Microsoft has just announced its new operating system, Windows 11 will become available starting October 5th, 2021 —and a free upgrade will begin rolling out to only eligible Windows 10 PCs.
It is on the same day that PCs pre-loaded with Windows 11 will become available for purchase. But fans can get at least a taste of it now if they really can’t wait.
Windows 11 is just around the corner and will be available in the northern hemisphere’s fall/autumn season, in line with previous Windows 10 feature updates.
Among other things, the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system will bring big changes to the Start menu and taskbar, an extensive reworking of the Settings app, a Widgets pane designed to deliver news and reminders. Ed Bott has the full run down of what you need to know about Windows 11.
In a press statement, Aaron Woodman said; “Windows 11 is ready to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity.”
The free upgrade to Windows 11 will be phased and measured with a focus on quality —that means 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 the device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience.
All eligible devices are expected to be offered the free upgrade by mid-2022. If you’re already on Windows 10, Windows 11 will be available for free, but Microsoft is suggesting this is only for a limited time — mirroring the upgrade strategy it used to entice Windows 7 users to make the leap to Windows 10.
If you have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the upgrade, Windows Update will let you know when it’s available —or not you can also check manually to see if Windows 11 is ready for your device by going to Settings > Windows Update and select Check for updates and if it is available for you, then you can proceed with the upgrade.
As part of the new minimum system requirements, Windows 11 will be supported only on 64-bit (x64) processors and only in specific chips from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm. From Intel, the new version will support only the 8th Gen and newer processors and some of the Celeron, Atom, Pentium, and Xeon chips. And from AMD, Windows 11 will support third-generation Ryzen and newer processors, including some second-generation Ryzen 7 CPUs and some Athlon and EPYC processors.
To check whether your processor is supported for the upgrade, there are several quick ways to confirm if it’s on the list of supported hardware using the Settings app, Command Prompt, or the PC Health Check app.