Restrictiveness dialled all the way up to 11.
With the release of Windows 11 just around the corner, Microsoft appears to be extending the need for the security module to any type of Windows installation. As Microsoft tries to explain why we need TPM 2.0 enabled to run its latest operating system, the company says it will also be required for virtual machines.
Since the announcement of Windows 11, Microsoft hasn’t been entirely upfront in terms of what users would need to run the new OS. Things like Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 weren’t mentioned during Microsoft’s presentation back in June, causing confusion when people wanted to know if they could have Windows 11 installed on their machines. Thankfully, this problem appears to be solved.
Recently, though, the company has tried to make things clear, stating that “we need to talk about TPM 2.0”:
Ummmm…. yeah…. we need to talk to you about TPM 2.0 and Windows 11.
— Microsoft Support (@MicrosoftHelps) September 8, 2021
Aside from mentioning that Windows 11 requires TPM for security-related features, the memo informs us that many recent PCs can actually run TPM 2.0, but the module comes disabled by default. Furthermore, there are instructions on how to enable the feature by accessing the UEFI BIOS setup and looking for labels such as “Security Device, Security Device Support, TPM State, AMD fTPM switch, AMD PSP fTPM, Intel PTT, or Intel Platform Trust Technology.”
The reason for mentioning Intel and AMD is that CPUs can have embedded TPMs. That means that you might be able to run Windows 11 even if your motherboard doesn’t feature the module.
Additionally, the requirement has been extended further. Virtual machines also need to have TPM 2.0 enabled, since the Windows 11 Insider Preview update to Build 22458.
The update notes also state that “previously generated VMs running Insider Preview builds may not update to the current preview releases,” and that the OS will continue to run normally in VMs produced in virtualization technologies such as VMware and Oracle as long as hardware requirements are met.
With less than two weeks until the release of Windows 11, it’s evident that Microsoft will not back down on the contentious system requirement, and perhaps for good reason (we will have to wait and see). If you plan to upgrade your operating system and want to learn more about TPM, go here.