Microsoft has announced the release of Windows 11. Remember when Windows 10 was the last version of Windows? But don’t worry because Windows 11 will be free for all Windows 10 users, and includes a whole bunch of “new features and improvements” over the current version of Windows

Windows 11 Release Date

Microsoft says that new Windows 11 PCs will be offered this fall. Windows 11 will also start to be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users fall of 2021. The “upgrade” will be offered on a schedule that has yet to be determined. The upgrade to Windows 11 will also be optional; but remember windows 10 until support ends in 2025.

Windows 11 System Requirements

Windows 11 features new system requirements that Microsoft has determined necessary to ensure all Windows 11 PCs are perform optimally. The minimum system requirements are as follows:

  • A modern 1Ghz 64-bit dual-core processor
  •  4GB RAM
  • 64GB drive
  • 9-inch display 1366×768 resolution UEFI
  •  Secure Boot & TPM 2.0 compatible
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WWDM 2.x

A major change to Windows’ system requirements with Windows 11 is that is only runs on 64-bit processors. Microsoft is not releasing a 32-bit version of the OS, although 32-bit apps will continue to function.

Microsoft is also limiting officially supported Windows 11 PCs to Intel 8th-generation (or equivalent) and above. This means if you have a CPU older than Intel 8th-generation, you probably won’t be able to officially run Windows 11 when it’s released later this year.

Windows 11 also requires a display size of at least 9-inches. This eliminates phones or mini 8-inch tablets with Windows 11. Microsoft has also increased the required drive storage to 64GB and 4GB for Ram.

Windows 11 new features

Windows will come with host of new features and improvements to the User Interface (UI).  One new features called “Snap Navigator”, a menu that drops down from an app windows maximum button. This lets you snap an app to a predetermined set of grid layouts eliminating the need to drag your window to the edge of your display. Also featured is a new chat app built into the task bar.

This is a quick link to Microsoft Teams for consumers. Look for Teams to be integrated into the UI in many other ways as well. The start menu and task bar also got a facelift. There is a new “Quick Settings” area when you click on the System icons that allows for easy configuration of system settings.  Windows 11 is reported to be a more open system compared to Windows 10 and its predecessors. Of course the new Microsoft store will be featured prominently.

Windows 11 will be a free upgrade

In summary, Windows 11 will ship later this year (2021). And will be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. Microsoft has announced no time limit on the upgrade. So you won’t have to upgrade to Windows 11 right away if you don’t want to.