Windows 11: Everything You Need To Know About Its Release Date, New Features, And More

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Windows 11 brings a new look and new features to Microsoft’s operating system.

Microsoft

Windows 11 brings big changes to the long-standing operating system, including its change of first name to six years. Windows 11 update start deploying on October 5, Although the Windows 11 Public Beta is already available for download. (Here’s how download windows 11 for free after its launch and how see if your PC is compatible.)


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Windows 11 includes a host of new features, such as the ability to download and run Android apps on your Windows PC and updates from Microsoft teams, the start menu and the general appearance of the software, which has a cleaner, Mac-like design. (Discover all our favorite new Windows 11 features and how to use them.)

Here are all the details we know about Windows 11 so far, including price, compatibility, release date, how to download the beta, and new features.

7 new features included in Windows 11

Here are some of the noteworthy new features in Windows 11:

  • A new interface closer to the Mac. Windows 11 features a clean design with rounded corners, pastel tones and a Start menu centered and taskbar.
  • Built-in Android apps. Android apps will arrive on Windows 11 and installable from the new Microsoft Store via the Amazon Appstore. There were several ways to access Android apps on Windows 10, including if you had a samsung galaxy phone, but that will make it native. (Note that Android apps will not be available during the initial release of Windows 11.)
  • Widgets. While they’ve been around for quite some time (remember desktop gadgets on Windows Vista?), Including in a Windows 10 recent update, you can now access widgets directly from the taskbar and customize them to see what you want.
  • Microsoft Teams integration. The teams are getting a new look and will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, which will make it easier to access (and a little more like Apple’s FaceTime). You will be able to access Teams from Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.
  • Xbox technology for better gaming. Windows 11 will get some features found in Xbox consoles, like Auto HDR and DirectStorage, to enhance gaming on your Windows PC.
  • Better support for virtual desktops. Windows 11 will allow you configure virtual desktops in a way more similar to MacOS, switching between multiple desktops for personal, work, school or gaming use. You can also change wallpaper on each virtual desktop.
  • Easier transition from monitor to laptop and better multitasking. The new operating system includes features called Snap groups and snap layouts – collections of apps you both use that are in the taskbar and can appear or be collapsed at the same time to make it easier to change tasks. They also make it easier for you to plug in and unplug a monitor without losing the location of your open windows.
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Microsoft Teams will be integrated directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, which is now centered on the screen.

Microsoft

When can you download Windows 11?

Windows 11 is now available in preview for Windows Insiders (here is how to download it). It will start rolling out to all compatible PCs and new PCs on October 5, according to Microsoft, and will run until mid-2022. The newer your device, the sooner you will have access to the update. The older your PC, the longer you will likely have to wait.


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Will your computer be compatible with Windows 11?

There are several ways to check if your Windows 10 PC is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11.


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You can download Microsoft’s PC Health Check app (right now if you’re part of the Windows Insider program, or in the coming weeks if you’re not) to see if your device is compatible, and if not, a few details on why. (Microsoft retired the app after its deployment in June to add more information on why the devices may not be compatible, but by the end of August it’s back online.)

You can use another open source application called Why Not Win11 to see if your device is compatible. Plus, here’s how check some hardware compatibility with Windows 11 without any tools.

Or go to Microsoft’s website for a list of requirements. If you buy a new PC by the time of general release, this computer will also be eligible for the free upgrade.

Can I still download Windows 11 even if my computer is not compatible?

Potentially. Even if your Windows 10 computer does not meet some of the requirements for upgrading to Windows 11, you will still be able to manually download an unsupported version of the operating system. The process would be similar to how many people can manually free download Windows 10. However, this version is unlikely to be eligible for updates from Microsoft.

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New PCs will be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How will you download Windows 11 once it’s generally available?

Once Windows 11 is generally available, you’ll download it the same way you would any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update and click Check for updates.

If available, you will see Feature update to Windows 11. Click on Download and install. Keep in mind that Microsoft is rolling out the operating system gradually, so don’t panic if you don’t see the option on day 1.

Here is more information about how to download windows 11. If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet, you can still also download Windows 10 for free – here’s how.

Will Windows 11 be free to download?

If you are already a Windows 10 user, Windows 11 will appear as a free upgrade for your machine.

For more information, see all the features we wanted in Windows 11 but didn’t get, know everything about the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, the best hidden Windows 10 features we found and Six Simple Security Changes Every Windows 10 User Should Make.


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