Windows 11 rollout will begin on 5 October

The phased release will see all eligible devices offered the upgrade by mid-2022

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 will be released on 5 October, with all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade by mid-2022.

From 5 October, Microsoft will start rolling out Windows 11 to eligible Windows 10 PCs, while PCs that come preloaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase. The update is set to be rolled out in a phased approach, which means that new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. 

For UK customers, the new update will be available "beginning this holiday season".

“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,” the company stated.

Microsoft expects all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. Users that have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the update will be notified by Windows Update when it's available. Alternatively, users can check to see if it is ready by going to Settings>Windows Update and select “Check for updates”.

New features in Windows 11 include “Start”, which uses the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show users their recent files, no matter what device they were viewing them on. Chat from Microsoft Teams is integrated into the taskbar, a new Microsoft Store will be available, and Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops will allow users to multitask and optimise their screen space.

One feature that won’t be included at launch is the inclusion of Android apps support in Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store, through the company’s collaboration with Amazon and Intel. Microsoft said that it will start with a preview for this feature for Windows Insiders “over the coming months”.

Microsoft recently provided more details on the reliability of computers that could update to Windows 11, saying that those systems were more reliable in use.

“Those that did not meet the minimum system requirements had 52% more kernel mode crashes (blue screens) than those that did meet the requirements,” Microsoft said. “Additionally, app hangs are 17% more likely, and for first-party apps, we see 43% more crashes on unsupported hardware.”

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