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Windows 11 adoption rates may have just taken a plunge

Windows 11 might be seeing lower adoption rates because of incompatibility with older hardware, according to recent analytics by AdDuplex.

The Microsoft-based cross-promotion advertising app did tests on 5,000 PCs that have the application installed to determine which version of Windows computers run. The test uncovered that only 19.4% of the computers were running Windows 11 and saw just a 0.01 percentage point increase from February’s figures.

Windows 11 device sitting on a stool.

In January, the AdDuplex did a test on 60,000 computers, revealing that Windows 11 adoption had doubled to 16.1%. Why the app chose to do a test on just 5,000 PCs for its most recent test is not known.

Many of the hardware requirements to upgrade to Windows 11, such as various security features and encryptions, are not available on older computers. While Microsoft says PCs made within the past five years should be eligible to update to Windows 11, there could be millions of devices still in use that do not fit those parameters. Windows users have historically suffered from poor adoption rates of updates — at least compared to those using Macs.

Other sources have analyzed the adoption rate dip from other perspectives and have found similar results. While gamers are often counted on as early adopters, the Steam Hardware Survey has determined that Steam users are now installing Windows 11 at a slightly slower pace than in previous months, though it is still seeing an increase in adoption month over month.

TechRadar also did its own analysis of computers in professional networks that referenced stats from the network performance company Riverbed, which noted millions of work PCs lack the exact specifications, such as Trusted Platform Module version 2.0 (TPM), needed to update to Windows 11.

Many of these computers either need to be upgraded with new hardware such as additional storage, a TPM 2.0, or a UEFI motherboard, or they need to be replaced completely with new computers, which will likely run Windows 11 out of the box.

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