Microsoft will Release Windows 11 on October 5

Posted on August 31, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 54 Comments

In a mad bid to make the holiday selling season, Microsoft announced today that it will release Windows 11 on October 5, 2021. Objectively, that’s well before the OS will be truly ready for users and it is literally just three months after its first public beta. (Also, was November 11—11/11—too perfect?)

“The free upgrade to Windows 11 starts on October 5 and will be phased and measured with a focus on quality,” Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman writes. “We want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience. That means new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, [the] age of [the] device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience. We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.”

Don’t feel overly cynical if you see that date—mid-2022—as the real release date. By that time, the OS will have benefited from several more months more of feedback, bug fixes, and other updates, and it will have arrived at a state of readiness and reliability that will be impossible by October.

Also, Microsoft admits that one of the single biggest promised features of this release, Android app compatibility along with its associated Amazon Appstore integration in the Microsoft Store, won’t even ship until next year: buried in the original blog post is the first and only mention of the term “Android,” when Mr. Woodman notes that Microsoft looks forward to “to continuing [the]  journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.”

Helping its PC maker partners, Woodman also pimps out select third-party PC models that ship now with Windows 10 but are Windows 11 ready and will get the free upgrade. He also specifically mentions the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 4, two aging designs that will almost certainly be updated in the coming months as well.

I’m trying not to spin off in a dark direction here. After all, we have known about the October “release” since June, and I’ve routinely mentioned October as the release time frame. But it’s still disappointing to watch Microsoft talk quality and reliability when what it’s really doing is shipping a pre-release version of Windows 11 publicly—“the first version of a new era of Windows,” as Microsoft puts it—and using the feedback from early users to improve the product over the several months that follow. This is the way that simpler web-based products are launched and updated, but when you apply this model to something as complex as Windows, you wind up with something terrible like Windows as a Service. Which Woodman obliquely refers to as “the tremendous learnings from Windows 10.”

Anyway, here we go. The next year is going to be quite interesting for the Windows community no matter how you view this schedule.

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Comments (54)

54 responses to “Microsoft will Release Windows 11 on October 5”

  1. wpcoe

    Any confident speculation when the Surface Pro 8 will be released? There had been buzz that it would be simultaneous with Win 11.

    • Paul Thurrott

      I haven't heard much about specific hardware beyond a Core i3-based Surface Go, but there is definitely a hardware event coming and I think most of the mainstream Surface models can/should be updated for Windows 11.

  2. hrlngrv

    | Don’t feel overly cynical if you see that date—mid-2022—as the real release date.

    How could learning from the past be cynical? This is just the new & improved spin on the old advice to wait for SP1.

    Who in their right mind jumps to use Windows N.0.0.0? Note: no one here or who spends more than 1 hour/week reading any tech site is in their right minds.

    • ernie

      I have put two of my machines on the insider track, one will meet the new system requirements, one will not, but I felt that it may help M-Soft to decide whether any older systems should be included. My laptop that will not meet the requirements only misses on the CPU. Every thing else seems to be good to go, so who knows, maybe MS. will continue to update their requirements as more older OSs do well with 11 . . .



  3. zakand

    I remember when Paul was excited about this POS. MS has yanked him back to reality, I see. :)

  4. Omegaman

    Any update on the Windows 11 Field Guide? I've looked around and can't find anything resembling "training" for Windows 11 on Microsoft's websites, no posts from Liberty M or the Learning Blog, except feature lists and patch notes. With OEMs able to release Win11 on new devices soon, inevitably, one of our clients will buy one and demand support (with WFH). I'd like to buy a handful of guides for our tier 1 guys to at least get them thinking and learning about Win11.


  5. red.radar

    This feels like we are going to throw a bone to our OEMs to keep the PC momentum moving. All the while using them as beta testers.

    this feels like it will end badly

    • hrlngrv

      Gotta wonder how many OEMs will offer new PCs with either Windows 10 or Windows 11, and whether they'd report which was more popular after the holiday season.

      • red.radar

        I am interested as well. I believe that people don’t really care about the PC anymore. It is a commodity item and basic tool to get things done. The less it changes the happier the customers. They don’t want to learn something new they Just want to replace something they have that does exactly what the previous machine did. However, I don’t fault Microsoft for trying to re-ignite the love the PC with Windows 11. I just think they have a tough road ahead of them.

  6. martinusv2

    They will release Windows 11 in preview mode. Another half baked software from Microsoft.

    • lvthunder

      Do you actually use it? I am and am not having any problems with it at all.

  7. dallasnorth40

    I am Insider Testing it on two of my machines and it has been great so far. This will be a huge hit for Microsoft.

  8. cpatrick08

    They probably didn't release it on November 11th because that's Veterans Day.

  9. kevinlovestech

    I've been playing with the builds of Windows 11 in a virtual machine.

    I see no compelling reasons to upgrade any time soon. Stick with Windows 10 for now, which is supported until 2025.

    So far, Win 11 feels like Windows 8 to me.

  10. winner

    Ahhhh....the beta is out on October 5!

  11. brettscoast

    Boiled down Windows 11 is not ready for primetime but we are going to get it out the door anyway. It's this cavalier attitude Microsoft has to it's userbase which alienates the very same consumers they should be bringing along with them in a proactive, positive way not a reactive one.

  12. sscywong

    I'm in beta channel with my Surface Pro X. Really don't think it's ready for public release... It feels like a very polished beta but for public release? Still quite a lot of problems which impact UX here and there to fix. I've filed a couple of feedbacks but none has been addressed yet

    • Scsekaran

      I agree. Few constant and recurring issues, repeated spontaneous reboots were not improved since insider rollout. I restored to Windows 10 and have no issues.

      Even though it is claimed to be more touch friendly, I found Windows 11 to be very hard to use as a touch / pure tablet. Every interaction needs at least one more extra step. Loss of right /left side swipes l and closing the program swipe is noticeable and not adequately or properly replaced by onscreen multi-finger gestures.

      In my opinion, touch/tablet use is a second class citizen in Windows 11.

  13. justme

    "We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.”

    I take it this means we can look forward to a pop-up that nags us to upgrade, provided of course our hardware meets the minimum specifications?

    • anoldamigauser

      No, it will nag all windows users, most of whom will then learn their computer is ineligible. This will happen every month.

  14. tizi970

    Any idea whether Windows 11 clean install via Media Creation Tool will indeed be enabled for seekers come Oct. 5, 2021?

  15. polloloco51

    I have to say, if Microsoft doesn't resolve or clarify the ISO installation on ever so slightly older computers. Windows 11 is going to be just as bad as Windows Vista.

    The processor requirements are the new Aero! Confusion, no guarantee of support. The experience of Windows may be limited.

    7th Gen Processors - "Designed for Windows 10, Windows 11 Capable".

    Just when you thought, we would never return to 2006-7. Here we go again! ?

  16. randallcorn

    So most of the computers at my work probably will not run Windows 11. Great machines but no go. i7 processors but not the right i7 processors.

    It is sad they are doing some of this by forcing people to have to buy new computers during a time when companies are struggling to stay afloat. I am not allowed to buy new computers for probably the next year and then under emergencies.


  17. gadgetenvy

    Will I be able to keep my virtual machine of Windows 10 from updating? I need to provide support to users who cannot upgrade.

    I am running the beta of 11 in another vm because as soon as they come out some clients will have new computers with Windows 11.

  18. johndehope3

    I'm very excited for Windows 11. Anything they can do to continue to refine the experience and re-skin ancient dialog boxes like the file property dialog box (just to name one) is welcome. I'm close to installing the public beta to give them some extra telemetry and smooth the way for my company's rollout.

    • Maverick010

      I have been using the insider previews since launch, and have to say it has been a very stable ride. Currently on the latest build and have it installed on both my main gaming and multimedia/video editing machine and not single major problem. I had maybe 3 minor hiccups that were more cosmetic and one has already been resolved.

    • kingpcgeek

      99% of my company's PCs will not run Windows 11. The majority of our PCs run a browser and a telnet client. Because of that, we don't need the latest and greatest. Guess I am going to be replacing a lot of computers before October 14, 2025

  19. sherlockholmes

    To soon. This thing isnt ready.

  20. simont

    This is how you get tens of thousands of people to test the software before it gets pushed out to corporations.

  21. sherlockholmes

    "The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, [the] age of [the] device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience."

    Yeah, that worked so well in the past ;-)

  22. LT1 Z51

    I've never been this unexcited by a Windows release since perhaps Windows 8. I think 11 will be like 8 for me. One to skip.

  23. trparky

    So basically, most of us out here in the real world aren't going to get Windows 11 for quite some time. Not even forcing an upgrade via Windows Update via the seeker method is going to work.

  24. mattbg

    It's odd that the "free upgrade to Windows 11 starts on October 5". Didn't they originally say that W11 would release in 2021 but that the upgrade would not be available until 2022? Why pressure themselves like that? :)

    The Oct 5th date may be related to Alder Lake (releasing in late Oct) given that there are some significant scheduler improvements that only exist in Windows 11 for that platform.

    • usman

      'Seekers' can get it on October 5th, they won't push it to 'non-seekers' until 2022

  25. blue77star

    I don't think that people will rush into installing Windows 11. There are enormous number of people, enthusiasts as well on Intel 7th generation and Ryzen 1. The fact that MS. does not want to support these processors is going to bite them back because most people have no need to upgrade Ryzen First Generation which works awesome in games and apps. I have a system i7 7980-xe 18/36 Skylake X on x299 and all security and VT requirements are supported and turned on and MS. still don't want to support it. They really don't want people to run Windows 11. From functionality point of view Windows 11 offers nothing new compared to Windows 10, just new skin. The only people who will really need Windows 11 are potential Alder Lake buyers. Here is another crazy thing to ask. Does MS. plan to update Windows 10 scheduler to properly support Alder Lake, and if they don't...they are out of their f. mind.

  26. angusmatheson

    I just wiped by surface pro 7 and re-installed 10. I was having a wired printer error, have several of the same printers which I connect with USB - windows 11 cannot see more than 1. Windows 10 works perfectly. There is nothing from 11 I miss when I went back to 10.

    • Maverick010

      That could be related to the printer drivers/software. The print driver system was slightly updated. I have an HP Envy 7640 AIO, but it is wired into ethernet. Works well.

  27. crunchyfrog

    The quote, “the first version of a new era of Windows”, would have been more applicable to the now defunct Windows 10X.

    • hrlngrv

      I believe a more accurate interpretation would be new era, same BS.

  28. scotsgeek

    Mickey$oft definitely has some serious chutzpah to release their garbage, so-called, O/S on the 30th anniversary of the release of the first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, on October 5, 1991! Coincidence? I don't think so! Offensive? Definitely!

  29. navarac

    Written by Aaron Woodman? What happened to John Cable? Are Microsoft hedging their bets by changing the "name" on the Blog Posts?

  30. thretosix

    This feels like Vista all over again to me. Looks like for me it will be Windows 10 for the foreseeable future.