Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 at an event broadcast from its headquarters this week. The brand new desktop operating system offers a barely recognizable Start menu, a performance boost for gamers, and access to the Xbox library via Game Pass, interactive widgets, and a dizzying array of new layouts for juggling multiple applications on the screen. There are also new themes and deep integration with Microsoft Teams.
All in all, it’s a hefty upgrade. And best of all, Microsoft has confirmed that it will be completely free for anyone currently using Windows 10. And of course, if you still have Windows 7 or Windows 8 on your computer, there is still time to upgrade to Windows 10 for free (and thus get the push to Windows 11).
But when will users get the chance to see this redesigned and feature-rich new version of Windows that Microsoft called “the foundation” of the next decade of the operating system used by more than 1.3 billion people?
When will Windows 11 be released in the UK?
Well that depends. Microsoft didn’t reveal an exact release date during its live streaming keynote, but more details were revealed in the wake of the announcement. If you’re looking for a new laptop or desktop computer, chances are you’re getting Windows 11 before anyone else.
Microsoft says Windows 11 will be launched “later this year,” but this appears to apply to new laptops, two-in-one hybrids, tablets, and desktops with the new operating system preinstalled, rather than upgrades Windows 10 for existing devices. Microsoft usually updates its own devices in October or November, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a new line of Surface laptops and desktops to showcase the operating system.
When it comes to free upgrades for existing users, it may take a little longer for Windows 11 to arrive.
Microsoft has confirmed that its Windows 11 upgrade, which like any other monthly or quarterly update of Windows 10 is released through Windows Update, will be released worldwide in stages. This staggered approach, which is not uncommon for Microsoft with an upgrade of this magnitude, means that some Windows 10 users won’t be able to upgrade until next year.
Microsoft said: “The rollout plan for upgrades is still in the process of being finalized, but for most of the devices in use today, we expect it to be ready sometime in early 2022. Not all Windows 10 PCs that are eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11 will be offered an upgrade at the same time. “
Along with this slow adoption, the Redmond-based company has also announced that it will have certain system requirements. If your existing Windows 10 PC is running the latest version of Windows 10 and meets the minimum hardware specifications, it can be upgraded to Windows 11.
To upgrade to Windows 11, you must meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Microsoft has confirmed that you need at least a 64-bit CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. Windows 11 is delivered via the existing Windows Update app – as if it were a quarterly update to Windows 10.
Regarding the Windows 10 upgrade, Chief Product Officer Panos Panay said, “Windows has always been a stage for the world’s innovation. It was the backbone of global companies and became household names on Windows.
“What was so powerful was the change in the pc that we saw and felt – from something practical and functional to something personal and emotional. This has inspired us to develop the next generation of Windows. To give you a place that feels familiar, where you can create, learn, play, and most importantly, connect in whole new ways. Today I am pleased to introduce you to Windows 11, the Windows that brings you closer to what you love. “