With Windows 10 having many versions and a long list of device types running across those versions, Microsoft has published the minimum requirements and which devices run on each version of Windows 10. The full article has tables breaking down every little detail but these are the highlights for Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 for desktops. The minimum requirements are surprisingly low in some in cases.
Microsoft starts off by clarifying between all the different types of Windows 10, including three versions of Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT). The versions listed in the post are Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 IoT Mobile, Windows 10 for desktop editions (Home, Pro, and Enterprise), Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, Windows Server Technical Preview, and Windows 10 IoT Core. They then break down the minimum requirements.
Windows 10 Mobile minimum requirements
Windows 10 Mobile has some requirements that are lower than expected. Microsoft lists the minimum requirement for RAM at 512 MB for 32-bit OS, and 1GB for devices that run Windows 10 IoT Mobile. For storage the minimum requirement is 4 GB flash storage. Screens have to be less than 8 inches and have a resolution of 800 x 480 or higher. Touch, touch pads, and digitals are options for Windows 10 Mobile devices and so are forward facing cameras. Rear facing cameras are required for phones running Windows 10 Mobile but optional for other devices running it or Windows 10 IoT Mobile. The minimum requirement for cameras was lowered to VGA quality which is rather low.
When it comes to wireless connectivity devices have to have 2G, 2.5 G and 3G but 4G is optional. Bluetooth is now also optional as well as FM radio and NFC. Wi-Fi and A-GNSS (Assisted Global Navigation Satellite System) are required for phones but optional for other devices. Phones have to have Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity while other devices only need one option.
Accelerometers, magnetometers, ambient light sensors, proximity sensors, and gyroscopes are all optional as are micro SD cards.
The processors supported by Windows 10 Mobile are the Snapdragon 810, 808, 615, 210 and the Intel X3 Sofia LTE chipset in addition to many older chips. The Microsoft post explains those using codes but WMPowerUser translated them.
Windows 10 for desktop edition requirements
Devices running Windows 10 for desktop will have to have a 1GHz processor or SoC. They’ll also require 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit OS and 2 GB of RAM for 64-bit OS. They’ll have to have 16 GB and 20GB of storage for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems respectively.
Screens have to be 8 inches or greater with a minimum resolution of 800 x 600.
Touch, touch pads, and stylus are optional as are cameras both rear and front facing, audio, microphones, earpieces and loud speakers.
Every form of connectivity listed is optional including 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 4G, LTE cellular, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, A-GNSS, FM radio, and NFC but they do have to have at least one of the network connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Ethernet.
Similarly all sensors listed are optional. That isn’t surprising as not many desktops have need for an accelerometer.
It’s surprising to see some of the requirements for Windows 10 Mobile to be lower than Windows Phone 8.1 but these are minimum requirements, not specs for an actual device. There’s a chance that we’ll never have devices scraping the bottom of these requirements.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile