Windows 11 is Microsoft's latest major operating system upgrade.


    Windows 10 was launched in 2015. That means there was a six-year Operating System upgrade drought from Microsoft. That is the longest in Microsoft's history.  Microsoft calls Windows 11 "The next generation of Windows" but compared to the major release from Windows 8 to Windows 10, this upgrade isn't a sweeping change because under the hood Windows 11 keeps the same Windows 10 engine.

     What Windows 11 does provide is a more modern look that Microsoft calls "Fluent Design", with rounded corners and icons displayed in the center of the taskbar.  Windows 11 includes a light and dark mode with several new colorful wallpapers to choose from.  Microsoft is aiming for a more streamlined user experience with tight Microsoft Teams integration, a more modern File Explorer, better touch screen support, and AI-powered widgets that show information depending on your apps and the time of day.  Window 11 can run Android Applications, but since this feature is done through a partnership with Amazon and Intel it may not be fully available for all users until 2022. 

    Windows 11 will be available for general availability on October 5, 2021. Microsoft expects all devices that meet the Windows 11 perquisites to receive the free upgrade by the middle of 2022.  The free upgrade offer does not have a specific end date for eligible systems.  But Microsoft reserves the right to eventually end support for the free upgrade offer.   Newer devices will be given priority over older equipment.  PC's with Windows 11 pre-installed should be available for purchase later this year.

    To streamline the upgrade process, Microsoft will look at software, hardware age, device driver compatibility, and other factors to determine what computers will be eligible for upgrade first.  Computers running Windows 10 that meet Microsoft prerequisites for the upgrade will get a notification from windows update announcing availability.  If your computer is too old or does not meet the minimum requirements for the upgrade, Windows 10 will still be supported by Microsoft through 2025.



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