Microsoft has officially announced the release date of its next generation of Windows. Windows 11 will be made available for the public starting from October 5, 2021. The new operating system will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 devices on that day. New devices that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will also be made available for purchase.
The free upgrade to Windows 11 will be phased and measured like the last few updates for Windows 10. This means new devices will get the update before the older PCs. Microsoft did confirm in today's Windows 11 release date announcement that every eligible device should get this free upgrade offer by mid-2022.
As perfect as 11.11 *would* be, we just couldn't wait any longer to make #Windows11 available. Get it October 5th, and read all about it now.
— Windows (@Windows) August 31, 2021
"Windows 11 is ready to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity," the Windows maker said in today's announcement. Remember, not every Windows 10 device will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 thanks to drastically increased minimum system requirements.
Windows 11 highlights
- The new design and sounds are modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease.
- With Start, we’ve put you and your content at the center. Start utilizes 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 provide an even more powerful way to multitask and optimize your screen real estate.
- Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar provides a faster way to connect to the people you care about.
- Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, provides a faster way to access the information you care about, and with Microsoft Edge’s world class performance, speed and productivity features you can get more done on the web.
- Windows 11 delivers the best Windows ever for gaming and unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware with technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate you get access to over 100 high-quality PC games to play on Windows 11 for one low monthly price. (Xbox Game Pass sold separately.)
- Windows 11 comes with a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with an all-new design making it easier to search and discover your favorite apps, games, shows, and movies in one trusted location. 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 over the coming months.
- Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows with new accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities.
- Windows 11 unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators. We are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store, improving native and web app development with new developer tools, and making it easier for you to refresh the look and feel across all our app designs and experiences.
- Windows 11 is optimized for speed, efficiency and improved experiences with touch, digital pen and voice input.
- Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work, delivering new experiences that work how you work, are secure by design, and easy and familiar for IT to deploy and manage. Businesses can also test Windows 11 in preview today in Azure Virtual Desktop, or at general availability by experiencing Windows 11 in the new Windows 365.
Windows Update will notify you when Windows 11 is available for your device. But, you can also check through Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates. However, since the process will continue for over 6 months, this may become a disappointing check for many older devices.