Image: Microsoft

Windows 11 will make webcams mandatory in laptops and other devices by 2023. This is according to a document that Microsoft has released elaborating on the minimum hardware requirements for its upcoming OS, which includes a section noting that all devices running Windows 11 (“except desktop PC”) are required to have a forward-facing camera starting from January 1, 2023. While a rear-facing camera is optional, the forward-facing camera must support certain features as high-definition resolution, auto exposure, and auto white balance. This could be a concern for security-minded individuals who are paranoid about being hacked and video recorded, although it’s something that could easily be remedied with masking tape or some other sort of covering.

For now, Microsoft notes that both front and rear webcams are optional. However, the company adds that all devices (except desktop PCs) must have a front-facing webcam. This condition will come into effect from January 1, 2023 and should force manufacturers to include a webcam in devices such as laptops or tablets.

Sources: Microsoft, Hardware Info

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30 Comments

  1. Interesting that it’s just laptops, and doesn’t say anything about Desktops… just "other devices", which I’m guessing are tablets and other mobile things.
  2. With all the fuss over the TPM and CPU requirements, I feel this one has been overlooked. And personally, it really bothers me. I can’t think of any reason that this would be a "requirement". If it’s required for certain features, that makes sense. But a flat out requirement doesn’t. Especially since desktop PCs are excluded…

    If somebody knows more about this or can give an example of why it would be required, I’m honestly all ears.

  3. I realized that disabling the webcam also disables the mic in the laptop, so tape is a must.

    Why would this be an OS requirement however is beyond any reason. What’s MS up to? You can only log in to your own computer after facial recognition?

  4. I mean all laptops in 2021 should have webcams for crying out loud

    No. Why would you ever need one?

    It’s just a waste.

    My computer is not a **** tablet. I don’t need or want any stinking cameras.

    The only thing they are good for is Zoom/Facetimie Video chat type of things, and that is just stupid., There is no reason to ever see the face of the person you are talking to.

  5. I mean all laptops in 2021 should have webcams for crying out loud

    Right? I have an ancient Asus zenbook from 2013ish and it has one. Also came with Windows 8 according to the sticker on the bottom (I wiped it on day 1, LOL. Now it has Mint on it and is purely for Chrome use)

  6. I have told everyone I don’t have a camera. Then I tell them I’m on a Mac.

    They just accept that of course macs can’t have cameras. I’m ok with that misconception.

  7. Front facing cameras? I guess I better get back to the gym so I look good in my cheetah thong again.
  8. If somebody knows more about this or can give an example of why it would be required, I’m honestly all ears.

    Might be because it would be easier for a laptop to get left behind/stolen then a desktop and would be more secure if it requires face id.

    Not that I am ok with the whole thing.

  9. If somebody knows more about this or can give an example of why it would be required, I’m honestly all ears.

    Multi-factor authentication.

    I realized that disabling the webcam also disables the mic in the laptop, so tape is a must.

    Figure if you’re not interested in unconsented monitoring, that’d include the mic too…

    Along with the worst camera that can be found, laptops usually have the worst microphones. Apple is probably the lone high-end exception here.

    I get using it in a pinch, but that’s really all these are good for.

  10. Multi-factor authentication.

    Figure if you’re not interested in unconsented monitoring, that’d include the mic too…

    Along with the worst camera that can be found, laptops usually have the worst microphones. Apple is probably the lone high-end exception here.

    I get using it in a pinch, but that’s really all these are good for.

    Actually Apple is often dinged for having a pretty crappy forward facing camera. I think it’s only 720p or something

  11. Actually Apple is often dinged for having a pretty crappy forward facing camera. I think it’s only 720p or something

    Low-resolution, but otherwise not too terrible. Apple also has some pretty good software to back up their cameras, whereas Dell has whatever Microsoft has, as an example.

    A big differentiator is how bad the overall image looks in good light. 720p would be an improvement for a lot of these :)

  12. Low-resolution, but otherwise not too terrible. Apple also has some pretty good software to back up their cameras, whereas Dell has whatever Microsoft has, as an example.

    A big differentiator is how bad the overall image looks in good light. 720p would be an improvement for a lot of these :)

    Yeah your right. It’s just usually the only bad thing (apart from the word "Apple" and the price) that anyone can say about Apple’s hardware.

  13. Multi-factor authentication.

    Figure if you’re not interested in unconsented monitoring, that’d include the mic too…

    Along with the worst camera that can be found, laptops usually have the worst microphones. Apple is probably the lone high-end exception here.

    I get using it in a pinch, but that’s really all these are good for.

    But when I need to talk to someone it is not possible unless I enable the camera too. The mic is good enough for work discussion, don’t need it for anything else. And judging by "professional" youtubers usually the better mic they buy the ****tier they sound, but that’s probably related to their professionalism.

  14. Yeah your right. It’s just usually the only bad thing (apart from the word "Apple" and the price) that anyone can say about Apple’s hardware.

    Unless it breaks, then you are in a world of trouble. And they break more often than other products, so it’s not a question of if, but when.

  15. Unless it breaks, then you are in a world of trouble. And they break more often than other products, so it’s not a question of if, but when.

    Apple computers have always been the most reliable and longlived computer gear I owned.
    No exceptions.
    Most photogrphers/designers I know end up retiring their macs because of software compability, not because they break down.

  16. Apple computers have always been the most reliable and longlived computer gear I owned.
    No exceptions.
    Most photogrphers/designers I know end up retiring their macs because of software compability, not because they break down.

    Wait, we were talking about laptops, not computers. Those might be just overpriced I dunno, nobody is crazy or rich enough around me to buy one.

  17. Have to say my experience has been 180 on that

    That’s what everybody says whose didn’t break yet. When it does, well they’ll offer to replace the MB for 20% less than what a new one costs. Which is strategic, they don’t want to repair macbooks, they want to sell more of them, preferably at least every 2 years to everyone. Of course if you sign up to that cycle buying a new one every 2 years at the latest you’ll be "happy", as the problems start when you are out of warranty.

  18. That’s what everybody says whose didn’t break yet. When it does, well they’ll offer to replace the MB for 20% less than what a new one costs. Which is strategic, they don’t want to repair macbooks, they want to sell more of them, preferably at least every 2 years to everyone. Of course if you sign up to that cycle buying a new one every 2 years at the latest you’ll be "happy", as the problems start when you are out of warranty.

    I’ve owned … 5 iPhones, 3 iPads, 5 MBPs, 3 iMacs, 8 Mac Minis, and 1 Pro Desktop.

    Out of that…
    My MBP Titanium edition cracked a screen hinge after 7 years: Apple didn’t have the part in stock any longer, but fabricated a new one from Aluminum for the laptop.
    I had one MBP where the battery started swelling – after 8 years. I recycled that unit.
    I had 1 iPhone that got a free battery replacement and needed a screen repaired. That was performed at a Best Buy authorized center free of charge same day.

    I have a Purple iMac (2nd gen) that still runs fine. That Titanium Macbook still runs. I’ve got several Intel Core (not duo) Mac Minis that still run. I’ve had nothing but great luck with Apple hardware, and my experience with the repair team, on the very rare occasion I’ve needed to use it, has been excellent.

    So I’d say I’ve given the hardware plenty of time to break.

    Now, Dell, on the other hand….

  19. Wait, we were talking about laptops, not computers. Those might be just overpriced I dunno, nobody is crazy or rich enough around me to buy one.

    Actually I have yet to see one fail, my wife has gone thru a few since the white Ibook G3.
    She’s on a Lenovo Carbon X something now, but probabnly will return to Apple next time.
    Still uses a Ipad and just recently upgraded her Iphone 6 to a SE.
    As I said earlier, Apple stuff gets retired because it becomes obsolote lol.

  20. Actually I have yet to see one fail, my wife has gone thru a few since the white Ibook G3.
    She’s on a Lenovo Carbon X something now, but probabnly will return to Apple next time.
    Still uses a Ipad and just recently upgraded her Iphone 6 to a SE.
    As I said earlier, Apple stuff gets retired because it becomes obsolote lol.

    Yup.

    You can fault Apple for a lot of things – overpriced, non-customizable, walled garden, lack of compatibility, or just plain old being Apple. And especially their lack of repairability – that is valid.

    But their hardware and build quality are top notch, and AppleCare and Service is consistently at or near the top if you need it.

  21. I have a 1st gen and a 3rd gen iPod Touch’s that I still use daily. Apples hardware has always been decent, software…… yeesh
  22. I had Samsungs for a while (including the first Galaxy S!), then a few Pixels, and now an iPhone 12.

    Thought it’d take a while to get used to, but given that I just wanted something designed to ‘work’, i.e. an appliance, the adjustment period was pretty short.

  23. I have a 1st gen and a 3rd gen iPod Touch’s that I still use daily. Apples hardware has always been decent, software…… yeesh

    As many apple users as many opinions. I’ve heard the exact opposite from many. That they hate the overpriced underpowered and fragile hardware but they buy it for the software. I’m certainly not going to judge for myself, as I’d sooner buy a game from the epic store as to buy an apple product.

  24. As many apple users as many opinions. I’ve heard the exact opposite from many. That they hate the overpriced underpowered and fragile hardware but they buy it for the software. I’m certainly not going to judge for myself, as I’d sooner buy a game from the epic store as to buy an apple product.

    I can respect your opinion – it’s informed and well put.

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