SSDs have a number of advantages over hard drives. They’re almost always faster. They have no moving parts, which also makes them quieter, more energy efficient, and more durable – if you drop a laptop with an SSD, the storage is a lot less likely to break.

So it’s not surprising that most PC makers ship their computers with SSDs these days. But rumor has it that Microsoft wants to make things official and require that PCs shipping with Windows 11 in the future have SSDs as their main boot drives. That doesn’t mean you won’t still be able to buy a PC with a hard drive if you want additional storage space (hard drive storage is typically a lot cheaper, especially if you want a lot of storage). It just means that the HDD will most likely not be the drive that the operating system is installed on.

Anyway, take this with a grain of salt for now, as Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the move yet. But it certainly seems plausible.

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  1. Basically, Microsoft would be admitting that their operating system has become so bloated it’s unusable on a hard drive…which is absolutely true. Possibly even if you bought an expensive, high RPM drive like the one my L440 came with. But I still felt like that booted up and loaded programs just fine until the motherboard died a couple years ago.

    1. Not really following your logic. Their OS has become so simplified that it can run on 64GB of EMMC Flash memory. This sounds like it’s a matter of speed versus OS size or drive capacity.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not loving the fact Windows 11 comes with so many hardware restrictions. I cringe every time I read about a new one.

      1. It really has become quite bloated over the years though. I remember when people used to complain that Vista was such a resource hog but today Windows Vista is a pretty lightweight OS compared to Windows 11. Vista needed only 512 MB of RAM (384 MB for most basic editions) and its install size was only around 5 GB.

        Not to mention Vista remained the foundation for several versions of Windows through Windows 10 and it’s still quite capable in terms of functionality today especially with kernel extensions that brings it up to parity with later versions of Windows. Of course newer versions of Windows can do more than Vista but it’s not really a huge difference in functionality.

      2. Well, the way the rumor phrases it I think it’s good. It only states that it’s a requirement for PCs SHIPPING with Windows 11. This means that 1) it technically does not impede anyone from installing it on a hard drive if they so wished, and 2) it keeps manufacturers from truly cheaping out on low-end hardware (I’ve still seen low and medium end hardware that compromises by giving a hard drive rather than an SSD, this obviously matters a bit more with laptops)

        1. I actually think it might create a market for low end SSDs with crappy specs to allow manufacturers meet the requirement on the cheap.

          1. That is a real possibility. We’ll have to see if the cheap SSDs perform better than the HDDs they would have used (personally I would prefer them in a laptop since I wouldn’t have to worry about it being jostled).

      3. Oh man, I started a big argument.
        Okay, look, what I mean by “unusable” is that when booting from most hard drives you’re going to be worried about someone standing over your shoulder getting mad at you for making them wait. Obviously you can USE windows on a hard drive, as long as you never have to worry about that.

    2. I don’t when is the last time you tried bootin MacOS or a full distro of Linux from a HDD, but operating systems in general have come to normalize SSDs to make their bloated systems load at an acceptable speed.

      Apple sold base edu-bound entry-level iMacs with 1 TB 5400rpm HDDs as late as 2021 (that model came out in 2017 but was retired only in 2021) to give you an idea. Using MacOS was not a pleasant experience.