Microsoft has announced that the next major version of Windows will be available for installation starting on 5 October.
The company said in a statement on Tuesday that Windows 11 will be available for some users to upgrade to on that date. Not all PCs are eligible for the upgrade, however.
The free upgrade will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase, the company said.
Microsoft said highlights of the release include:
- A new design and sounds that are “modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease”.
- A new Start menu that “utilises the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what device you were viewing them on”.
- Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops, which “provide an even more powerful way to multitask and optimise your screen real estate”.
- Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar.
- Widgets, a new personalised feed powered by artificial intelligence, provides a “faster way to access the information you care about”.
The new operating system includes DirectX12 Ultimate for gamers as well as DirectStorage and Auto HDR, which are also new technologies aimed at the gaming community.
“Windows 11 comes with a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with an all-new design making it easier to search and discover your favourite apps, games, shows and movies in one trusted location,” the company said in the statement. “We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders (beta testers) over the coming months.”The free upgrade will begin roll-out on 5 October, but not everyone will get it on that date – or be able to get it all
The free upgrade will begin roll-out on 5 October, but not everyone will get it on that date – or be able to get it at all.
“New eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience,” Microsoft said.
“We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. If you have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the upgrade, Windows Update will let you know when it’s available.”
The company said it will soon relaunch its PC Health Check app so users can check if their PC is eligible to upgrade. Many won’t be as Microsoft is requiring a recent-generation processor with features such as Secure Boot to be eligible for the upgrade. Advanced users that don’t meet these requirements will still be able to install the operating system from an ISO image, but Microsoft has warned these machines won’t necessarily be as secure or as stable.
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