Microsoft is announcing that Windows 11 will be released on October 5th. The new operating system will be available as a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs, or on new hardware that ships with Windows 11 pre-loaded.
The free upgrade to Windows 11 will start rolling out on October 5th, but like many Windows upgrades in the past, it will be available in phases. New eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first, and then Windows 11 will become available for more in-market devices in the weeks and months following October 5th.
“Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience,” explains Aaron Woodman, general manager of Windows marketing at Microsoft. “We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.”
On existing Windows 10 PCs, Windows Update will let people know when the upgrade is available for Windows 11. You can also check to see if your device is eligible for the Windows 11 upgrade through Windows Update, or Microsoft’s dedicated PC Health Check app (currently in preview).
While Windows 11 will be launching on October 5th, not all of the announced features 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 Android apps on Windows 11 will be available for Windows Insiders in the coming months, suggesting that it likely won’t launch to all Windows 11 users until 2022.
Old PCs are getting booted out of the Windows 11 Insider Preview
Many older PCs have been happily running the Windows 11 previews for months now despite Microsoft’s stringent official system requirements, but that’s about to change. ZDNet reports that some users of unsupported PCs are beginning to see a message telling them to reinstall Windows 10 when they attempt to enroll older PCs in the Insider program after performing a clean install of the Windows 11 preview.
Neither of the two unsupported PCs I’m running the Insider Preview on—a Dell Latitude 3379 with a Core i3-6100U and a Dell XPS 13 9333 with a Core i5-4210U—have received this message yet, and they continue to download and install new updates on the Dev and Beta channels. I was also still able to opt in to the Windows 11 preview builds after reinstalling Windows 10 on the old XPS 13, albeit with the typical “Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements and there may be issues and bugs” warning message. Presumably, this will change as we get closer to Windows 11’s release date.