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Windows 11 rolling out in October

A free Windows 11 upgrade for Windows 10 PCs will begin roll-out on 5 October. Microsoft expects all compatible PCs to receive the new OS by mid-2022.

Microsoft has announced Windows 11 will become available from 5 October 2021. That’s when a free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs, and PCs pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available at stores.

The free upgrade starts on 5 October with a phased approach. This means new devices will be offered the upgrade first. It will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence algorithms that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that have an impact on the upgrade experience.

Microsoft says it expects all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. If you have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the upgrade, Windows Update will let you know when it’s available. You can also check to see if Windows 11 is ready for your device by going to Settings > Windows Update and select Check for updates. Do not download any update software from a web browser to perform this upgrade, as it will likely be malware.

We recently outlined the biggest features in our review of the operating system. The big updates to the OS, in short, are a refreshed design that caters to touch input, a new Start menu that works across PCs, tighter Microsoft Teams integration, and improvements to DirectX 12 gaming.

The minimum specification requirements for Windows 11 are a bit higher than those for Windows 10, so any PC older than 7 years will likely not be eligible. If you’re in need of a new PC, you need not wait for a Windows 11 device, since there are plenty Windows 11-ready PCs out there. Examples of these are:

For organisations that are managed by IT departments, Microsoft announced new capabilities coming in Microsoft Endpoint Manager to help users assess readiness for Windows 11 and hybrid work at scale. More information on this can be found at the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Tech Community blog.

For users who are using a PC that won’t upgrade, and who aren’t ready to transition to a new device, Windows 10 is still the right choice. Microsoft says it will support Windows 10 through to 14 October 2025.

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