Windows 11 kicked off its wide rollout on Tuesday. Microsoft launched its new operating system and began rolling it out to eligible devices on Oct. 5, and the upgrade is free to everyone already using Windows 10.Windows 11 is a major version of the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft that was announced on June 24, 2021, and is the successor to Windows 10, which was released in 2015.

What's new

Here are a few of the standout new features in Windows 11:

 How to check the compatibility?

There are a few different ways to check if your Windows 10 PC is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11. 

You can download Microsoft's PC Health Check app to see if your device is compatible, and if not, some details as to why. (Microsoft had pulled the app after it rolled out in June to add more information as to why devices may not be compatible, but as of late August, it was back online.)

You can use another open-source app called WhyNotWin11 to see if your device is compatible. Plus, here's how to check some hardware compatibility with Windows 11 without either too


The launch will be "phased and measured," with new eligible devices getting the upgrade first and the rest getting offered the free upgrade sometime between October and mid-2022, depending on your hardware, age of device and other factors. You'll get a notification from Windows Update letting you know when Windows 11 is available to you, or you can check manually (here's more on how to download Windows 11 when the time comes and how to try the preview version). .

How do you upgrade to Windows 11?

Once Windows 11 becomes generally available, you'll download it the same way you would any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click Check for Updates

If available, you'll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install. Remember that Microsoft is rolling out the operating system gradually, so don't panic if you don't see the option on Day 1.

The core system requirements for Windows 11 aren't too different from what Windows 10 asks for, at least as far as the processor, RAM, and graphics card are concerned. There is currently the inclusion of a Trusted Platform Module 2.0 though, that could scupper some upgrade plans. 
  • Processor: 1 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
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
  • Display: >9-inch with HD Resolution (720p)
  • Internet connection: Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home
Windows 11 is ultimately more of a refresh than a full reinvention, and in some ways that’s a good thing. Most of our muscle memory from years of using Windows still holds up here — everything is just packaged more neatly. We would also recommend making this upgrade for any younger or less tech-savvy users in your life, as there’s simply less clutter here for them to deal with. And if you’ve got an older system that can’t run Windows 11, you may want to consider buying a compatible PC in the near future, as Microsoft will end support for Windows 10 a few years from now.
It’s worth noting that like any new software update, Windows 11 will likely have its share of launch issues and bugs and will hopefully get better over time with new features, including Android app support. So upgrade right now if you want more robust multitasking tools and some very pretty new backgrounds — otherwise, feel free to wait for an even better Windows 11.
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