Microsoft talks about about commercial Windows 11 upgrade blocks, update paths & more in AMA webcast

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Windows 11 might already be out for beta testing with Windows Insiders, but the minimum requirements mean that a lot of hardware is unable to run the new Microsoft operating system. This has been a source of controversy for many people which is why Aria Carley, a program manager at Microsoft, attempted to address the commercial side of all that and a lot more in a 48-minute long AMA.

First spotted by Tom's Hardware, there are a couple of notable parts in the AMA video (which was published to the Microsoft Tech Community YouTube with comments turned off.) These cover downloading Windows 11, the upgrade blocks, and a bit more.

The first question in the AMA has to do what will happen with commercial Windows 10 devices if they're incompatible with Windows 11 — and what will happen on Windows Update. According to Carley, commercial PCs won't be able to download the Windows 11 upgrade if it doesn't meet the standards, and Microsoft gets that "it sucks."

Please note this is a commercial-focused AMA. Carly's answers mainly cover the non-consumer side of Windows 11 and shouldn't really be taken out of context. But we'll still let you be the judge. In her own words from around the 6-minute mark in the video:

"So we talk about this new hardware floor of what devices are eligible and which aren't and we know it sucks that some aren't gonna be eligible for Windows 11. But the reason we're doing that is to keep devices more productive, have a better experience, and most importantly have better security than before so they can stay protected in this new workforce."

Secondly, Microsoft also went on to talk more about the update mechanism for Windows 11. Carley says Microsoft has delivered the Windows 11 enforcement "inbox" on Windows 10 so that commercial devices will be targeted for Windows 11 without wasting downloads. Carley explained at the 7-minute mark in the video:

"You'll be able to use update compliance and Endpoint to see if Windows 11 is not eligilble for a device. Whether you're using our first party analyics solutions or the scripts we're going to provide you'll be able to see that those devices aren't eliglble and explain why those devices won't get Windows 11."

Third up, Microsoft also talked about situations where IT admins might want to use Group Policy to bypass Windows 11 upgrade blocks. According to Carley, commercial users can't use a Group Policy to get around the hardware block in Windows 11. There's a couple of reasons for this, according to Carley as heard in the 10-minute mark of the video.

"That group policy will not enable you to get around the hardware enforcment for Windows 11.  We're still gonna block you from upgrading your device to an unsupported state since we really want to make sure your devices stay supported and secure."

Other topics covered in the AMA include rolling back to Windows 10 from Windows 11, the speed at which patches are released (19-minute mark,) documenting known issues, and safeguard holds and transparency (22-minute mark,) This video is very interesting, to say the least, as it's one of the first times that Microsoft has gone on camera to talk about issues with Windows 11. Give it a watch and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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