As the clocks tick over to October 5th in each time zone around the world, availability of Windows 11 begins on new computers pre-installed with Windows 11.

Windows 11 has all the features of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. With a new PC or laptop after the old stock pre-installed with Windows 10 gets sold out you’ll get Windows 11 whether you like it or not.

On existing computers running Windows 10 the update screen will tell start suggesting you consider upgrading.

Microsoft says the upgrade rollout plan is still being finalized, but for most devices already in use today, they expect it to be ready sometime in early 2022. Not all Windows 10 PCs that are eligible to upgrade to Windows 11 will be offered to upgrade at the same time.

You can use the PC Health Check app to check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade.

Minimum system requirements
Processor 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
Memory 4 GB RAM
Storage 64 GB or larger storage device
System firmware UEFI, Secure Boot capable. Check here for information on how your PC might be able to meet this requirement.
TPM Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0. Check here for instructions on how your PC might be enabled to meet this requirement.
Minimum system requirements
Graphics card Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
Display High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per colour channel.
Internet connection Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home

 

The free upgrade offer does not have a specific end date for eligible systems. However, Microsoft reserves the right to eventually end support for the free offer. This end date will be no sooner than 1 year from today.

You do not have to upgrade to Windows 11 if you don’t want to, especially if part of your hardware or software works best on Windows 10. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025.

Can you go back to Windows 10 after you upgrade, if you don’t like Windows 11?

That’s a great question and the answer is Yes. After you have installed the Windows 11 upgrade, there is a 10-day period where you can move back to Windows 10 while keeping files and data that you brought along with you. After the 10 days, you will need to back up your data and do a “clean install” to move back to Windows 10.

The following apps will not be removed on upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 but will no longer be installed on new devices or when clean-installing Windows 11. They are available for download from the Windows Store:

For no obvious reason the Taskbar is changed some icons may no longer appear in the System Tray and alignment to the bottom of the screen is the only location allowed.

Oh and by the way Internet Explorer is finally gone which is great for security but not so great if you rely on IE to use some ancient system eg Swann’s admin page for their security NVR’s.

On existing computers is it worth upgrading? I don’t think so, at least not anytime soon. I’ll wait at least 6 months and see what happens to the early adopters. Let them suffer from any general flakiness.

According to industry veteran reviewer Paul Thurrott Windows 11 is fresh, familiar and incomplete:

“Microsoft should have taken more than three months to publicly test its first major Windows release in over six years: Windows 11 is pretty, but it’s also horribly incomplete and inconsistent, with major functional regressions and no truly compelling updates to its built-in apps”.

What do you plan to do with your existing Windows 10 computer when offered the free upgrade?

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