If you don’t want a camera on your computer, you’re not getting the upgrade to Windows 11

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While you might expect Microsoft to stipulate a minimum amount of RAM, or processor before you can upgrade to Windows 11… we’ve never heard of a requirement quite like this. A surprise unearthed in the documentation published by Microsoft confirms that all Windows 11 laptops will need a camera from 2023 onwards.

For those who are privacy-conscious, that’s not good news. As reported by Neowin, this requirement won’t affect anyone looking to use Windows 11 at launch, but will kick into effect from January 1, 2023.

The Windows 11 documentation says: “Starting from January 1 2023, all Device Types expect Desktop PC, are required to have Forward-facing camera which meets the following requirements. A rear-facing camera is optional”.

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Microsoft also notes that a webcam should have HD resolution (i.e 720p) or better. The camera will also need to have support for auto white-balance and auto exposure.

And the webcam requirement isn’t the only surprise prerequisite for the Windows 11 update. Windows 11 Home edition will require users to have both an active internet connection and a Microsoft account at setup.

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Previous versions of Windows would let users create a local account instead of using a Microsoft account. Describing the requirements, Microsoft said: “Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

“Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.”

Windows 11 is a huge upgrade, bringing with it a brand new Start menu, new widgets menu, Xbox Games Pass support, and much more. Windows 10 users will be able to upgrade for free, although you’ll need a PC with at least 4GB of RAM, a 64-bit processor that has a speed of at least 1 GHz with two or more cores as well as 64GB of free storage.

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