On October 5th, Microsoft will release Windows 11

Windows 11 will be released on October 5th, according to Microsoft. The new operating system will be available as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs, or as pre-installed software on new hardware.

The free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out on October 5th, but it will be phased in, as with previous Windows upgrades. The upgrade will be offered first to new eligible devices, and then in the weeks and months following October 5th, it will be available to more in-market devices.

“Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience” says Aaron Woodman, Microsoft's general manager of Windows marketing. “We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.”

Windows Update on existing Windows 10 PCs will notify users when the Windows 11 upgrade is available. You can also use Windows Update or Microsoft's dedicated PC Health Check app to see if your device is eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade (currently in preview).

While Windows 11 will be released on October 5th, not all of the features that have been announced will be available. In collaboration with Amazon and Intel, Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11, but this feature will not be available until October 5th.

Last week, Microsoft clarified its Windows 11 minimum system requirements, but also revealed a workaround for those who don't meet them. You can use the ISO method to install Windows 11 on any hardware that has a 64-bit 1GHz processor with two or more cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a TPM 1.2 chip. However, if you use the workaround, your computer will become unsupported. This means that an unsupported Windows 11 PC may be unable to access Windows Update as well as security patches.

If your PC isn't ready for Windows 11, Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. However, it's unclear how many major updates for Windows 10 Microsoft will release over the next four years. Later this year, Windows 10 users will receive the 21H2 update, which includes GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), improvements to Windows Hello, and support for WPA3 H2E Wi-Fi security.