Windows 11 Release Date, New Features and Compatibility

In 2015, Windows 10 launched dramatic changes, mostly because Microsoft introduced “Windows as a Service” with ongoing updates from the cloud. In fact, some industry watchers interpreted early remarks from spokespeople to mean that Microsoft considered Windows 10 its final version. They thought Microsoft implied that users should consider periodic upgrades as updates to Windows 10.
Now in 2021, Microsoft has let the public know to expect Windows 11 release date very soon. Even so, ZDNet mentioned that Windows 11 would still rest upon the Windows 10 framework and probably could have been introduced as a major update and not an entirely new version. On the positive side, most devices that currently run Windows 10 should handle the key features of Windows 11.

When Is the Microsoft Windows 11 Release Date?

Microsoft announced Windows 11 near the end of June. They expect to offer the first opportunities for the general public to download the new operating system in the last few months of 2021. By the end of the year, new computers on the market will come with Windows 11 already loaded. In addition, Microsoft plans to offer Windows 11 as a free update for any devices that already run licensed copies of Windows 10.

Which PCs Can Run Windows 11?

The Microsoft Windows 11 page details the current minimum hardware specs suggested for the upgrade. Requirements such as having at least 1 GHz of power and 4 GB of RAM look pretty typical of Windows PCs released in the past few years.
As a note, the company has said they will release more information about required hardware as testing progresses. Also, some older computers produced before 2018 might not be able to run the upgrade. Microsoft has committed to supporting Windows 10 at least until 2025. By that time, users will probably have aged out their old computers in favor of newer ones.
According to the company, most computers that can run Windows 10 can also accommodate Windows 11. However, not all devices can take advantage of every Windows 11 feature. For instance, computers need a microphone, camera, and speaker to take advantage of such new features as Intelligent Video Conferencing and Teams.

Which New Features Will Windows 11 Release Introduce?

Microsoft saved up a large bundle of new features for Windows 11. However, as mentioned above, the usefulness of some of these might depend upon hardware configurations, connectivity, screen resolution, and accessories.
According to ZDNet, some of the most important and generally available updates will include:
  • Updated icons and colors and changes to taskbars and menus will impact the user experience.
  • Mandatory hardware-assisted security will provide more protection against hackers.
  • Updates will allow developers to make more applications available via the Microsoft Store, including a subsystem that lets users run Android apps.

Protection Plans for Windows 11 Computers

Again, most computers that currently run Windows 10 can also run Windows 11. Few people keep their devices longer than five years. So, by the time Microsoft drops support for Windows 10 in 2025, the vast majority of working computers should perform fine.
Nobody needs to feel pressured to run out and buy a new computer by the end of the year. However, PC owners may consider buying a new device in order to enjoy many new communication, connectivity, and productivity features.
Along with a new computer, consider buying the best PC extended warranty to ensure freedom from unexpected repair bills and access to high-quality services. An Upsie extended warranty for computers provides robust protection against defects, wear and accidents. They also have 24-7 claims services and a choice of mail-in or local repairs.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.