The public rollout of Windows 11 is expected to begin later this year, and Microsoft has slowly begun answering our questions about the operating system’s upgrade process.
On June 24, Microsoft officially announced Windows 11, and the company stated that the operating system would be available to consumers later this year. There is speculation that Windows 11 will be released in October or November alongside Windows 10 version 21H2, also known as the October 2021 Update.
During the event, Microsoft stated that the OS would be available as a free upgrade to devices that meet the minimum hardware requirements. Microsoft specifies that Windows 10 version 20H1 (May 2020 Update) or later is required for in-place or direct upgrade via Windows Update.
If you have a version of Windows 10 Pro/Home older than version 20H1, which was released in 2020, the update process via Windows Update may not work. Furthermore, Microsoft claims that the download will take longer than a typical feature update, such as the October or May 2021 Updates.
“On eligible hardware, the upgrade to Windows 11 is available for devices running Windows 10, version 20H1 or newer. The Windows 11 download and installation will most likely take longer than a typical Windows 10 feature update,” the company’s Twitter handle stated on June 30 in a tweet.
According to Microsoft, the minimum Windows 10 version required for enterprise customers is 1909. (November 2019 Update). So, if you have Windows 10 Enterprise (version 1909), you can upgrade to Windows 11 without installing the most recent feature updates.
For Windows 7, Microsoft states that a clean installation is required for a direct upgrade, which means users must manually back up their files.
Microsoft will continue to provide consumers with control and transparency over Windows Updates. In other words, Microsoft does not intend to force users to upgrade to the new version.
Windows 11 will be a user-initiated seeker process, which means you will have to manually “seek” the update.
The seeking experience will be unavailable if your device does not meet the new hardware requirements. When you use the Media Creation Tool or the Update Assistant tool on an unsupported device, Microsoft will also block the update. You will, however, be able to avoid the upgrade blocks by modifying the installation media or registry.
A list of Windows 11 SKUs has also appeared on Bluetooth SIG ahead of the expected rollout, indicating that the operating system is one step closer to release. According to the certification, Microsoft is developing a new SKU called “Mixed Reality,” which could be released later this year.