To say that Microsoft’s minimum system requirements for Windows 11 were a multitude could be a touch of irony. But a month before its formal launch, the corporate remains to clarify the conditions which will make a computer eligible for that upgrade. Sometimes, those clarifications can significantly change the sport for a few users or testers, like those using virtual machines or VMs that have suddenly found themselves unable to update Windows 11 because Microsoft finally set its foot down on one previously vague requirement.
Microsoft has made the active presence of a TPM 2.0 cryptoprocessor an absolute requirement for Windows 11. Most computers inbuilt the last two or three years already meet this particular requirement, but not all Windows 10 systems do. Custom-built PCs are one such possible case, but even more critical are virtual machines that naturally don’t have that hardware feature.
Until now, Windows Insiders and testers were still ready to run pre-release versions of Windows 11 on virtual machines, mainly because Microsoft hasn’t clarified its requirements for VMs. With the announcement of Build 22000.194, however, it finally made TPM 2.0 a requirement even for virtual machines, which immediately locked out many such testers.
Very few virtual machines are ready to make it appear as if they need TPM hardware. one among those is VMWare Workstation Pro, and another is Microsoft’s own Hyper-V Manager that’s only available on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise editions. In other words, the type of VMs which will require some money to line up and use.
Microsoft did always say that TPM 2.0 may be a requirement, but it’s only now enforced on virtual machines, and that’s probably why it said that running Windows 11 on VMs and Apple M1 Macs is an unsupported scenario. That said, Parallels Desktop 17 did recently add a TPM 2.0 module, satisfying that requirement and practically sidestepping Microsoft’s statement.