On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, Microsoft announced it will start offering free upgrades to Windows 11, the next generation of its desktop operating system, to eligible PCs on October 5, 2021.

According to Microsoft’s blog post covering the release, “Windows 11 cuts through complexity and brings you simplicity.” The update focuses on “creating a more open ecosystem, unlocking new opportunity for developers and creators.”

What does the Windows 11 update look like?

The big cornerstone for Windows 11 is a simplification of the Windows user interface, a new Windows store, and improvements to performance and multitasking. Windows 11 will also include support for running Android apps for the first time.

The first thing you’ll notice about Windows 11 is that it includes a new Start menu and updated Start button that are both centered on the taskbar. This UI is very similar to what we first saw in Windows 10X, and mirrors the features of a Mac taskbar.

Click here to see more features of Windows 11 and read Microsoft’s blog on the Windows 11 update.

What does Windows 11 look like under the hood?

For IT and developers, Windows 11 is built on the familiar Windows 10 foundation and will be deployed the same way as Windows 10 update. Tools like Microsoft Endpoint Manager, cloud configuration, Windows Update for Business and Autopilot will remain intact to continue to support your environment as you integrate Windows 11.

Windows 11 was also designed with higher security standards in mind. With Windows 11, built-in security technologies like UEFI, Secure Boot-capable system firmware, Trusted Platform Module version 2.0, and secure driver-compatible graphics add protection from the chip to the cloud for a post-pandemic hybrid workplace. Windows 11 also provides a Zero Trust-ready operating system to protect data access across devices.

To learn more about what Windows 11 looks like under the hood, read Microsoft’s What Windows 11 Means for Developers blog here.

When can I get the Windows 11 upgrade?

While Windows 11 is set to follow in the footsteps of Windows 10 and arrive as a free upgrade, Microsoft has narrowed the upgrade path for Windows 11 in the name of security. So while the upgrade may be available to the public on October 5th, your device may not be eligible.

To begin with, the new version will not support 32-bit CPUs, which means that Windows 10 will be the last update for PCs that have one of those. Additionally, Windows 11 has other minimum system requirements that your device(s) will need to match to be eligible for an upgrade, including:

  • Must be 1 gigahertz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM
  • 64 GB or larger storage device
  • UEFI, Secure Boot-capable system firmware
  • Trusted Platform Module version 2.0
  • Graphics card compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
  • Must have Windows 10 (2004 or later) operating system to upgrade

Corsica Technologies can provide a smooth rollout of Windows 11 for your company.

As with other operating system updates, there may be some issues encountered with drivers or third-party applications and devices. While Windows 11 is exciting and should offer better performance for users, we can help ensure that an upgrade will not disrupt your business operations.

Thinking about upgrading to Windows 11? Request a consultation with our expert IT team today.

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