Windows 11 will require new laptops to have a front camera as early as 2023

In two years, your Windows 11 laptop will need to have a webcam. It’s not a prediction, it’s a fact, because Microsoft demands it. As part of the influx of news regarding its new operating system, Microsoft has said that starting January 1, 2023, all NEW laptops running Windows 11 will need to have a front camera. For the moment, the front camera is still optional.

This hardware requirement appears to be mandatory for all Windows 11 laptops and not for desktops as of January 1, 2023. In the Windows 11 Hardware Requirements document, Microsoft notes that the front camera must have a resolution at less HD (1280 × 720 pixels) with a minimum of 15 fps. In low light conditions, the camera should maintain 10 frames per second. It must also support automatic exposure and automatic white balance, the document notes. Further we can read that Windows 11 might not support or work on laptops without cameras or with cameras that are not at least HD from 2023.

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While the company has not provided a comment on its motives, it appears Microsoft is forcing webcams into all Windows 11 laptops to ensure low-budget manufacturers don’t ignore HD webcam as a cutback measure. costs (that said, HD webcam modules aren’t really expensive, you can buy an individual unit for a little over a dollar on sites like AliExpress). It is also possible that Microsoft is working to require support for Windows Hello on laptops, a feature that would improve user experience and device security. But this is all just speculation.

Microsoft states that “if a dedicated camera button is implemented, it can be a dual action camera button with the ability to detect ‘half a press’ and ‘a * full press’ as actions. separate or a single action camera button that does not support a “half-press” feature. The exact reasons for the hardware requirements for Windows 11 remain unclear in the document, although they are likely to enable Windows Hello, which is Microsoft’s facial recognition system for convenient passwordless login.

The new requirement could spark an uproar among privacy advocates amid fears that tech giants have unsolicited access to cameras or microphones on laptops (or any hardware). also give OEMs a chance to showcase their laptops with a dedicated mute button for the microphone and a camera with camera shutter to cover the lens. Notably, the Microsoft document recommends that OEMs add “physical controls in the form of camera privacy shutters” and “optionally include notification LEDs (NLEDs) or an LED indicator on the antenna that provides visual notification when the camera is in use ”. Apple had addressed this issue with iOS 14 with LED indicator lights that essentially alert a user when apps or programs are accessing the camera or mic.