Microsoft's Windows 11 Workaround For Unsupported CPUs Comes With A Show-Stopping Caveat

windows 11 hero
Here's an interesting twist on a story that we brought you yesterday regarding Windows 11. There has been a lot of consternation about Windows 11 and its support (or rather lack of support) for popular processors.

For example, first-generation AMD Ryzen processors aren't officially supported, and they were released not too long ago, in early 2017. Therefore, PCs with these processors aren't supported at all by Microsoft when upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11. However, Microsoft confirmed yesterday that enthusiasts and businesses could get around this limitation by performing a clean Windows 11 install with an ISO.

The company didn't make clear at that time that while this workaround will allow you to install Windows 11, you will not have access to Windows Update. In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft said that these technically "unsupported" systems won't access Windows Update and may potentially be barred from downloading security and driver updates.

That is a lousy security move for a company that has previously prided itself on maintaining Windows 10 “ecosystem health.” So, in essence, with this move, Microsoft is saying, "We'll allow you to use your unsupported CPU, but the lack of critical OS and security updates that you'll need to be protected online will make you regret that decision."

With this policy clarification, we wouldn't advise anyone to use the unsupported processor workaround, which is likely what Microsoft is banking on as well. Instead, customers will likely weigh the positives and negatives and just purchase newer hardware to use Windows 11 or stick with Windows 10. Microsoft even encouraged the latter option yesterday, writing:

For those who are using a PC that won't upgrade, and who aren't ready to transition to a new device, Windows 10 is the right choice. We will support Windows 10 through October 14, 2025 and we recently announced that the next feature update to Windows 10 is coming later this year. Whatever you decide, we are committed to supporting you and offering choice in your computing journey.

This somewhat confusing and murky situation brewing with Windows 11 support, and we hope that Microsoft will add some additional clarity over the coming months leading up to the [expected] late October launch. So tell us what you think about Microsoft's Windows 11 conundrum.