Windows 11, the successor to Windows 10 will be released on October 5, 2021, Microsoft announced this morning. The new OS will start rolling out on eligible Windows 10 PCs on that date, and it will also come pre-loaded on select PCs from Microsoft, Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung.
As usual, Windows 11 will roll out gradually to PCs that meet the minimum requirements for the new OS, and Microsoft will use intelligence algorithms to make it available on more devices over time. "We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022,” the company said today.
Last week, the company updated its minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 to add devices with select 7th gen Intel Core processors like the Surface Studio 2. Still, the basics remain: to install Windows 11, you’ll need a PC with a modern 64-bit dual-core CPU, 4G of RAM, 64GB of storage, a DirectX12 GPU, and having Secure Boot and a TPM 2.0 chip enabled in your UEFI settings.
While these minimum hardware requirements will likely leave many Windows 10 PCs on the sidelines, that OS will still be supported throughout 2025. Microsoft also confirmed last week that users will be able to use Windows 11 ISOs to manually install the OS on unsupported PCs, though with a big caveat: The company isn’t committed to service these devices via Windows Update, and that includes security updates.
Windows 11 is already available for Insiders in the Dev and Beta channel, the beta testing will continue ahead of October 5. In the meantime, early testers can already experience the redesigned Start Menu with no Live Tiles, the new Microsoft Store that now welcomes unpackaged Win32 apps, and new power-user features such as Snap Layouts and Snap Groups. A new Microsoft Teams for consumers app also comes preinstalled with the OS in replacement of Skype.
The big feature that will be missing on Windows 11 at launch is the promised support for Android apps via the Amazon App Store. "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,” the company said today.