Microsoft has announced Windows 11 will start to become available on October 5, 2021. Free upgrades to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase on this day.
The free upgrade will be a phased and measured approach with a focus on quality, according to a Microsoft blog.
“Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience. 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 device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience,” says Microsoft in blog post.
Microsoft expects all eligible devices to be offered the upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. Windows 10 PC users will be notified in the Windows update when it’s available or you can check for updates by going to settings > Windows update.
“Since the first Insider Preview was released in June, the engagement and feedback has been unprecedented,” says Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman in a blog post.
If your system is not eligible for an upgrade, Windows 10 will be supported through October 14, 2025. The minimum system requirements of the new Windows 11 is 1 GHz or faster dual-core processors, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage are what Microsoft Office and Teams specify.
“To run Windows 11, CPUs need to have the hardware virtualisation features to enable virtual secure mode for Virtualisation-Based Security and the Hypervisor-Protected Code Integrity that underlies a range of protections that Microsoft has been building since Windows 8, like Application Guard, Control Flow Guard, Credential Guard, Device Guard and System Guard. Now they’ll be on by default for all PCs, not just specially selected devices,” says TechRepublic’s Mary Branscombe in a blog post.
Business can test Windows 11 preview in Azure Virtual Desktop or at general availability by experiencing Windows 11 in the new Windows 365.
IT admins expecting to upgrade to the new version of Windows 11 may want to take this as an opportunity to audit their hardware.