Microsoft has started its launch of Windows 11 around the world today.
The availability of the new OS begins as the day turns to 5 October in each time zone around the world. Eligible Windows 10 PCs will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 via a free update.
You need to have an official version of Windows 10 to be eligible for the upgrade.
When Can I Download Windows 11?
Windows 11 will be gradually rolled out to compatible systems over the next few months via Windows Update. Some users may find the prompt to download the new OS earlier than others.
Microsoft says it hopes to have the update available to all compatible PCs by the middle of 2022.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) October 4, 2021
Windows 11 Brings a Host of New Features and Improvements:
- Chat from Microsoft Teams allows users to communicate through the app which is directly integrated into Windows 11 via the new taskbar.
- Microsoft Store on Windows has been redesigned from the ground up to be easier to build for and make it more seamless for customers to find and browse apps, games and entertainment all in one place. The Store will also now include Android apps for purchasing and downloading.
- Snap Layouts and Groups offer a new way to multitask and optimise your screen real estate in a way that is visually clean.
- Windows 11 contains a wide array of improvements to accessibility and has been built with and for people with disabilities.
- Windows 11 provides a massive shift into gaming and game compatibilities, with innovative new features that can take PC gaming experiences to the next level like AutoHDR and DirectStorage. It also includes the Xbox app built right in, where users can browse, download and play over 100 PC games from the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC library.
- The Operating System for Hybrid Work and Learning – Beginning today, organisations can also start moving to Windows 11 on powerful PCs and through the cloud with Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Windows 11 was designed with security in mind to meet the challenges faced in this new work environment and beyond through its Chip-to-Cloud Protection.
- Windows 11 is for all developers – whether they are building apps for a PC, web, phone, game console or anything in between – and provides a seamless development experience. A more open store, deeper development integrations and new designs are just the start.
Available on the Widest Array of Devices
Windows 11 is available on Microsoft’s widest-ever choice in device form factors, and silicon from its partners, including Acer, AMD, ASUS, Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Surface.
Additionally, as a reminder, most new Surface devices and accessories – including Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3 – will be generally available starting tomorrow, 6 October from Microsoft Store on microsoft.com and other major retailers like Amazon.
Older PCs Will Struggle to Run Windows 11
While Windows 11 will be launched as a free upgrade to owners of legitimate copies of Windows 10, the new OS’ improvements may be too much for older PCs to handle.
Some older machines may not be able to run Windows 11 at all. There will no longer be support for a 32-bit version of Windows, although 32-bit apps will still be supported.
The minimum RAM requirements have been quadrupled – from 1GB for the previous OS to 4GB. A stocky increase for a Windows OS, though generally under what is expected of new PCs today.
Click here for a full list of the new OS’ requirements.