Microsoft is announcing that Windows 11 will be released in October 5th. The new operating system will be available as an update free for qualified Windows 10 PCs or on new hardware that comes with Windows 11 preloaded.
The free update for Windows 11 will start shipping on October 5th, but like many Windows updates in the past, will be available in phases. New qualifying devices will receive the update first and then Windows 11 will be available for more devices on the market in the weeks and months after October 5th.
“Following the tremendous learning experience of Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best experience possible,” explains Aaron Woodman, general manager of Windows marketing at Microsoft. “We hope that all qualifying devices will receive the free upgrade offer to Windows 11 until mid 2022”.
On PCs with Windows 10 already available on the market, the Windows Update will let people know when the update is available for Windows 11. You can also check if your device is eligible for the Windows 11 update through Windows Update or Microsoft’s dedicated PC Health Check app (currently in preview ).
Although Windows 11 is released on October 5th, not all features announced will be available. Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11 in partnership with Amazon and Intel, but this feature won’t be available on October 5th. A preview of the Android apps on Windows 11 will be available to Windows Insiders in the coming months, suggesting it likely won’t be released to all Windows 11 users until 2022.
Microsoft clarified its minimum system requirements for Windows 11 last week, but it also unveiled a workaround for those who don’t. You can install Windows 11 on any hardware using an ISO method, as long as the PC has a 1GHz 64-bit processor with two or more cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a TPM 1.2 chip. But if you use the workaround, your PC will be in an unsupported state. This means that an unsupported Windows 11 PC may not get access to Windows Update and even security patches.
If your PC is not fully compatible with Windows 11, Microsoft will still support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. However, it’s not clear how many major updates Microsoft will release for Windows 10 over the next four years. A 21H2 update is coming for Windows 10 users later this year, which includes GPU computing support on the Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL), Windows Hello enhancements, and WPA3 H2E Wi-Fi security support.