Microsoft has been pretty good at letting people with incompatible PCs run Windows 11, but now it’s starting to tighten the thumbscrews. Users have noticed that now a new watermark appears on the Windows 11 desktop, which explains that the user’s PC is incompatible with the operating system.
The new Windows 11 watermark
As further reported Windows Latest, Microsoft has started adding a watermark to PCs that can’t run Windows 11 but still is. The watermark tells everyone that the PC’s system is not up to par and looks similar to the watermark on unactivated copies of Windows.
Additionally, when you visit the Settings app, you’ll see a small message under your computer’s name claiming that “System requirements [are] not met.” It also adds a link to “learn more” about the error directing the user to the Windows 11 system requirements.
Luckily, these alerts only appear on the desktop and in the Settings app and don’t interfere with using the PC. So if you don’t mind the watermark, you can safely ignore it.
Microsoft’s new approach to incompatible Windows 11 PCs
Microsoft has given users a love-hate relationship over installing Windows 11 on a PC that doesn’t meet the requirements. On the one hand, Windows 11 doesn’t check your hardware during installation, so you can install it manually using an ISO on any PC.
However, Microsoft has also stated that incompatible Windows 11 PCs will not receive updates through Windows Update, as we covered in our article on whether it’s okay to install Windows 11 on an incompatible PC. And for some, that caveat is too big of an issue to justify installing Windows 11 on anything less than standard.
Therefore, Microsoft may increase its pressure on incompatible PCs in the future as it tries to usher people into a new era. We’ll have to see if its efforts are enough to convince people to upgrade, or if users will find workarounds for whatever the tech giant throws at them.
A rocky future for incompatible Windows 11 PCs
Now that Microsoft is putting pressure on those with incompatible PCs, installing Windows 11 on older hardware becomes a lot more annoying. However, whether they are effective in convincing people to upgrade their hardware remains to be seen.
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