Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 will launch on October 5 this year, although that won't be for everyone with the rollout being gradual and starting with "new eligible devices" first.
In a blog post (opens in new tab), Microsoft explained that the full Windows 11 rollout should be completed by mid-2022 with all Windows 10 owners eligible for the upgrade receiving a notification as and when they can get on with the new launch.
From October 5, you'll also be able to purchase new systems with Windows 11 pre-installed so this is definitely the time to take a look at the best home computers (opens in new tab) and the best laptops (opens in new tab) with many of the biggest names such as the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360 14 and Surface Laptop 4 expected to offer Windows 11 from that date.
Windows 11: What you need to know
The new operating system is expected to offer enhanced productivity features for many users with a focus on improving the work-from-home process including new Teams and Microsoft 365 integrations. Microsoft is also keen to offer more gaming features with "technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR" which will bring PC gaming more in line with what the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S already provide.
Other features include a revamped Microsoft Store although, notably, while Android apps will be available to download from there in the future, this feature won't be at launch. Instead, it'll be released as a preview for Windows Insiders in the coming months with the thinking being that we'll all see it sometime in early 2022.
Other highlights include a new design that reflects a more modern and fresh take on operating system user interfaces, a new Start button, along with Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops which will make it simpler to multitask. Widgets will also see a come back so there will be different ways to handle all kinds of information.
If you're uncertain about upgrading, you won't be forced to just yet. Have a read of our look at Windows 11 vs Windows 10 (opens in new tab) to see what to expect. If you do want to upgrade, the update will be gradually rolled out to your system with the choice of 'forcing' it a little further by going to the Windows Update screen after October 5. It should be quite a good upgrade for many users.