Windows 11 Release Date Revealed

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has confirmed Windows 11 will start rolling out as a free upgrade from October 5th, 2021. Users of older machines may have to wait until mid-2022, however.

There will be some overlap with Windows 10, further blurring the lines of whether Windows 11 should be treated as a totally new operating system or the latest updates to what was supposed to be a "forever" system.

The semi-annual major update to Windows 10 will still come out this fall, but Microsoft isn't promising anything else other than a guarantee of security updates and support until October, 14 2025. Windows 11 will only get one major update each year.

Wait In Line

Although October 5th is the official launch date for Windows 11, it will only be available then as a pre-installed option on PCs from retailers, or as an automatic upgrade on the most recent PCs. Microsoft says anyone thinking of buying a new computer in the next few months can safely go ahead now, run Windows 10, then upgrade free of charge in October.

Everyone else will have to wait for an automated upgrade with their place in line "based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors." The plan is that all compatible PCs will get the automatic update by the middle of next year. (Source:

Manual Upgrades a Mixed Picture

In practice, that likely means Microsoft wants to install it first on the machines least likely to experience problems. While annoying to some users, that makes sense as it means Microsoft can more readily any identify major issues that will cause widespread disruption. It also limits the chance of a bad first impression that's hard to shake off.

Regardless of the automated schedule, users will be able to manually upgrade at any point by downloading an ISO format file. In theory this will even work on machines that don't meant Microsoft's compatibility checklist, though there's no guarantee that such machines will get security or feature updates later on, so it may be a very short-term fix. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Is Microsoft taking the right approach to the schedule? Will you manually install Windows 11 rather than wait for the automatic upgrade? Are you happy with how Microsoft is treating "incompatible" machines?

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gm.warden_4400's picture

I have 4 computers in my household running Windows 10 flawlessly (3 Home, 1 Pro). They run fast, and smoothly handle all the newest games, apps, and full program suites that I've installed. Only 1 of them has the option of adding a TPM module to the motherboard and that one will only handle TPM version 1. Windows 10 was supposed to be the "last and future version of Windows". In my opinion Microsoft, quite simply, miscalculated the impact this "forever" version of Windows would have on it's revenue stream and is now trying to play catch up by forcing everyone to upgrade to Windows 11 to receive security or feature updates. That policy is in no uncertain terms, just plain WRONG! If Microsoft wants to upgrade it's product to a "new" version then they should also keep their promises of a forever version to Windows 10 users and apply the same security and feature updates without the TPM protocols to their still otherwise compatible machines.

nospam_5346's picture

I was looking around on some forums and saw a post from someone who has been running every developer version without problems on an Intel 6850K CPU.

Same CPU I run. Seems the CPU requirements may be somewhat incomplete and arbitrary.

The TPM requirement is obviously a hard stop. Does the average home user really need it? I don’t know.

My motherboard will take one if I could get it. Been on a waiting list for a month or two already.

buzzallnight's picture

When will Win 12 be released??????????????

russoule's picture

is this going to be like Windows 10 and have the so-called upgrade pushed down our throats? is there a method to tell Microsoft to suck an egg? I am happy with the way I have Win10 setup on my 5 systems right now and have no need to modify, upgrade, improve, blah, blah at this point. nor do I have the time to spend re-claiming my systems from anything MS tries to push onto me. so, is there a way to tell MS to go suck an egg?