The next major version of Windows brings an updated design, a new Start Menu, support for widgets, a new Microsoft Store, integration with Windows Teams, and a bunch of other changes. And it will begin rolling out on October 5th.
That’s when Microsoft will start offering Windows 11 as a free upgrade for eligible computers. But not all PCs will get the update on day one.
Microsoft says it’s doing a phased rollout in order to ensure that by the time Windows Update prompts you to upgrade, there’s a good chance Windows 11 won’t cause problems on your computer.
So “new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first, with Microsoft later bringing Windows 11 to older PCs that are already in use. Well, some of them anyway. Windows 11 only officially supports computers with processors released in the last few years by AMD, Intel, or Qualcomm processors. If you have an older system, you can still install Windows 11 manually, but it won’t be supported and you won’t get feature, bug fix, or security updates.
PC makers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are already promising that Windows 11 will be available for some of their most recent PCs on or near day one (at least partially in an effort to convince folks not to wait until October to buy one). Unsurprisingly, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 will also be among the first devices to support the upgrade.
One promised feature that will not be available at launch though? Support for running Android apps on Windows 11 PCs. Microsoft says it expects to bein rolling out a preview of this feature to members of the Windows Insiders program in the coming months, but it’s unclear when it will graduate from preview status and become widely available for all users.
One other thing to keep in mind? Windows 10 users don’t necessarily need to upgrade. Whether you have a system that doesn’t officially support Windows 11 or you don’t like the direction Microsoft is taking its desktop operating system, the company plans to continue supporting Windows 10 through 2025 and some new features like the updated Microsoft Store will make their way to Windows 10 eventually.