Microsoft warns users to stay away from downloading the Windows 11 update

We saw yesterday that Microsoft accidentally piped Windows 11 to some PCs which do not meet the system requirements, and the software giant has now clarified that this was a mistake, and that any testers errantly offered an upgrade shouldn’t install the new OS on unsupported hardware.

We say testers (known as Windows Insiders), because this pertained to the preview version of Windows 11 for this year’s big update, and occurred when Windows 11 22H2 was pushed to the Release Preview Channel.

As spotted by Windows Latest (opens in new tab), a Microsoft representative acknowledged the mistake on Twitter, and advised that Windows Insiders on ineligible older PCs who’ve mistakenly been presented with the option for a Windows 11 upgrade shouldn’t take it, lest they encounter an installation error.

However, the actual reports from folks who’ve gone ahead and installed Windows 11 vary, with some running into trouble as Microsoft predicts, but others have said the OS works just fine on their unsupported machine.

When the bug was discovered yesterday, Microsoft was quick to pull the update, and pour cold water on the inevitable chatter about whether the software giant was thinking about relaxing the Windows 11 hardware requirements in some manner.

However, Windows Latest reports that some ineligible PCs are still seeing the upgrade banner. If that’s the case, Microsoft is urging users not to perform the upgrade, of course.


Analysis: Another fine mess…

This has been a bit of a mess, really. Offering an upgrade in error is bad enough in the first place, but the fact that there’s still confusion around testers receiving the ability to grab Windows 11 when their PC doesn’t meet the minimum requirements is a pretty poor show.

It doesn’t reflect well on Microsoft’s quality assurance checks within the testing process, with Windows bugs long having been a tiresome subject in terms of their prevalence (and severity in some cases) since Windows 10 first kicked off.

The fact that upgrading seems to work fine for some users doesn’t help, either, despite what Microsoft says about show-stopping errors. One denizen of Twitter wrote (opens in new tab): “I was surprised last night when my surface book offered to download win 11 since it was ineligible before. Installation completed and it seems happy. Is there anything I should check that might not work?”

And therein lies the danger: while such an update to Windows 11 might appear to work okay, the user won’t know if there is something wonky lurking in the background. Just because things seem fine initially, doesn’t mean that some kind of ticking time bomb won’t eventually go off, or that some gaping security hole could be left open for exploit, and havoc might be visited on the host system in one way or another. It’s not hard to imagine performance issues could crop up, either, even if there isn’t a crashing explosion of some variety.

Broadly, then, we’d suggest the risk isn’t worth it for those who might still get this upgrade offer, which apparently remains floating around for some users, and as Microsoft advises, the best course of action is doubtless to steer clear.

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khanhttps://myelectricsparks.com/aizaz-khan/
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

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