Now that the dust has settled and Microsoft is posting more information about the Windows 11’s hardware requirements, I decided to give it a try myself. First thing I did was to make sure I could install on a virtual machine (vm) and sure enough, I could!

The procedure is long but simple: the computer you are using must be a Windows 11 hardware-ready machine, then you need to connect your Windows Insider account, select the Dev Channel, and let the computer upgrade. I am using a Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 purchased six months ago, and this is my VirtualBox‘s vm configuration:

It was particularly important to select 2+ processors when configuring the vm – I got a warning when Windows 10 was installing the update and had to shut down the vm to adjust the settings. I disabled 3D Acceleration and it worked just fine.

In addition, my machine runs on AMD Ryzen 5 4000. The AMD Platform Security Processor (the equivalent of Intel’s TPM) was already enabled in BIOS, so no trouble there.

The process took about 2 hours, and went without a hitch:

I particularly dig the new Settings interface, with direct links to Microsoft 365, OneDrive and Windows Update. Not an earth-shattering development, but it’s nice.

Muscle memory kicked in when going lower-left corner to click Start, but not a big deal. What would probably take some getting used to is the new Start Menu:

My initial impressions:

  • VM runs very nice, similar to the Windows 10 base system it got upgraded from
  • Mapping drives, printer setup, etc. worked as expected
  • Learning curve from Windows 10 should not be an issue for most users
  • The Widgets setting seems to work fine – I am not a fan of any widgets, never been, but it has its use and Microsoft definitely took a page from MacOS on this

This is just the post-install use, no applications or heavy use but so far, so good.