By now, your IT department might be starting to think about a Windows 11 upgrade and adopting Microsoft’s new operating system that comes after six years of Windows 10.
Windows 11 is a major upgrade from Windows 10, featuring productivity, security and administrative enhancements that Microsoft says will transform the way organizations work. However, the company imposed some restrictive minimum hardware requirements that will leave many unable to upgrade to the new operating system without issues.
In fact, one IT management company’s research shows that more than 55% of enterprise workstations are not capable of being upgraded.
According to Lansweeper, which collected data from an estimated 30 million Windows devices from 30,000 organizations, an average of just 44.4% of workstations can receive the automatic upgrade.
Microsoft will allow users to upgrade to Windows 11 if they don’t meet minimum requirements, but future updates won’t be guaranteed.
Windows 11 requires devices to have:
- A 1GHz processor or faster with two or more cores on a 64-bit processor or SOC
- 4GB of RAM and at least 64GB of storage
However, automatic an Windows 11 upgrade has additional system requirements, including:
- Secure boot capabilities
- TPM 2.0
Lansweeper found that an average of 44.4% of CPUs work workstations tested met the system requirements. Only about half met the TPM requirements, while over 19% failed and 28% were not TPM compatible or did not have it enabled. However, 91% passed the RAM test.
Those figures are even worse for virtual machines. CPU compatibility is slightly higher at 44.9%, but only 66.4% have enough RAM and just 0.23% have TPM 2.0 enabled.
Lansweeper notes that this isn’t much of a surprise, as TMP has never been required for Windows. TPM passthrough exists to give virtual machines a TPM, but it is rarely used, so most VM workstations will need to be modified to get a vTPM before upgrading.
On physical servers, TPMs passed the test just 1.49% of the time, which means the vast majority would fail to upgrade if Microsoft creates a server operating system with similar requirements. For virtual servers, there are almost none that are TPM-enabled, according to Lansweeper.
These figures mean that many organizations hoping to transition to Windows 11 will have to purchase entirely new workstations that already meet these system requirements.
If your organization is taking a wait-and-see approach with Windows 11, you aren’t alone. As of the first of November, just 0.2% made the jump to Windows 11, while Windows 10 remains the most popular Windows OS at 81.48% adoption, according to Lansweeper.
Still outperforming Windows 11 are Windows XP and Windows 7 at 2.62% and 5.98%, respectively. Both are largely unsupported by Microsoft, which means bugs and security vulnerabilities are no longer patched.
Microsoft has pledged to continue supporting at least one version of Windows 10 until October 2025, so organizations that have not yet thought about a Windows 11 upgrade still have a few years to plan their transition.