Microsoft announces Windows 11 will release on October 5 for new and existing PCs

Windows 11 Start Hero Surface Book
Windows 11 Start Hero Surface Book (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced the release date for Windows 11.
  • October 5 is when the OS will begin rolling out for existing Windows 10 PCs.
  • New PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed will become available around the same time.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 will launch on October 5, 2021 on existing PCs that are eligible for Windows 11 as well as new PCs with Windows 11 pre-installed. Announced back in June, Windows 11 is Microsoft's first major OS version since Windows 10 launched six years ago in 2015. Because of that, Microsoft is putting big emphasis on all the new features and changes that marks this release as a "new era of Windows."

Microsoft says that the rollout of Windows 11 will take a measured and phased approach, just like previous Windows 10 feature updates. This means that although Windows 11 is releasing on October 5, many people won't see the upgrade being offered to them right away. Microsoft says it will slowly scale up availability of the Windows 11 upgrade on eligible PCs well into 2022 before making it available to all eligible PCs.

Windows Insiders have been testing Windows 11 bits in preview since late June, and Microsoft has been responding to feedback and fixing bugs since then. The company reckons Windows 11 is in good enough shape to launch on October 5, which is good news for those who are excited to try it but didn't want to dive into the preview program to do so.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced that Android app support, a blockbuster feature announced during the Windows 11 unveiling event, won't be shipping this year. The company says the feature will go into preview with Insiders in the coming months, meaning we likely won't see the feature generally available until sometime in 2022.

Luckily, all the other features announced as part of Windows 11 are shipping on time. This includes the new Start menu and Taskbar experiences, as well as new in-box apps designs, fluid animations, Windows Widgets, Teams Chat, a new Microsoft Store, and much more.

Microsoft recently announced that it was adding a handful of 7th-generation Intel chips to the list of supported Windows 11 CPUs, adding the Surface Studio 2 as well as some X-series Core chips. The company also said that those with an unsupported CPU will still be able to run Windows 11 by manually installing, though future security updates were not guaranteed.

What are your thoughts on Windows 11? Are you looking forward to installing the final bits in October? Let us know below.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads