For the most part the information the company has released is aimed at system builders to help them figure out what kind of hardware to use for new computers that will ship with Windows 10. But the documents also gives us a pretty good look at the basic system requirements which should help you figure out if your existing devices will be able to run Windows 10.
The system requirements are pretty low: if you’ve got a device that runs Windows 7 or later it can also probably handle Windows 10.
Microsoft is officially adding support for a number of new processors for mobile devices and PCs including:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 208, 210, 615, 808, and 810
- Intel Cherry Trail, Skylake, and Atom x3
- AMD Carrizo and Carrizo-L
Windows 10 for Mobile
The smartphone version of Windows 10 will be able to run on devices with 3 to 7.99 inches that have at least 512MB of RAM and at least 4GB of storage. They’ll also need support for UEFI 2.3.1 with Secure Boot enabled and a processor that supports DirectX 9.
Those are the minimum specs for a phone with an 800 x 480 pixel display. Devices with higher-resolution screens will need more RAM:
- 2560 x 2048 or higher = at least 4GB
- 2048 x 1152 to 2560 x 1660 = at least 3GB
- 1440 x 900 to 1920 x 1200 = at least 2GB
- 960 x 540 to 1366 x 768 = at least 1GB
Mobile devices will also require some rather obvious features including cellular radios, speakers, earpieces, headset jacks, WiFi, vibration, power, and volume buttons.
Interestingly touchscreens are optional — but if a mobile device does support touch it needs to support at least 2-finger multitouch input.
Windows 10 for desktops, notebooks, and tablets
Desktop computers will need at least 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for 32-bit Windows software or 2GB of RAM and 20GB of storage for Windows 10 64-bit.
You’ll also need a device with UEFI 2.3.1 with Secure boot enabled.
Windows 10 Pro will be able to run on devices with 7 inch or larger screens while the consumer version of Windows 10 for desktop will only be available on devices with 8 inch or larger screens. Both will have a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.
Tablets and devices with detachable keyboard will also need to have volume and power buttons.
Both the mobile and desktop versions of Windows 10 will run on hardware with UEFI Secure Boot enabled. It’s up to device makers to decide whether there’s an option to disable it.
At launch, devices that ship with Windows 10 for mobile will also need to have TPM enabled. Again, it’s up to manufacturers to decide whether to give you the option of disabling the feature.
Windows 10 for desktop will be available on devices with or without TPM at launch… but by the summer of 2016 Microsoft will require all computers shipping with the desktop version of the operating system to feature TPM 2.0.