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Microsoft may make SSD storage mandatory for Windows 11 PC by 2023

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Microsoft is planning to make it mandatory for PC makers to switch from hard disk drives (HDDs) to solid state drives (SSDs) for their Windows 11 PCs coming in 2023, according to a report. The reported move by the software giant is expected to result in an increase in the prices of PCs as manufacturers would need to spend more on picking SSDs in replacement of traditional spinning hard drives. However, the switch could help users get performance enhancements. A large number of Windows laptops nowadays already have SSDs for booting and HDDs for bulk storage.

Citing an executive brief from data storage industry analyst firm Trendfocus, Tom’s Hardware reports that Microsoft is pushing PC makers to drop HDDs as the primary storage on their Windows 11 PCs and instead switch to SSDs.

Microsoft may make SSD storage mandatory

Currently, a large number of Windows laptops come with hybrid storage systems that include an HDD as well as SSD. The former is used for bulk storage whereas the latter offers performance enhancements like fast loading times, data transfers, etc. The report adds that the exact date of shifting from HDDs to SSD is not clear yet but Microsoft had plans of making it a requirement this year. The switch to SSDs is now likely pushed to the second half of 2023.

It is important to note that the current list of hardware requirements for Windows 11 does not specifically include SSD as a mandatory component to install the operating system. It says 64GB storage as the minimum requirement to install the latest Windows version. However, Microsoft points out that to get DirectStorage and the Windows Subsystem for Android, users need an SSD.

All the leading PC makers including HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer have a large number of Windows laptops that carry SSD boot drives — alongside HDD for storing regular data. But at the same time, there are affordable models that have HDDs as the only storage options. Some models even have eMMC storage to help manufacturers sell options on a tight budget.

The move to switch to SSD from HDD would result in increased prices of PCs as SSDs are expensive compared to the traditional spinning drives. The additional costs are likely to be transferred to the customers by raising the prices of the laptops and PCs. Microsoft’s rival Apple already uses SSDs in its MacBook and Mac range of computers.

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