Microsoft's Windows 11 rollout starts on October 5

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,526   +132
Staff member
What just happened? Microsoft’s Windows 11 is nearly ready for the limelight. Redmond has announced that its next major operating system will arrive on October 5, 2021. On that day, the free upgrade to Windows 11 will start rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and the first new PCs pre-installed with Windows 11 will be available to buy.

Of course, just because Windows 11 will be available on that day doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily receive it right out of the gate. Microsoft in revealing the date said the free upgrade path will be “phased and measured with a focus on quality.”

Taking into account what they learned with Windows 11, Microsoft will make the upgrade available first to new eligible devices. Eventually, the upgrade will start rolling out to in-market devices based on “intelligence models” that consider things like hardware eligibility, reliability and the age of a device.

Microsoft expects all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade by mid-2022.

Windows Update should automatically let you know when your system is eligible for upgrade, but you can always have a look by going to Settings > Windows Update and manually doing so.

In the event you are in need of a new computer, Microsoft has several suggestions that ship with Windows 10 now but will be compatible with the free upgrade when the time comes. Examples include the Acer Swift 5 (SF514-55), the Asus Zenbook Flip 13 OLED UX363, the Dell XPS 13 and of course, Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 7, just to name a few. Presumably, these systems will be among the first to get the OS upgrade option.

Microsoft reiterates that for those who have a PC that won’t upgrade, and aren’t yet ready to buy a new device, Windows 10 is the right choice. The company recently said it will continue supporting Win 10 through October 14, 2025, so if you’re running that OS and fit the aforementioned criteria, you’ve still got plenty of time to decide what you want to do next.

Microsoft recently reevaluated its hardware requirements for Windows 11 and added a few additional Intel CPUs to the list. Still, the whole situation is a bit confusing, especially if you want to install a fresh copy of Windows 11 without upgrading from Windows 10. That's possible (and on older hardware), but you'll have to use an ISO file for the install. Critically, Microsoft has said that such installs won't be entitled to Windows Updates and may also be banned from receiving security patches and driver updates.

If that is indeed the case, it'd be too much of a risk to run "unsupported" hardware long term as vulnerabilities and flaws are going to eventually be discovered. It seems Microsoft only wants such users to run Windows 11 long enough to get a taste of what it is all about, hopefully encouraging them to bite the bullet and splurge on a new system that is fully compatible with the new OS.

Microsoft has also confirmed that Android app support won't be available at launch. This new feature, in collaboration with Amazon and Intel, will first be offered to Windows Insiders in the coming months, we're told.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,956   +6,227
If you consider a change from blue to black screen of death an upgrade.

I'm sitting this one out, literally on a green hill outside, watching the valley down go up in smoke on the next MS update.

I really think they should release it on either 10-11 or 11-11
It's no wonder why they decided to skip 9-11.
 
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Sausagemeat

Posts: 873   +710
Hang on, if you have a system that is supported you have to upgrade from Windows 10? You can’t just install fresh?
 

NeoMorpheus

Posts: 883   +1,678
Hang on, if you have a system that is supported you have to upgrade from Windows 10? You can’t just install fresh?
Given that they already have an ISO for the current test versions, I think that they will have one, but to use your current key, you should install on top and then reinstall from scratch.

But then again, given how they are, they might just give you the finger and force the upgrade only.

If you consider a change from blue to black screen of death an upgrade.

I'm sitting this one out, literally on a green hill outside, watching the valley down go up in smoke on the next MS update.


It's no wonder why they decided to skip 9-11.

Well, 10-11 works like this: Moving from W10 to W11.

And 11-11 is simply a nice play on the number.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,725   +1,790
Hang on, if you have a system that is supported you have to upgrade from Windows 10? You can’t just install fresh?
If your hardware is supported you can definitely upgrade via Windows Update. You just have to wait for it to get to you. Install via ISO if you want a fresh install (always recommended with new OS) and don't want to wait.
 

seeprime

Posts: 603   +757
I've been using Windows 11 beta, on one machine, since they were made available to the Insider Dev Channel. I see absolutely no compelling reason to upgrade to 11. In fact, some actions now require more steps. It seems that Microsoft simply did not want to let the UI they developed for Windows 10X, now cancelled, go "to waste". So, here we are with Windows 11, something that no one asked for.

11 does offer faster updates. It reminds me of the difference between Vista's boot time and that of Windows 7. This alone is not a great reason to install Windows 11 until Microsoft has had time to iron out kinks, fix the missing right click taskbar menu, and solidify the OS.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,576   +4,964
Microsoft focusing on quality??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

I'll believe it when I see it - which will not be for a long time as none of my current PCs running Windohs 10 have TPM or, I believe, compatible processors.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,854   +2,225
Good for them, but, I'm waiting until after the 1st of the year to upgrade the home
computer. Let the early adopters work out most of the HUGE bugs, and hopefully
after the holidays, the prices MIGHT come down a bit.
 

bazz2004

Posts: 1,790   +296
I try to keep things up to date and not throw away hardware but have only one PC able to run Windows 11. Apple's Mac mini with the M1 chip may be worth trying for my next system. The iPad is a marvel but so far their computers have been too expensive in comparison with Windows systems. The move forward may not be the success that Microsoft are hoping for.
 

Ravey

Posts: 322   +138
I'll continue to use Windows 10 until they force an upgrade.

My next computer will come with Windows 11 Pro.

It's more likely that they will just give everyone a time limit on how long they can upgrade for free, then after the time limit you will have to pay for the upgrade. That's what they pretty much did with Windows 10.

I've never understood the reluctance to upgrade to a new operating system. Maybe I've just been lucky and never had any issues when upgrading! So I'm always happy to upgrade, especially when it's free :)
 

bviktor

Posts: 499   +828
Mine will come with Windows 11 Enterprise. To downgrade to the Pro version would just be intolerable and unforgivable to me.
And I bet you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. AppLocker, BranchCache, App-V, Unified Write Filter, so many must-have features for your home environment! Not.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,576   +4,964
It's more likely that they will just give everyone a time limit on how long they can upgrade for free, then after the time limit you will have to pay for the upgrade. That's what they pretty much did with Windows 10.

I've never understood the reluctance to upgrade to a new operating system. Maybe I've just been lucky and never had any issues when upgrading! So I'm always happy to upgrade, especially when it's free :)
The thing is, will any of your PCs be able to run Win 11 - from a hardware standpoint. Previous "free" windohs upgrades like 7/8/8.1 - 8/8.1/10 were able to run on most of the hardware that existed at the time. It sounds like this is not the case with the 11 "free upgrade". If you have to buy new hardware to upgrade to Win 11, I would not agree that the "upgrade" is free. Not to mention that new hardware will likely require buying a license for Win 11.
 

Ravey

Posts: 322   +138
The thing is, will any of your PCs be able to run Win 11 - from a hardware standpoint. Previous "free" windohs upgrades like 7/8/8.1 - 8/8.1/10 were able to run on most of the hardware that existed at the time. It sounds like this is not the case with the 11 "free upgrade". If you have to buy new hardware to upgrade to Win 11, I would not agree that the "upgrade" is free. Not to mention that new hardware will likely require buying a license for Win 11.
That may be the case, but Microsoft has always been quite generous on allowing as many systems as possible to run it's operating system, even on much older hardware. They are not about to damage their current market share by stopping users from upgrading because a systems hardware isn't up to scratch.