Want to know if your computer, phone, or tablet will be able to run Windows 10 when the operating system launches this summer? Microsoft is starting to talk about hardware requirements.

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.

win10 surface

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.

Security 

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.

via WinBeta

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20 replies on “Microsoft outlines system requirements for Windows 10”

  1. Have to laugh. 90% of these requirements are due to M$ wanting to ensure they have control over your software and hardware (new “feature” of WinX – they can remotely lock out your computer if they deem it necessary). Gotta luv a monopoly flexing its muscle. ^_^

  2. What about minimum CPU specs, so far I can’t find a site that says any more than minimum 1GHz. or X86 Processor.
    What about the instruction set requirements!

  3. Ah…this hurts…I have a Mac, so I can’t run Windows 10 on it. I love it, though. I’ve also got an 11 year old Gateway desktop with an Intel Celeron 2.53GHz processor, complete with 80 GB of HD space. I wonder if it can run 10. If not, then I’ll just have to stick with 7.

    1. That depends on which specific Celeron you have and if you can run Aero on Win7. I know for sure you have a Celeron D 32x based on the clock speed and age; the question is which one. If it’s the 325J or the 326, you’re good to go. The regular 325’s don’t have NX bit, so no Windows 10 for you.

      Also, you need to have an Aero-capable GPU for Windows 10, which basically comes down to any Shader Model 2.0 capable GPU except the GMA 900.

  4. I heard Win10 might crawl like a turtle on some Laptops with only 2 GB of Ram.
    Also they were having a hard time with some videocards drivers and sound configuration.

    I hope they don’t rush Win10 without properly testing it.

    1. I doubt it. I’m testing Windows 10 Tech Preview on an old Asus Atom netbook with 1GB of RAM, and it’s just the same speed and functionality as Windows 7 Starter. Also running it on my Surface Pro, couldn’t be more pleased with both systems right now. Any more changes they make from here to the new OS shouldn’t effect performance significantly.

  5. The chains tighten. Last round it was only the arm based Windows RT that enforced secure boot. Now they require it but leave the OEMs the option to let the user disable it…. what isn’t said is whether Windows will still boot if you manage to disable it.

    It won’t be long before they cut off the penguin’s air supply, just like they did Netscape. Remove commodity PC hardware and Linux gets relegated to servers and very high end workstations.

    1. Nah, we will still be able to use Ubuntu and Fedora. 🙂

      Linux will be okay running in millions of Smartphones and Tablets too.

      The Penguin gets stronger everyday, trust me.

      Sometimes I wonder if Windows will still be around 5 years from now.

      1. Windows will be the dominant desktop/laptop platform for many years to come. Nothing lasts forever, but I doubt things will change significantly until the home/business computing paradigm shifts away from desktop/laptop PCs.

      2. And it’ll still be around, just different. We’ll still be using PCs whatever the kind of technology is out there.

    2. If they try those shenanigans, the government will slap them down hard, unless the Republicans have abolished the antitrust legislation in the meantime.

    3. You do know they support Linux booting with Secure Boot enabled? Linux Foundation provided a bootloader that can work with Secure Boot well over a year ago…

      It’s just still easier to support most distros with it disabled and many can still have problems working with UEFI instead of a BIOS, especially if you only have a 32bit UEFI and not a 64bit UEFI… but most OEMs will provide the option to disable Secure Boot… You mainly only have to worry on mobile devices that usually remained locked down…

      While it should be remembered that UEFI is more like its own OS rather than just a FW like BIOS… So Secure Boot has a valid reason to exist because UEFI is more vulnerable to boot based attacks… It can even access the Internet without booting the main operating system…

      1. Of course I know that. They have a signed bootloader that will load unsigned code. Which voided the whole concept of a trusted boot chain the second Microsoft permitted it to happen. That is your first clue.

        Expect the keys that will load that bootloader to become ‘developer’ keys and ‘consumer’ hardware to stop carrying it. They did it because developers DO need it. For now at least. RedHat is hard at work building the whole chain, Trusted Bootloader loads Trusted Kernel which only loads Signed/Trusted executables into the root space.

        Once they have that all in place, RedHat will still be free to sell on the closed platforms of the future. But only RedHat and a few other large players who can have their their keys added into the firmware, perhaps only on hardware they will be co-branding.

        At this point the PC is the odd one, all other platforms are closed and the trend is to lock them harder, not make them more open. Most run Linux but that doesn’t make them open, binary device drivers and locked/undocumented boot processes with little to no rescue capability in case of a mistake make loading an alternate OS on most non-PC hardware something only a die hard hacker would attempt.

        1. Uh, no… MS even allows any 3rd party to acquire a key for Secure Boot…

          You’re confusing conspiracy assumptions with what is actually available and what will happen!

          If MS really did that then they could easily be sued! Which should have been your first clue!

          While the issues of locked down hardware in other markets has more to do with proprietary issues, DRM overkill protection, etc…

          But you’d have to ignore all the efforts to make more open hardware available to really think there is no push back to those trends…

  6. Does this mean running x86 “classic” Windows apps will be possible on x86 7″ tablets after all (via Windows Pro)? Previously there was the worry that anything less than 8″ would be limited to Windows Store apps.

    1. Yes, systems that get upgraded can have screens as small as 7″… The minimal resolution only needs to be 800×640… It’s just new systems will default to 8″ and larger because that’s where the market has gone, separating mobile usage for 7″ and smaller (mind you can get a phablet that is nearly 7″ now) and full PC functionality for devices 8″ and larger, primarily because it’s too hard to use the desktop on smaller screens for most regular users… especially, those who don’t have perfect vision and/or may have too large hands to deal with tiny icons, etc… Mind, capacitive touch screens are a lot less accurate than a mouse and most devices still don’t offer a pen/stylus option…

    1. This is required only for new devices, you will be able to install Win10 on your current machine.

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