laptop. (Although the generic drivers included with Windows are sometimes sufficient.
Feature updates tend to be less important than they used to be. If you're the type of person who would want to install Windows 11 ISOs on your computer, then you can download the latest ISO and perform an in-place-install. My machine was completely re-formatted with the Windows 10 2H21 ISO. There was very little to do afterward. Microsoft may change its mind regarding future ISOs system requirements.
Why should we be left in the dark? My best guess is what I said yesterday about how Windows 11's upgrade situation has become more confusing. The company seems to want to force Windows users to purchase a new computer, regardless of whether or not they have one. Yesterday, we were told by the company that there was a loophole which could be used to placate some vocal power users of Windows who don't want to part with their old hardware. Microsoft reserves the right to make the loophole less appealing if it gets in the way Microsoft's plans.