Microsoft has announced it will begin the rollout of Windows 11 from today. It is the first major operating system update for the tech giant in six years.
The free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11.
Microsoft will continue its journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through its collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.
The rolling out the free upgrade to Windows 11 will be in a phased and measured approach, Microsoft says.
"Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we're providing you with the best possible experience," Microsoft says.
"That means new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience."
All eligible devices are expected to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.
The first general release of Windows 11 will include features including a more streamlined, Mac-like design, an updated Start menu, new multitasking tools and integrated Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 through to 14 October, 2025.
Highlights of this release:
- The new design and sounds are modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease.
- With Start, we've put you and your content at the center. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what device you were viewing them on.
- Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops provide an even more powerful way to multitask and optimize your screen real estate.
- Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar provides a faster way to connect to the people you care about.
- Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, provides a faster way to access the information you care about, and with Microsoft Edge's world class performance, speed and productivity features you can get more done on the web.
- Windows 11 delivers the best Windows ever for gaming and unlocks the full potential of your system's hardware with technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate you get access to over 100 high-quality PC games to play on Windows 11 for one low monthly price. (Xbox Game Pass sold separately.)
- Windows 11 comes with a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with an all-new design making it easier to search and discover apps, games, shows, and movies in one location.
- Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows with new accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities.
- Windows 11 unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators. We are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store, improving native and web app development with new developer tools, and making it easier for you to refresh the look and feel across all our app designs and experiences.
- Windows 11 is optimised for speed, efficiency and improved experiences with touch, digital pen and voice input.
- Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work, delivering new experiences that work how you work, are secure by design, and easy and familiar for IT to deploy and manage. Businesses can also test Windows 11 in preview today in Azure Virtual Desktop, or at general availability by experiencing Windows 11 in the new Windows 365.