Microsoft got a lot of things right with the Windows 11, carrying out an unexpectedly exciting launch for the first big update to the platform in over five years. However, one system requirement for Windows 11 has confused many — the fact that Microsoft’s minimum system requirements recommend TPM 2.0 for the operating system to be supported. Note that it’s a “recommended” requirement, not an essential one. But while Windows 11 won’t require the newest version of TPM, it will not work on devices that don’t have it. Which is where the confusion begins…so well…we have to know what the heck TPM actually is.
What is TPM?
Short for Trusted Platform Module, the TPM is simply a security mechanism built into PCs. Microsoft’s definition for TPM is the following,
‘Trusted Platform Module (TPM) technology is designed to provide hardware-based, security-related functions. A TPM chip is a secure crypto-processor that helps you with actions such as generating, storing, and limiting the use of cryptographic keys. Many TPMs include multiple physical security mechanisms to make it tamper-resistant, and malicious software is unable to tamper with the security functions of the TPM.”
As you can see, the TPM is basically a part of the computer’s hardware (it can be a part of the processor itself, instead of being a separate chip), which allows sensitive information to be secured. It also allows the device to recognize that the Windows being used on the PC is actually the right version and hasn’t been tampered with. Which perhaps explains why Microsoft wants it on all PCs…it could help the company reduce pirated copies of Windows that are still used around the world.
Having said that, if you’re wondering whether this means your PC won’t qualify, you’re probably wrong. TPM is favoured by the PC industry, and it was a requirement for Windows 10 too, which means most modern PCs already have it. However, it could make things difficult for older devices, and affect the overall number of devices that Windows 11 will finally come to.
Microsoft had been able to update billions of devices to Windows 10 when it launched that OS five years ago, don’t be surprised if Windows 11 doesn’t do as well.