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Windows 11 will eventually require all laptops to have high-quality webcams

Not only must every Windows 11 laptop have a webcam, but it can't be a garbage one, either.

Published onJune 25, 2021

  • Microsoft has laid out a future rule for Windows 11 laptops which will require them to have webcams.
  • Additionally, the webcams must have HD (or better) quality.
  • The rule won’t take effect until 2023.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of laptops sold today without built-in webcams. In fact, certain buyers might actually prefer this so they won’t need to figure out a way to cover it up, as the image above depicts.

However, that will be a thing of the past come 2023, at least for Windows 11 laptops. That’s because Microsoft has a rule within its minimum system requirements for the next generation of its operating system that says so.

Related: Microsoft officially announces Windows 11, coming this Fall as a free upgrade

As first spotted by Windows Central, Microsoft will require all Windows 11 laptops to have webcams starting on January 1, 2023. Not content to stop there, Microsoft will also require that webcam be of HD quality or better, capable of auto-exposure (AE), and capable of auto-white balancing (AWB).

Why is Microsoft requiring this? It likely has to do with Windows Hello, which is Microsoft’s facial recognition system that allows you to use your face as biometric security. Windows 11 puts a heavy emphasis on the importance of security, so this would make a lot of sense.

Now, there are probably going to be two types of responses to this. On one hand, this is great news for the general consumer, as starting in 2023 they won’t need to worry about being stuck buying a laptop with a garbage webcam — or none at all. On the other hand, the consumers who don’t want a webcam on their laptop for whatever reason will probably be upset with this rule.

Either way, you’ve got over a year before this change becomes the law of the land.

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