Since its launch, Windows 11 has been plagued by compatibility issues due to its high requirements that excluded many PCs. But now even more will be left behind thanks to a new update.
The upcoming 24H2 version update, which is rumored to launch in September 2024, will no longer start on computers using very old processors; more precisely, the type that does not support the POPCNT (population count) instruction, according to Bob Pony, Twitter user/X.
Many system files will require the CPU POPCNT instruction from the Windows 11 kernel to USB XHCI drivers, the tweet states, meaning any processor without this instruction cannot run the operating system.
POPCNT became the standard in processors in the mid-2000s, starting with AMD’s Barcelona architecture, followed by the first generation Intel Core i-series processors. This means that PCs manufactured within the last 15 years should not be affected by this new Windows 11 requirement. It also should not affect modern PCs not supported by the operating system, so those who managed to find a workaround will still be able to run Windows after the update.
Windows 11 support might be the best option
As unfriendly as this new update is for those using PCs with older processors, it makes sense from Microsoft’s perspective to force users to run Windows 11 on newer machines. The 24H2 update will usher in massive changes that will focus heavily on next-gen AI experiences, along with various performance and security updates and new features.
In order to ensure that all of these new features actually work as intended with the operating system, the tech giant needs to ensure that the technical requirements are up to par to run them – especially as it expands the socket supporting Microsoft Copilot, as this is supposed to improve Windows. interface and increase productivity in terms of applications, search, etc.
And as off-putting as the growing focus on Copilot and other AI features and tools may be, at least Microsoft is focus only on Windows 11 update and does not appear to be moving to an entirely new operating system, Windows 12. While tempting, such a move could fracture an already sharply divided user base that still supports Windows 10.
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