When can I get Windows 11? Release date and more!

When can I get Windows 11? Release date and more!

Microsoft’s Windows 11 is official. It’s the next generation of Windows and if you’re excited about it, you’re probably wondering when you can get it. The good news is that you’re not going to have to wait that long for the Windows 11 release date.

What’s coming in Windows 11?

Windows 11 is very much Windows 10 with a UX refresh. Panos Panay even said that it’s build right on top of the Windows 10 you’re already familiar with. But of course, it’s much more.

There’s a whole new look, and it’s got a new Start Menu, the return of widgets, new Quick Settings, a new notification center, and more. The codename for the new UX is Sun Valley, and if you’re excited about Windows, you’ve probably heard about it.

Aside from the new Start Menu, there are, of course, rounded corners as Microsoft sheds the sharp rectangles that it’s embraced over the last decade. Android apps are coming by way of the Amazon Appstore, Teams is getting integrated into the OS, and more.

There’s also a bunch of stuff that was already in preview before the announcement, such as colorful folder icons. In fact, tons of icons have been redesigned. It’s not just designed though, as there are actual new features on the way. For example, Windows on ARM users will finally be able to emulate 64-bit apps. We’ve done a hands-on of the first preview that you can check out right here, but you’ll have to wait until next week to get the full picture.

What’s the release date for Windows 11?

The first Windows 11 Insider Preview builds are available in the Dev channel. They’re not exactly be feature-complete though. They’re missing some key features like Android app support and Teams integration. But if you want to live on the edge, you can set your PC to the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program and get started now.

Moreover, it not even unstable, for the most part. This isn’t the typical prerelease cycle from Microsoft, where Windows Insiders test out tons of unstable builds before getting to something ready for release. This is almost done. There’s very little testing happening here when it comes to whether people will actually like the new UX. The build released as a preview is close to the RTM build, and then it’s going to be serviced with cumulative updates when it reaches the Beta channel. That shift to the Beta channel is going to happen in July.

Windows 11 with Start Menu open

If you don’t want to be a Windows Insider, you’ll have to wait until this holiday season, according to Microsoft. The final release date for Windows 11 isn’t published, but November, or possibly even December is the safe bet. There’s also a Windows 10 version 21H2 coming around the same time, but the safe bet is that that will arrive first.

Windows is still going to be updated as a service, but Windows 11 updates will arrive yearly, rather than semi-annually. It’s likely that Microsoft won’t announce the final Windows 11 release date until we’re very close to it, so for now, just stick to that holiday season promise.

At that point, it’s going to be available to seekers, meaning you’ll have an option to take it through Windows Update. It’s also a staged rollout, so many Windows 10 users won’t be offered Windows 11 until 2022, although there will be ways to get it if you want it.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.