After announcing Windows 11 at a special event, Microsoft is now busy publishing tons of documentation for the operating system to come this fall. Following minimum specs and the list of removed and deprecated features, Microsoft has published the list of hardware requirements for OEMs to build devices running Windows 11 out of the box.
The document reveals some exciting changes coming soon to the Windows ecosystem. First, manufacturers are now required to equip their laptops with Windows Precision Drivers. That change will ensure that even the cheapest Windows 11 laptops come with accurate multi-touch trackpads with gestures support. Unfortunately, with Windows 10, you can still buy a premium, expensive laptop that comes with a miserable, inaccurate, and unresponsive touchpad.
Second, Microsoft plans to make webcams mandatory on almost every Windows 11 machine. For now, the company does not require OEMs to pair every notebook or tablet with a front-facing or rear camera. In 2023, that policy will change. Microsoft will begin demanding manufacturers to equip every Windows 11-based PC (except for desktops) with a web camera. As for rear-facing cameras, those will remain optional.
A mere webcam existence in a modern PC is not the only requirement Microsoft plans to impose on January 1, 2023. The company wants to make sure Windows laptops come with decent, not potato-like, useless cameras. While Windows 10 requires a webcam to have a minimum VGA resolution (that remains unchanged since Windows 7 era), Windows 11 bumps that spec up to HD (1280x720.) Also, a webcam should be capable of exposure and white balance auto-adjustment for a better video calling experience. The rest of the spec sheet remains unchanged: 15 FPS or higher in a well-lit scene and 10 FPS or better in low-light conditions. Autofocus, unfortunately, remains optional.
If you do not plan to buy a new laptop soon, make sure to check the Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements for existing PCs. They include notable changes, such as 64-bit CPU support only and UEFI-only with Secure Boot and TPM 2.0.
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