• Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

Windows 11 release date: everything we know about Microsoft’s next OS


Jun 18, 2021

Windows 10 has powered the best gaming PCs for almost five years now, but it looks like its successor is just around the corner, after the company announced that support for the current OS will end in 2025.

All eyes are looking towards a reveal on June 24, as the brand will kick off the ambiguously titled Microsoft Event at 11am EDT, which converts to 8am PDT and 4pm BST. Aside from the deliberate choice of time, its announcement tweet also shows light beaming through a window in the shape of the number 11. If this doesn’t all but confirm the successor, then the leaked Windows 11 build that’s currently doing the rounds certainly does – even if the ever-helpful Cortana doesn’t think it’s real.

A new OS seemed impossible just a few years ago, as Microsoft developer Jerry Nixon claimed that Windows 10 would be the “last version” back in 2015. It’s likely Windows 11 will initially be a free upgrade rather than a complete new purchase, much like its predecessor was. It won’t be as drastic a change as Windows 7 to 8 was, featuring a new centralised start menu, along with a UI reflecting the now-canned Windows 10X software.

Here’s what you need to know about Windows 11:

windows 11 release date

We should hear more about the latest iteration of Windows at Microsoft’s event on 24 June at 8am PDT, 11am EDT, and 4pm BST. You can watch for yourself over on Microsoft’s website.

The release of the OS is then expected a few months later, with predictions falling in October.

windows 11 features

The operating system looks like it’ll take many design cues from Windows 10X, a web-based OS that was cancelled back in May 2021.

The pop-out widget recently added to Windows 10 could be a testing ground for a widget coming to Windows 11, as we’ve also seen something similar in screenshots of the new OS from The Verge.

will windows 11 be a free upgrade?

Windows 11 could be a rename for the previously planned ‘Sun Valley’ update for Windows 10. With such a significant amount of changes planned, it would make sense for Microsoft to move to the Windows 11 name for the upgrade.

If that’s the case, we’d expect it to be a free upgrade if you’re already running Windows 10 on the best gaming laptop or PC. That could even be the case for Windows 7 and 8 users, according to product configuration keys for Windows 11.

windows 11 price

It’s unlikely that Microsoft will move to an entirely free model with its new operating system, although we can’t see a copy of the new OS costing any more than the current price of Windows 10 Home ($139 / £119). If it is initially free, this will likely span a limited time, much like Windows 10’s release.

If you’re working out how to build a gaming PC, you’ll likely have to buy a new key or install Windows 10 and go the free upgrade route if you want to save a bit of cash.

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