Microsoft wants to get rid of bootable hard drives by 2023

Perspective: Are you still using your hard drive as the primary boot drive for your PC? While there are some exceptions, most people today prefer a much faster SSD to boot the OS, which could be a good thing since Microsoft is reportedly looking to disable HDD boot drives entirely.

According to a report from an analytics company trend focus (by using Tom’s equipment), Microsoft is pushing OEMs that use HDDs as the primary storage device in pre-built Windows 11 PCs to move to SSDs. He even set a deadline for when he wants the transition to take place: 2023.

It is not clear why exactly Microsoft does this. As Tom points out, there is no minimum SSD requirement in Windows 11, only if the PC running the operating system has 64 GB storage or more. However, this may change next year when the transition deadline arrives.

Perhaps Microsoft just wants to move to SSD boot drives so that PCs get the best performance from Windows 11. There are also additional Windows 11 features that require SSDs, such as the DirectStorage API. This creates a more efficient connection between NVMe SSDs (both PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0) and the GPU, allowing games to directly access resources on the drive.

While we can all appreciate a much faster boot drive, using an SSD as the primary storage device in a PC will have an impact on budget and emerging markets. While the associated cost of adding an SSD is often negligible, it can make the price too high for some manufacturers and consumers.

There are some cheaper gaming desktops on Newegg such as Thiswhich only offer hard drive storage, though it’s hard to find one that comes standard with Windows 11.

Trendfocus VP John Chen says OEMs are trying to push back Microsoft’s deadline to 2024, at least when it comes to desktops and emerging markets. But it looks like we’re heading towards a future where you’ll only see a hard drive in a pre-built Windows 11 PC when it’s next to an SSD.

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