Windows 11: Upcoming release
Windows 11 comes 6 years after its predecessor with its biggest selling points being the visually updated interface, improved gaming experience, more and better organizational tools and Android app support. Microsoft released the final version of Windows 11 to its Insider Program members on September 24. The release to OEMs is set for the 05.10.21 with a delay of a few months for retail.
The new version of the OS will be available for eligible Windows 10 PCs as an upgrade in the beginning of 2022, but members of the Windows Insider Program have early access and could download a beta version even now. Users can check if their PC is eligible by downloading Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.
Who Can Get the Free Upgrade?
The rollout is taking a measured approach by making Windows 11 available to new eligible machines first. In-market devices will receive the upgrade in the beginning of 2022 based on intelligence models that take hardware eligibility, reliability metrics and the age of devices as well as other factors into account. Windows 11 has some serious system requirements due to the hardware-assisted security features, so if your device was purchased before 2016, it’s almost certain it won’t be able to fully handle Windows 11. You will still be able install the new OS on an older device but the installation will be unsupported and you won’t get all the features. So, anyone thinking of buying a new PC is in luck; with only days left until the launch date October 5th, now’s the perfect time.
If you want to check out Windows 11 ahead of the rollout in 2022, you have the option of installing the Windows 11 Insider Build now or the Windows 11 ISO, but those are early builds that don’t have all the perks and will not work flawlessly. Our recommendation is to wait for the OS to become available as an update for everyone when most of the kinks will be ironed out but those of you who are too curious to wait can give the new OS a spin right away.
To get the upgrade, you will have to register as a Windows Insider. Microsoft relied on the Windows Insider community to test out Windows 11 and used the valuable feedback to ensure all the new updates and features worked as intended. They launched the behind-the-scenes series Inside Windows 11 in June to give users another glimpse behind the curtain.
What Windows 11 Features Will Be Available on the Launch Date?
Not all of the announced new features will be accessible upon rollout and Windows 11 won’t be available for every compatible device at once. One of the updates that will arrive after the release date is the support for Android mobile apps in the new app store and there is no concrete information about when that will happen as of yet. Microsoft has stated that the feature, originally announced in June 2021, will be available in a preview test “over the coming months”. The apps will be offered through a partnership with Amazon. Android apps are currently available to use on Windows 10, but only with the Your Phone app that Microsoft released in 2020 and with a desktop version of the apps as advertised with Windows 11.
Windows 10 will probably also get an update around the time of the release of Windows 11 and will continue to get updates until 2025, so it’s certainly still a great option and worth purchasing.