“Microsoft wants to force OEMs to use SSD as boot drive in new PCs”

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Microsoft would put pressure on OEMs to deliver pre-built Windows 11 systems with an SSD as a boot drive. That says analyst firm Trendfocus. The tech giant would like system manufacturers to move away from the hdd as the primary storage medium.

OEMs have revealed that Microsoft is “pushing” them to switch to SSDs for their systems’ boot drives, writes Trendfocus in a report that has been seen by Tom’s Hardware. The current deadline for that switch would have been set for 2023. According to Trendfocus analyst John Chen, the switch was initially planned to take place this year, but that has been pushed back to sometime next year, presumably in the second half. Microsoft and the manufacturers would still negotiate a timeline and possible exceptions, but “things are moving,” Chen tells Tom’s Hardware.

With the possible switch, HDDs could still be used as a secondary storage medium, in addition to an SSD. Many laptops are currently already supplied with an SSD as a boot device, but that is not always the case in the budget segment. According to Chen, the switch to SSDs for all systems therefore entails cost problems. The analyst states that a 1TB HDD can be replaced with a 256GB SSD at the same cost, which OEMs would consider insufficient. Prices would increase with a 512GB SSD.

It is unknown whether Microsoft will introduce exceptions when the transition gets underway. It is also not clear whether the company will then take measures against OEMs who nevertheless choose to supply systems with HDD as a boot drive. The tech giant does not respond to Trendfocus’s message. The system requirements of Windows 11 currently state 64GB of storage, but it does not state that it must be an SSD. Certain Windows 11 features, such as DirectStorage, do require an SSD.

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