Windows 11 launch: When to expect the next version of Windows?
Windows 11 is closer than you think it is, with a release likely coming later this October, but Insiders are likely to get it much sooner.
Microsoft has just announced Windows 11 as the next successor to Windows 10. But, when can you get it and do you have to upgrade?
There are likely a few answers. Here is why.
Windows 11 (beta): Late June, 2021
Microsoft has announced that starting the week of June 28 it begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program.
As expected, the release goes first to the Windows Insider Dev Channel. Later, it will migrate to Beta and then finally Release Preview towards the fall.
There will be exceptions to which PCs can join the Windows 11 Insider Dev Channel, as Microsoft notes:
Microsoft also comments about the Beta channel:
In other words, there are a lot of cavets, so make sure to read Microsoft's full post detailing the how the Insider program will work.
For everyone else
Windows 11 (General Release): October 6, 2021?
The Windows 11 update is a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users and is optional.
No final date has been given for the release of Windows 11, but October is a good rule of thumb (and it was even spotted in the Windows 11 presentation). Indeed, October 6th (Wednesday) could be the actual official day, but we'll have to wait and see.
Windows 11 will be available through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs beginning this holiday. To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, visit Windows.com to download the PC Health Check app (opens in new tab).
More on Windows 11
Windows 11 is going to be one of the biggest releases for Windows in over a decade. While the recent leak gives us a good look at what to expect, there are still many questions and unknown details. These will be revealed in the coming weeks and months as Microsoft officially discloses the OS, which we'll be covering in great detail.
For now, stick to our main Windows 11: Release date, price, and everything you need to know page to keep up with the latest news and updates.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Microsoft made Windows 10 to remove the colourful icons of previous editions just to introduce them back in Windows 11.
They also removed all the touch friendly experience from Windows 8 and 8.1 only to be added back in Windows 11.
Also, the Vista widgets are back. May be if they had the insider program during Windows XP days, these features would have stayed the entire time.