The company is staggering the Windows 11 rollout, so you may not see the option to upgrade on day one. In a blog post announcing the launch date, Windows marketing chief Aaron Woodman said “new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first.”
Those devices include: Acer Swift 5, Acer Swift X, Asus Zenbook Flip 13 OLED, Asus Zenbook 14, Alienware X15, Alienware X17, Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360 14, HP Envy x360 15, Lenovo Yoga 7, Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro, Samsung Galaxy Book Pro, Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360, and Microsoft’s own Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 4.
Windows 11 will continue to roll out to supported devices through mid-2022, and Woodman said Microsoft will take into account “hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device, and other factors that impact the upgrade experience” when figuring out which devices to prioritize during the rollout. Windows Update will pop up to alert you when your PC can install the upgrade, and you can also click through Settings, Windows Update, and then select Check for updates to see if your PC is ready. Microsoft is prepping to release a new PC Health Check app, currently available for Windows Insiders, for all PC users to check their machines’ Windows 11 eligibility.
In June, Microsoft opened up a Windows 11 beta for members of its Windows Insiders program. The beta caused some confusion this summer with its list of system requirements Windows 10 PCs needed to upgrade to Windows 11, and while Microsoft has since clarified those requirements—and provided a workaround for PCs that don’t meet the minimum standards—it looks like technically unsupported machines won’t receive Windows 11 software updates or potentially even security patches. Given that Microsoft provided a list of Windows 11-ready PCs in its launch date announcement (and described each machine’s stand-out qualities in detail), it seems pretty clear that the company wants you to buy a new laptop from one of its hardware partners.
But if you don’t want to buy a new computer and your current PC is able to run Windows 11, you still may want to hold off on upgrading if you rely on a feature that Microsoft is discontinuing or third-party software that hasn’t yet been optimized for the updated OS. Microsoft has said it will continue to support Windows 10 until Oct. 14, 2025, so you have four years to prepare for the inevitable.