Starting October 5, the company will begin a “phased and measured” approach to free upgrades, in which newer devices will take priority over older devices. Microsoft previously said it plans to release Windows 11 next year.
All eligible users will receive the free upgrade by mid-2022.
Perhaps one of the most significant changes that Windows 11 has made is a Start menu and a new Start button centered on the taskbar. The menu opens a window with pinned apps, recently opened “recommended” documents, and a search bar.
The launch of Windows 11 comes six years after Microsoft’s last operating system overhaul with Windows 10, a major upgrade that now runs on around 1.3 billion devices worldwide, according to CCS Insight . Compared to the substantial change from Windows 8 to Windows 10, Windows 11 is not a “revolutionary step,” said Geoff Blaber, CEO of CCS.
“Windows 11 is an iterative version,” Blaber said. “Microsoft is making adjustments in areas that have the potential to evolve the user experience, engagement, and ever-growing reach of Office 365 applications.”
– Clare Duffy of CNN Business contributed to this report.