Microsoft introduced its all new Windows 11 operating system, and to some rave reviews as well. The company is also offering a free upgrade to Windows 11 to anyone running the Windows 10 version. So far so good but the problem is, Windows 11 won’t fit into all devices that are currently running Windows 10. And that includes several Surface devices as well.
What that means is, there are going to be many who are going to be left out of the fun. The reason being that such devices don’t meet the minimum hardware requirements that apply to Windows 11. Another reason Windows 11 will be inaccessible to many of the devices currently on Windows 10 is that those likely miss out on the TPM 2.0 module that takes security to another level altogether.
Now, to get to the Surface devices that would be getting the Windows 11 upgrade, a general rule of thumb is that any of the devices that shipped prior to 2017 isn’t likely to make the cut. Of the 25 Surface devices Microsoft has shipped so far that run Windows 10 (Surface Duo isn’t in this list and it runs Android), only 13 will be getting Windows 11. Also, most of the Surface Pro models will be left ineligible.
According to Microsoft, the Surface-branded devices that will be able to run Windows 11 include the following.
- Surface Book 3 (May 2020)
- Surface Book 2: only the models with 8th-gen Intel CPUs (Core i5-8350U or Core i7-8650U, not the Core i5-7300U) (Nov. 2017)
- Surface Go 2 (May 2020)
- Surface Laptop 4 13.5” (Apr. 2021)
- Surface Laptop 4 15” (Apr. 2021)
- Surface Laptop 3 13.5” (Oct. 2019)
- Surface Laptop 3 15” (Oct. 2019)
- Surface Laptop 2 (Oct. 2018)
- Surface Laptop Go (Oct. 2020)
- Surface Pro 7+ (Feb. 2021)
- Surface Pro 7 (Oct. 2019)
- Surface Pro 6 (Oct. 2018)
- Surface Pro X (Nov. 2019)
Meanwhile, here is the list of Surface devices that won’t be able to run Windows 11.
- Surface Book 3
- Surface Book 2: only the models with 8th-gen Intel CPUs
- Surface Go 2
- Surface Laptop 4 13.5”
- Surface Laptop 4 15”
- Surface Laptop 3 13.5”
- Surface Laptop 3 15”
- Surface Laptop 2
- Surface Laptop Go
- Surface Pro 7+
- Surface Pro 7
- Surface Pro 6
- Surface Pro X
Now, the matter again isn’t as straightforward as it might seem, with the confusion having its origins right within the Redmond headquarters itself. For the minimum hardware requirement for running Windows 11 as put forth by Microsoft does not seem to agree with the Compatibility for Windows 11 documentation that the Windows engineering team prepared for Microsoft’s partners.
The company had also introduced the PC Health Check app that was supposed to inform users if their current PC is able to support Windows 11. However, the result it is showing is often found to not being in the same line as what the official documentation on this claimed.
In short, there seems some confusion with Windows 11 at the moment as to the devices it can run on, and much of that has to do with differences in opinion between the engineering division and the marketing division within Microsoft. Let us just hope things clear up soon enough.