Here’s Windows 11 running on a OnePlus 6T months before it gets Android 11 [Video]

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9to5Google 01 July, 2021 - 04:54pm 28 views

Has Windows 11 been released?

Microsoft has officially announced Windows 11, the next major software update, which will be coming to all compatible PCs later this year. Microsoft has officially announced Windows 11, the next major software update that will be coming to all compatible PCs later this year. ... Also, Windows 11 is going to be free. gearpatrol.comWindows 11 Is Coming: Here's What You Need to Know

The skill of developers in the Android world is often incredibly impressive, especially when it comes to getting hardware to do things it shouldn’t. This week, one team managed to get Microsoft’s brand new Windows 11 platform installed on a OnePlus 6T.

The developers behind “The Renegade Project” managed to get Windows 11 booting on the OnePlus 6T with a lot of core functions even in working order (via XDA).

The video below was shared by user edi194, who shows Windows 11 booted and working on a OnePlus 6T, which had already had Windows 10 for ARM installed. The installation process for Windows 11 takes some time, but it does boot, and you can see it being used around the 11-minute mark of the video (turn down your volume).

It’s noted, though, that some core functions of the device are not working. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the speaker are not working, but the touchscreen, USB, and even the GPU in a partial manner all work.

If you’re feeling adventurous, this port can be installed on the OnePlus 6T or, apparently, other Snapdragon 845 devices. The Pixel 3 XL, for example, managed to run Windows 10 in the past. It goes without saying, though, that this comes with the risk of bricking your phone or worse.

It’s almost poetic that this comes as OnePlus itself is struggling to actually release Android 11 for the OnePlus 6T, a task that, at this point, is coming nearly a year after the operating system debuted. OnePlus previously claimed that the update could arrive in August, but only in beta at that point.

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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Windows 11 CPU minimum hardware requirements: what Microsoft is and isn't telling you

OnMSFT.com 01 July, 2021 - 10:03pm

This is different than the TPM 2.0 requirement, in part because with all the ransomware scares we've been seeing lately, requiring TPM is actually a good idea, and also because the vast majority of systems sold since as far back as 2013 have some TPM capabilities, either onboard the CPU, or in firmware, or as an add on motherboard socket/device. There are far more 6th, 7th, and 8th gen devices in use, though, than there are systems without TPM capabilities. Far more.

Even with yesterday's further clarification on minimum hardware requirements, the waters are still muddy both with whether you'll be able to run Windows 11 on pre - 8th gen chips. The now temporarily shuttered PC Health app was pretty clear:

Even though Microsoft updated the app before pulling it entirely, it still draws a hard line: if your PC doesn't meet the hardware specs, you "can't run Windows 11."

But of course that isn't entirely true. First of all, as we've seen with both the leaked build and now the Windows Insider exclusions for the minimum specs, Windows 11 runs just fine (so far) on 7th gen and lower devices. It's also trivial to bypass the TPM check when installing Windows 11 from an ISO, just by replacing one .dll with one from Windows 10. And according to Albacore on Twitter, Windows 11 doesn't even check for CPU generations if you're doing a clean install:

— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) June 29, 2021

... and goes on to say that "CPU generation is not checked when clean installing."

So why bother at all? First, the CPU generations block isn't TPM related at all, it's for "experience reasons," as Director of OS Security David Weston noted:

No, CPU is for experience reasons. The TPM requirement is unrelated.

— DWIZZZLE (@dwizzzleMSFT) June 25, 2021

In the past, however, it was up to the user to decide if they wanted a "great experience," as long as their PCs met minimum specs (which most 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th gen devices do, as long as they're TPM enabled in some way). Is it really a "great experience" for users to have to shell out $1500+ for a new machine because their perfectly good 6th gen device doesn't meet the line in the sand?

So why would Microsoft cause all this consternation to begin with, knowing that a) it's going to upset a lot of people, and b) that the blocks are easily defeated? They're being tight lipped, but there are some possibilities:

One possibility deals with HVCI, which is a Hypervisor security measure (and could affect stuff like the Windows Subsystem for Android, which is used to run Android apps on Windows 11):

I think others have figured it out. The blog post specifically calls out HVCI. If we open the HVCI post, it has an ominous note:https://t.co/kiJOCIQixb pic.twitter.com/8HxTqfm36k

— Justice for All (@NotMeUs2) June 29, 2021

(you'll believe me if I tell you "JFC" stands for "just for clarification," right?) If Android apps fail to perform well on older CPUs, Microsoft could indeed be very reluctant to allow a sub-par experience.

Another possibility is that Microsoft still has further plans for Windows 11, stuff that hasn't been revealed yet, that will require modern processors (including the so far missing Windows Subsystem for Android). Carmen Crincoli, a Microsoft veteran who works on Azure (and makes it clear in his Twitter bio that he "speaks for (him)self, not Microsoft"), tweeted that "(t)he goal is to create a path forward that puts the ecosystem in a stronger place years from now." For one thing, now that TPM is a requirement, however Windows deals with the trusted platform aspects in software could be ripped out, leaving it to TPM to take care of, and leaving computers less vulnerable. There could well be other changes planned to Windows, making it more Windows 10X like as a thinner, lighter, and more secure OS. That's going to take time, though, and it can't be done while dragging legacy systems along.

One note too, before we get to the conspiracy theories: one reason why Microsoft might be ok with restricting access to Windows 11: Windows 10 could soon become very Windows 11 -like. The new Store, the new Office apps, we've already seen many of the new icons, and perhaps quite a bit more of what we're thinking of as "Windows 11" could quickly become a part of Windows 10, just without some of the new stuff like Android apps and Windows on ARM support. The "appification" of Windows, with Edge now being an app instead of being built in to the OS, for example, means that these apps can exist outside any particular OS.

And yes, there are conspiracy theories, the most prevalent being that Microsoft is just trying to force users into buying new machines. That wouldn't, of course, be a bad thing either for OEMs or Microsoft, but if anything, Windows 11 could keep people on Windows 10 for longer.

If Windows on ARM and the Windows Subsystem for Android, HVCI, and a close relationship between Windows 11 and Windows 10 are the reasons why these hardware restrictions are in place, why not just say so? Even with the best intentions, sometimes Microsoft can't get out of its own way.

What do you think? Is Microsoft just trying to spur sales? Or is something more going on? Let us know what you think in the comments.

With Windows 11, Microsoft is firing back at Apple

CNET 01 July, 2021 - 10:03pm

At first blush, Microsoft's Windows 11 looks to be a solid update to the operating system software that powers most of the world's PCs. Windows 11's biggest change is its new streamlined look, reminiscent of smartphones and tablets. Microsoft also added capabilities to help people with the new ways we've all learned to work. That includes built-in video chat software, technology to make video games look better, and more-modern looking buttons and windows for controlling apps and sorting documents.

But its most important feature will be what it doesn't do. After announcing Windows 11 last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said his company is building its technology to work with as many products as possible, including software for competing Google Android-powered smartphones.

"Today, the world needs a more open platform -- one that allows apps to become platforms in their own right," he said. "Windows is a platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born."

He pushed this point by inviting Google to bring its app store onto Windows. He also told developers they're now allowed to sell programs on the Microsoft Store for little to no commission, a stark shift from Apple's and Google's 15% minimum take that's led to lawsuits and antitrust probes around the world. And he said he'd welcome Apple's FaceTime and other technologies on Windows 11 and in the Microsoft Store.

"We want to remove the barriers that too often exist today and provide real choice and connection," he said. "Operating systems and devices should mold to our needs, not the other way around."

Microsoft is building its Teams video chat into Windows 11.

Microsoft's move with Windows 11 marks the latest in a sea change for the world's most highly valued software company. Two decades ago, Microsoft's attempts to crush competitors through its Windows software led a federal judge to declare it a monopoly. Microsoft's sharp-elbowed tactics and problem-prone software made it so reviled that people across the tech landscape shorthanded the company as M$ in chatrooms for what they saw as the company putting profit before the needs of people using its products.

Competitors joined in too. In the early 2000s, Google marketed its nascent search engine with the corporate ethos "Don't be Evil." And when Apple began formulating its "Get a Mac" campaign to help market its computers in 2005, it cast the Microsoft-powered PC as a bumbling and arrogant fool.

"The fact is you're selling like hotcakes now, and I've got to get my message out, so I'm doing a little buzz marketing for good old PC, the only computer you'll ever need," said the character PC, played by comedian John Hodgman, who then holds up signs saying "Amazing!" and "Totally cool!"

But things have changed since then. Google dropped its famous "Don't be evil" corporate mantra in 2015, opting instead for "Do the right thing." (Perhaps not coincidentally, the search giant is now facing antitrust scrutiny itself.) And Apple's controlling approach to the iPhone and its App Store have fueled lawsuits and government investigations in Europe and the US, fueled by complaints from major partners such as Tinder dating app maker IAC, music service Spotify and Fortnite developer Epic Games.

Read more: Windows 11: These are the best new features, and how to use them

Meanwhile, Nadella's been instituting changes at Microsoft since he was named CEO in 2014. He's pushed Microsoft to soften its approach with partners, competitors and even within its own divisions. It's about "the renaissance as much as about just sort of fixing something that's broken," Nadella told CNET in 2018.

Now, with Windows 11, Microsoft sees an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, rather than merely compete. And it'll be coming quick, with the launch planned for later this year after a public beta test period this summer.

"Now is the time," said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research. For a long time, Nadella has told developers that Microsoft is more open, easier to develop on and, with hundreds of millions of PCs sold every year, still a platform with opportunity. Even Microsoft's biggest hurdle -- the lack of a smartphone operating system -- is fading as mobile chips begin to power more PCs and the lines blur further.

That's not to say there's an easy road ahead for Microsoft. Though the company is making its single operating system more accessible to developers, Apple boasts two popular platforms in iOS and MacOS.

"You can't take Apple lightly," Lopez said, noting that there's a "war" going on for the future of tech. 

In the 1990s, when people were buying their first desktops and logging onto the internet for the first time, Microsoft's stated corporate mission was to put "a computer on every desk and in every home." By 2015, it had largely succeeded -- and that groundwork even helped put a computer in everyone's pockets as well. (Despite Microsoft's best efforts, though, the devices didn't have a Windows logo on them).

So what do you do next? Nadella decided he wanted Microsoft to "empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." That thinking ended Microsoft's obsession with Windows, solidifying it more as a company whose products help other company's products run.

But the Microsoft of old didn't entirely go away. Analysts believe Nadella's broadsides against Apple during his Windows 11 launch speech weren't just about knocking Microsoft's biggest frenemy. His tone wasn't jovial, nor was he dismissive like former CEO Steve Ballmer when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs first showed off the iPhone in 2007. Nadella was serious.

"He's attempting to pierce the veil," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, referring to Apple's position as the innovative cool kid in the tech industry. "How many opportunities do you have to pierce the veil?"

Moorhead noted that Microsoft's put a lot of effort into making sure its Office productivity apps, Teams chat software and other programs run well on iPhones, iPads and Macs. But Apple's barely updated iTunes on Windows over the years, and it hasn't even made apps like FaceTime available to download.

Microsoft declined to make Nadella available for an interview to discuss the motivations behind his speech. Whatever his reasons, Nadella's move showed that beneath Microsoft's cool-by-being-uncool veneer, it still has that monopoly-making cutthroat business sense.

"I can see why they envy Apple -- everyone bows down to that company like it's a religious talisman," said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay.

Read more: Windows 11: All the big differences from Windows 10

But attacking Apple may not be enough to change people's perceptions. In 2001, more than nine out of every 10 computers on the planet was powered by Windows. Today, it's closer to seven out of 10, according to StatCounter. 

The iPhone makes Apple a hard nut to crack.

So Nadella may want to position Windows 11 as the anti-Apple, but Microsoft's influence these days largely extends to the people who already have Windows. And those people will either download the free Windows 11 update when it's released this fall or wait until the IT team at their company lets them.

"Microsoft's only competing against themselves," Kay said. "No one else cares."

And if that isn't enough, Microsoft's building its Teams software into Windows in a way similar to how Apple's used FaceTime with its devices. But it's clear Microsoft wants to carve out its own identity with the way it's opening up Windows.

"We're building for the next decade and beyond," Nadella said in that Windows 11 speech. "This is the first version of a new era of Windows."

And maybe most important to him, it won't be Apple.

Stay current on the latest Microsoft news, plus reviews and advice on Windows PCs.

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