The release date for Windows 11 is set for October 5, Microsoft announced on Tuesday – a few months after the new operating system’s release. The software giant said that on October 5, the free Windows 11 update will begin shipping for all qualifying Windows 10 PCs, and PCs that come preloaded with the next-generation Windows operating system will be available for sale. The new version of Windows will bring a list of changes, including the update interface and a centrally located Start menu. However, it will not include support for Android apps at the time of its official release in October.
Microsoft will begin shipping Windows 11 to qualifying Windows 10 PCs on October 5, although not all PCs will upgrade to the new version on day one. The update will be available in phases.
“We hope that all qualifying devices will receive the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022,” said Aaron Woodman, general manager of Windows marketing at Microsoft, in a blog.
Windows Update will let users know when Windows 11 is available for their existing Windows 10 PCs. Users will be able to search for the update by going to Definitions > Windows update > Check for updates.
Microsoft has promised to relaunch the PC Health Check app soon to allow users to check the eligibility status of their Windows 10 PCs. In the meantime, you can get the PC Health Check app in preview if you’re a member of the Windows Insider program. You can also review the Windows 11 minimum system requirements to determine if your PC is eligible to receive the new operating system update.
Windows 11 was originally announced to be available as an update on PCs with the latest CPUs, although Microsoft last week updated its minimum system requirements to include support for older Intel CPUs.
Importantly, only new qualifying devices will receive the Windows 11 update first, while the operating system will reach more devices on the market over time. Microsoft is also working with manufacturers and retail partners to bring the latest version of Windows to a variety of new Windows 10 PCs soon after starting the distribution process next month.
If you have a PC that is not eligible for Windows 11, Microsoft has guaranteed to continue to support Windows 10 through October 14, 2025. It also recently announced new features, including Windows Hello improvements and WPA3 H2E Wi-Fi support that will be part of Windows 10 later this year.
That said, Windows 11 offers a whole new level of experience and features that you probably won’t get in Windows 10. This includes the list of UI level changes, new animation sounds and effects, Snap Layouts, Snap Groups, and advanced support for multiple desktops. Windows 11 also features deep integration with Microsoft Teams to allow users to stay connected with their contacts and, by default, shows the Start menu in the center.
Windows 11 also includes a new Microsoft Store and comes preloaded with several enhancements, as well as enhancements to provide up-to-date experiences with touch, digital pen, and voice inputs.
However, not all of the features that Microsoft announced along with the launch of Windows 11 in June will be released next month, as early support for Android apps will be available at a later stage.
“We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders in the coming months,” Woodman said.
We can safely expect that Android app support in Windows 11 will not be available to end users until 2022, as Microsoft typically takes a few months to test a new update to its Windows Insider program.