With the release of Windows 11, a new piece of information about the minimum hardware requirements that laptop manufacturers must meet to install the OS on their devices has surfaced. The most recent piece of information comes from an XDA Developers report, which claims that beginning in 2023, all new laptops running Windows 11 will be required to have a webcam and an HD one at that. The move comes at a time when webcams in laptops are becoming increasingly common, so meeting this requirement shouldn’t be too difficult for laptop manufacturers.
According to the XDA report, starting in 2023, any new laptop released with Windows 11 will be required to have front-facing webcams with at least HD resolution, as well as auto white balance and auto exposure adjustments. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which necessitated more robust remote work setups, such features have become increasingly common. As a result, webcam quality has improved, video conferencing platforms have become more common, and laptops without a native webcam are becoming harder to come by.
Microsoft’s move is likely part of a larger effort to improve the default camera standards on Windows laptops, which will help the company provide better overall video conferencing services through Microsoft Teams, which is now included in Windows 11. Microsoft, like Android, has a highly fragmented device ecosystem with Windows. This makes it difficult to control minor details like webcam and video conferencing quality in the same way that Apple does with its MacBooks and iPhones. Microsoft is likely looking to tighten control over the overall quality of video conferencing services that Windows PCs are capable of with this move to make webcam quality more homogeneous starting in 2023.
Interestingly, traditional desktop PCs appear to be exempt from this requirement, so AiO PC manufacturers may not be forced to include webcams (although they do so already, too). Because the policy does not apply to older generation laptops, such as those already in use, your old laptop should be able to receive the Windows 11 upgrade – as long as it meets the new Microsoft OS’s other hardware requirements.