Windows 11 release date, features, and everything you need to know

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Windows 11 is finally official, with a new look and more after being unveiled at Microsoft’s big event on June 24.

While an early version had leaked before that, spoiling the new look and name, we finally got to see the new OS in an official capacity, with the Insider version released shortly after.

Emphasis has also been placed on the new Microsoft Store, with relaxed allocations alongside the Amazon App Store, so you can download TikTok and other apps if you want.

There is still some confusion about what Windows 11 system requirements are for your PC, mostly due to a component called TPM, but it looks like Microsoft is looking into this.

With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the release date, new features, and more for Windows 11.

Cut to the chase

  • What is that? Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10
  • When did he come out? Probably end of October
  • How much does it cost? Release

Windows 11 release date

Microsoft says Windows 11 will be released “this holiday season” – so probably between late November and Christmas.

There will also be a annual update of the new operating system, similar to Apple’s efforts with macOS.

While Microsoft released a tool that lets you see if your desktop or laptop will be able to run Windows 11, it has been confirmed to be buggy, giving erroneous results for machines that wouldn’t have any issues with it. run the update.

However, another tool has been released that gives you much clearer details about PC eligibility.

It looks like Microsoft is hinting at a version for Windows 11 in October. Countless screenshots have the date of October 20, as well as messages indicating how many of them are looking forward to “going to 11 in October!”

Windows 11 October release index

(Image credit: TechRadar)

How to download Windows 11

Now that Microsoft has released the test version, named 22000.51 for Windows Insiders on the developer or beta channel, we have a how-to guide on how to download it.

Before doing so, the best point of appeal would be to make sure that your PC is enrolled in Microsoft’s Insider program first, as long as it meets the requirements.

Be aware, however, that we recommend that you only run it on a PC that is not your primary machine, as there are a lot of small issues at the moment.

Windows 11 application WhyNotWin11

(Image credit: Avenir)

Minimum specifications

There has been a lot of talk about which devices are eligible for Windows 11. Regardless of the TPM requirement, others are just wondering if they should look to upgrade their PC or laptop soon.

So far, Microsoft has released the requirements for the update, but these are subject to change as the release approaches and the company is taking the comments into account.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • System Firmware: UEFI, secure boot compatible
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0
  • Graphic card: DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: 720p, 8 bits per color channel, at least 9 inches diagonal
  • Internet connection and Microsoft account: Windows 11 Home requires an active Internet connection and Microsoft account to complete the initial setup and use of the operating system for the first time, or when exiting a device from Windows 11 Home in S mode.

How much does Windows 11 cost?

Windows 11 will be a free update for existing Windows users – you’ll need to be online to download, install, and activate the Home versions, and you’ll need a Microsoft account to install it or upgrade your PC or your Tablet.

So far, Microsoft has released the hardware requirements for Windows 11, but there is confusion about the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and whether the company exceeds the minimum threshold for which devices are eligible to be upgraded to the New version.

While we have a handy rundown for you that goes into TPM, hardware vendors can still come up with new machines with Windows 11 that won’t need this requirement, albeit for good reason.

Sonic Mania running on Windows11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 features

There are general improvements in Windows 11, with Microsoft promising that updates will be 40% smaller, and touting Windows 11 as “the most secure version yet.”

The taskbar is optimized for touch devices as well as mice, and is now renamed Dock.

New multitasking features are also offered with a feature called Snap Layouts, which lets you organize multiple windows on the screen, not only side by side, but in columns, sections and more.

Another feature is Snap Groups, where you can go back to previously captured windows from the dock, for example, you can access your mail app, Edge browser windows or anything else without having to bring them back to view. previous.

Multi-screen support is also improved. So when you reconnect an external monitor, Windows 11 remembers the previous positions of the windows that were on that monitor.

There’s even an estimated installation time for Windows Update, so you can see if you need to delay updating your PC until later today.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Teams is also integrated into the dock, so you can easily join meetings and family calls. It sounds like the first idea of ​​Skype disappearing from Windows, especially with the Skype sounds heard in the demo when a call came in.

The Microsoft Store is finally getting a redesign, with more organized content and better options for managing your purchased shows, such as mirroring them on your TV. Apps like Disney +, Adobe Creative Cloud, Pinterest and many more are already in this redesigned store for Windows 11, out of the box.

WPA, EWP, and Win32 apps are now all in the Microsoft Store ready to use. If a developer has a commerce engine, they can keep 100% of the revenue generated by the Microsoft Store.

Android apps are also ready for Windows 11, discoverable on the Microsoft Store, through the Amazon App Store, so you can download TikTok and more, out of the box on your PC or tablet.

We believe that the reason Amazon is allowing its version of the store instead of Google may have to do with the replacement of the .APK filename starting in August.

The new store opens up the possibility for other apps to arrive in Windows 11, even Apple’s iMessage, which could follow iTunes and Safari.

Windows 11 showing Edge extensions in the new Microsoft Store

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A new look for 11

One of the most significant changes that users will notice is that the Start menu has been moved to the center of the screen – and it is now “cloud-powered”, so it dynamically changes based on the time of the day. day and the content you’re working with. .

Light mode and dark mode are official, with rounded corners and a unified design across the entire operating system, with colorful wallpapers to choose from.

There are also windows that look like Windows Vista’s Aero-esque, showing you bite-sized information.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows widgets are back in Windows 11, accessible through the dock, with Microsoft touting dynamic AI-based features that allow widgets, like with the Start menu, to change based on the apps you use and the time of day. of the day. On the touchscreen, you can swipe from the left on the desktop to bring up widgets.

There are a lot of choices, like weather, Bing maps, news, etc.

These will also be available to third parties, so you can see as many widgets available as on Apple’s iOS and iPadOS operating systems.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Play on Windows 11

Gaming will be a much higher priority in Windows 11, with the slow and frustrating-to-use Xbox Windows 10 app replaced with a new Game Pass app that lets you buy, manage, and delete games, allowing you to more easily access and download games, from Doom Eternal to – soon – Halo Infinite.

HDR will also be supported on compatible machines, providing improved lighting and contrast for gaming and viewing media. Direct storage is also present, with the main game elements available for download and installation, allowing you to play your games even faster than before.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Touch enhancements

Tablet mode has been one of Windows’ weak spots since Windows 8, and the new tablet features Microsoft introduced for Windows 11 could be the key to the operating system’s fortunes, especially with future Surface products in the future. Microsoft’s pipeline – to have a new numbered operating system for its next tablets could be a big selling point for new users.

At the event, Microsoft touted larger touch targets and easier ways to move windows, and better rotation optimizations, for example in the way windows are rearranged, so you don’t lose sight of the applications you were using.

The gestures used with the trackpad of Surface models also arrive on the touchscreen, bringing some familiarity here. Haptics also arrive in Windows 11 when you use a stylus for better feedback while drawing or sketching.

The touchscreen keyboard has also been redesigned, with a smaller keyboard just for your thumb and ready-to-go emojis. Microsoft says dictation will also be improved, alongside voice commands, with ‘remove that’ options and more.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)



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