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Leak Points: Windows 11 24H2 will have a watermark on PCs without AI support

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Windows 11 24H2 promises to offer several AI features. However, Microsoft may include a surprise on PCs without support for the new AI tools: a watermark to warn that the device doesn't meet minimum requirements. That's what the leak by X (former Twitter) Albacore user Albacore suggests this week.

Watermark in Windows 11

This discovery came through code analysis of Windows 11 version 26200, which is still under development and restricted to developers and enthusiasts. When analyzing the internal files, the informant found signs that there would be a warning on computers without support for File Explorer AI tools (“AI Explorer”, in English).

“By looking at the bits in the internal version 26200, the AI ​​Explorer actually checks for these requirements, and if they are not met, there will be a warning in its overlays,” he explained in a post on X. “Checking by disabling ID 48486440. This only disables AIX which is doing the checking, not the API.”

In terms of requirements, Albacore mentions another post, which notes that AI Explorer requires a compatible processor and at least 16GB of RAM to function. Total storage of at least 225GB will be another necessity.

Despite this discovery, it is unclear whether this warning is exclusive to beta versions or if Microsoft will actually move forward with it. There is also no information on when the watermark will be activated or if it will be permanent.

Microsoft also hasn't commented on the minimum requirements notice nor revealed the list of requirements to run the tools yet – so everything could change by then. The update to version 24H2 is expected to begin distributing to the general public this year.

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Limitations of older processors

Windows 11, unlike previous generations, has a controversial list of requirements, because it prevents many older computers from being updated. However, Microsoft tends to increase the minimum requirements to run the operating system.

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In February, developer Bob Pony noted that the 24H2 version would not support very old processors, which do not have POPCNT instructions. Although chips without this technology do not officially support subsequent release of Windows 10, many of them force the update if the computer is still in good working order.

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This week, Bob Pony also reported that Windows 11 24H2 will have another limitation: processors that don't have the SSE4.2 architecture. However, again, the lack of technology only affects older components, as the technology has been around for nearly two decades.

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