Microsoft: Windows 11 rollout is going so well, we're making it available to more PCs

But Microsoft has also blocked Windows 11 upgrades for PCs with an incompatible Intel driver.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft says it's seeing a "high rate of positive update experience" for Windows 10 users upgrading to Windows 11, so it's ramping up availability again. 

Microsoft is growing more confident in the Windows 11 rollout, which began on October 5 and was accelerated in late October after its machine-learning models determined that it was safe for more PCs running Windows 10

The big hitch with Windows 11 adoption is that Microsoft has imposed strict minimum hardware requirements for the new OS. According to one estimate, only half of enterprise workstations meet those requirements today.

SEE: Windows 11 FAQ: Our upgrade guide and everything else you need to know

Nonetheless, on the hardware that actually meets Microsoft's hardware requirements, the experience is good enough to expand the Windows 11 rollout. 

"In our first phases of the Windows 11 rollout we are consistently seeing a high rate of positive update experiences and user feedback for eligible devices, identified using our latest generation machine-learning model," Microsoft said on the Windows 11 health dashboard

"Based on this data, we are advancing the pace of the rollout faster than we originally announced, and now making the Windows 11 upgrade more broadly available to eligible Windows 10 devices."

At best, eligible Windows PCs account for about 40% of the 1.3 billion PCs running Windows 10. However, Microsoft seems confident that most organizations will have moved to new hardware that supports Windows 11 by October 2025, when it will stop patching Windows 10.   

Microsoft this week released Windows 10 version 21H2, a minor update that it confirmed will be the last semi-annual feature release of Windows 10; it will be switching to annual releases from now until October 2025. While it is still supporting Windows 10 during this period, Microsoft wants people to update to Windows 11. 

But Windows 11 has been plagued by a range of bugs affecting features like the Taskbar, search and the Start menu

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that the Microsoft Installer might have problems updating apps, including Kaspersky antivirus.  

"Affected apps might fail to open after an update or repair has been attempted," Microsoft noted. 

The workaround involves uninstalling the affected app and then installing the latest version of the app.

SEE: Windows 11 upgrade: Five questions to ask first

And, as is often the case with new Windows releases, Windows 11 has run into some compatibility problems with Intel hardware drivers. This one, affecting drivers for certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST), causes a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error

"Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen," Microsoft noted. 

The issue was widespread and severe enough for Microsoft to stop offering Windows 11 to Windows 10 devices with this Intel driver. 

"To safeguard your upgrade experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on devices with affected Intel SST drivers from being offered Windows 11," Microsoft said.

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