When will Windows 11 come out, is the upgrade free, and what’s new?

Because Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, we now know specific answers to questions such as: When will Windows 11 be released? Can you upgrade for free or do you have to pay for it? And what’s new about Windows 10? We have listed the answers for you.

Windows 11 has already dominated the news for the past few weeks. Not only did Microsoft itself hint at its existence, an installable version also leaked out. Even though it was not finished, it still gave a good impression of the differences with Windows 10.

Windows 11 has actually been revealed during a livestream, so no more secrecy. Let’s quickly provide some answers to common questions about Microsoft’s brand new operating system.

When will Windows 11 be released?

The official release date for Windows 11 is October 5th. From that date, the operating system will be offered in phases through the Windows Update channel, as long as your Windows 10 PC meets the minimum system requirements. More on that later. However, it may take a while. Microsoft expects that all PCs eligible for an upgrade will have been offered the deal by mid-2022.

Do not want to wait that long? From October 5, stores will also sell brand new computers running Windows 11 by default.

Is Windows 11 free?

Just as Windows 10 was a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, Windows 11 is initially a free upgrade. At least as long as you have a valid Windows license that you have already paid for. It is not known exactly how long the update will be offered for free.

How much does Windows 11 cost?

If you do not yet have a Windows license, a separate Windows 11 product key will also be available over time. It is not yet known what it will cost. Microsoft sells Windows 10 Home licenses for 145 euros, so the price is probably close to this. In practice, Windows activation codes are offered much cheaper on many websites.

What are the system requirements for Windows 11?

On paper, Windows 11’s system requirements are not very high. For example, Microsoft recommends at least 4 GB of RAM and a disk with at least 64 GB of storage space.

The biggest bottleneck for many PCs will be the processor. Online documentation shows that Windows 11 requires at least an 8th generation Intel processor. This would mean that not all PCs with CPUs older than 2017 can be upgraded to Windows 11.

In addition, processors must support TPM 2.0, an option that you may need to enable at the bios level. Microsoft’s PC Health Check app lets you check if your PC can be upgraded to Windows 11, even if the tool has been offline for a while.

Can I continue to use Windows 10, or do I need to upgrade immediately?

Since Windows 11 comes as Windows Update, you can probably just postpone the installation. This way, for a while, you can see the cat out of the tree if dental problems occur. This will also appeal to organizations. The transition to a brand new operating system takes time, and the upgrade to Windows 10 has previously been far from flawless.

In any case, you can safely use Windows 10 until at least October 14, 2025. On that date, the so-called life cycle of the operating system ends and no more (security) updates will be released. But until then, yes.

What’s new in Windows 11?

Finally, let’s discuss the most striking news in Windows 11:

– Modern look with centered start menu
For Windows 11, Microsoft is making a big graphical change. The underlying idea here is that the operating system should radiate a certain peace and quiet. This is reflected in rounded corners for windows, soft color shades and transparent parts.

The Start menu has been moved to the center of the taskbar. As usual, left-handed adjustment is still an option.

– Snap formats = Alt + loss on steroids
Windows 11 lets you group multiple windows side by side as a snap group. Think of this as a more comprehensive variant of alt + tab, where you can call up multiple windows and programs at the same time. These layouts are also preserved when you connect an additional monitor to your PC.

Snap layouts continue to work side by side. For example, you can create multiple groups for different work projects.

– Widgets return
We last saw widgets in Windows 7 and then mainly on Android smartphones. iOS has also recently added support to it. Widgets are basically shortcuts to frequently used features in certain applications that are immediately visible on your desktop. Examples include Microsoft To-Do lists, upcoming calendar events, the weather forecast, and the latest news.

– Microsoft Teams built-in as standard
The number of Microsoft Teams users has grown enormously due to the corona pandemic. So much so that Microsoft is making the video calling service a standard part of Windows 11, just as it was previously chosen to provide Windows 10 with OneDrive integration.

Whether you can easily remove Teams because you simply do not use it anyway remains to be seen. Standard Windows components like OneDrive and Edge are usually not that easy to uninstall.

– The Microsoft Store is open to everyone

The Microsoft Store has so far not been a resounding success, in part because Microsoft has imposed very strict rules on app developers. This strategy completely abandons Microsoft. The new store should be much more accessible to any app builder who wants to sell their software on it. Be it Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, Progressive Web apps (PWA) or the trusted win32 applications. They are all welcome.

Developers are also allowed to keep all earnings to themselves. They no longer have to give Microsoft a share in the sales of software through the Microsoft Store.

– Android app support
Finally, you will soon also find real Android apps in this Microsoft Store. Its installation is carried out in a roundabout. First, download the Amazon App Store. It contains Android apps, which can then be operated from your PC. As if they were normal Windows programs.

Want to read more about Windows 11? All tips, news and system requirements can also be found on Computer! Totaal.

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