Bad news, VM fans: Windows 11 requirements strike again

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft has revealed that Windows 11 (opens in new tab) will no longer run on all virtual machine software (opens in new tab) following the latest early-access release.

In the changelog (opens in new tab), the company explains the latest Windows 11 preview build is only compatible with VMs that feature TPM 2.0 (opens in new tab) protection, a requirement that also applies to laptops (opens in new tab) and PCs (opens in new tab) running the new OS.

“This build includes a change that aligns the enforcement of the Windows 11 system requirements on virtual machines to be the same as it is for physical PCs,” Microsoft noted.

As a result of the tweak, VMs currently running older Windows 11 preview builds will no longer receive updates. And new Windows 11 VMs created using incompatible virtualization services will not function as desired.

The announcement is not exactly unexpected, but will create consternation among those already put out by the Windows 11 hardware requirements.

Windows 11 on virtual machines

Currently, only a few VM services meet the necessary requirements to run the latest Windows 11 preview build and, by extension, the launch version set to land on October 5.

According to Microsoft, VMs created using the company’s own hypervisor (which comes bundled for free with Windows 10 Pro (opens in new tab)) will run Windows 11 just fine, provided they are set up as “Generation 2” VMs. And, anecdotally (opens in new tab), VMware Workstation Pro is also said to meet the new TPM requirement.

However, it’s currently unclear whether other popular virtualization services - such as Oracle VirtualBox and Citrix Hypervisor - tick the necessary boxes.

TechRadar Pro has contacted both Citrix and Oracle to find out whether (and when) they will look to integrate TPM 2.0 support into their respective services. This article will be updated accordingly.

Update: Sept 21

Oracle has confirmed Oracle has confirmed it is working on a new version of its VirtualBox VM software that will adhere to the new Windows 11 requirements. For more, click here (opens in new tab).

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.