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Windows 11
October 4, 2021

Windows 11: A new era for the PC begins today

Today marks an exciting milestone in the history of Windows. As the day becomes October 5 in each time zone around the world, availability of Windows 11 begins through a free upgrade on eligible Windows 10 PCs and on new PCs pre-installed with Windows 11 that can be purchased beginning today.

Windows is a driving force for innovation. It’s an enduring platform for each one of us to create. And its home for over a billion people to do their jobs, live their dreams and connect with the people they love.

We’re pumped to be launching Windows 11; the entire user experience brings you closer to what you love, empowers you to produce and inspires you to create. Windows 11 provides a sense of calm and openness. It gives you a place that feels like home. It’s secure and everything is designed to be centered around you.

To fully understand the magic of Windows 11 you must get it in your hands. The gorgeous graphics, sounds and animations of Windows 11 along with the innovative and beautiful hardware from our partners and Surface provides an experience like none other.

There’s never been a better time to buy a PC 

As we look to next year and beyond, whether it’s to work, create, connect, learn or play, the PC will continue to play a relevant and lasting role in our lives.

Throughout the month of September, we’ve seen some amazing new Windows 11 devices announced from our partners at ASUS, HP and Lenovo, and from the Surface team. Acer, Dell, Samsung and other partners will also be releasing new Windows 11 devices soon. Each one of our partners is critical to bringing Windows 11 to life. No other ecosystem has the breadth and scale that the Windows ecosystem does to meet the needs of people whether they’re creators, developers, students and educators, business and gamers at every price point and in every form factor.

Here’s how you can get Windows 11:

  • Purchase a new PC pre-installed with Windows 11 by visiting or your local retailer
  • Purchase a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the free upgrade by visiting or your local retailer
  • Use the PC Health Check app to check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade
  • If you’re interested in learning more about the Windows 11 upgrade roll out approach, visit this Windows Blog post

We’re proud to offer Windows 11 on the widest array of choice in devices, form factors and silicon from our valued partners at Acer, AMD, ASUS, Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Samsung and Surface.

Check out some of the incredible new PCs that have recently been introduced:

  • The eco-friendly Acer Aspire Vero features post-consumer recycled plastic throughout the chassis and keyboard, 100% recyclable packaging and up to IntelCore i7
  • The ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED, a powerful laptop that can handle complex CAD models, 3D product design or high-resolution video editing
  • The HP ENVY 34 All-in-One Desktop PC is made for creators by creators, with an incredible ultra-wide 5K display that brings to life Windows 11 Snap Layouts to easily view multiple apps side by side, along with the world’s first detachable magnetic camera with 16 MP binning technology for collaboration where and how you want it.
  • The Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 Carbon also offers Wi-Fi 6 and an infrared (IR) camera with an electrical shutter switch so you can take advantage of the hands-free Windows Hello
  • Surface Laptop Studio, a fresh take on our powerhouse laptop, featuring a new ultra-durable Dynamic Woven Hinge, allowing it to transition from one mode to another seamlessly
  • And be sure to follow the Windows Experience Blog for more exciting announcements coming soon

Now, we’d also like to share some of the highlights of this release with you.

Bringing you closer to what you love

Windows 11 brings you closer to what you love and is designed with you at the center.

Windows 11 Start screen

From the new Start menu and Taskbar, to each sound, font and icon you see, the team thought through every pixel and detail to bring you a more modern, fresh and beautiful experience. With Start at the center you have quick access to the content and apps you care about and through the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 (sold separately) you can see recent files you’ve been working on regardless of which device you were using, even if it was an Android or iOS device.

Windows 11 Widget

To get you closer to the content and information you care about we’re introducing Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI and the web. Opening your personalized feed with a click or a swipe from the left is smooth and seamless as Widgets slides across your screen like a sheet of glass. Whether it’s glancing at your day through Outlook calendar and To-Do list integrations, catching up on the latest headlines or tomorrow’s weather forecast, or viewing your favorite OneDrive photo memories, Widgets bring everything you love to your fingertips.

Chat from Microsoft Teams

Chat from Microsoft Teams is a new experience that helps bring you closer to the people you care about. With a simple click you can use a personal account to chat, voice or video call with your friends, family and other contacts regardless of the device or platform they’re on – Windows, Mac, Android or iOS. Microsoft Teams isn’t just for people with smart devices; your friends and family can join the conversation via SMS text messaging. Plus, you can open the full Microsoft Teams experience directly from Chat to bring your plans to life with event scheduling, quick polls, file sharing and more.

Father and daughter sitting on the floor enjoying what's on their laptop computer

The new Microsoft Store on Windows brings you closer to your favorite apps and entertainment—all in one place. The Microsoft Store on Windows not only brings you more apps than ever before; we’re also making it easier to search and discover new content with curated stories and collections. New apps are available today in the Microsoft Store on Windows, such as Canva, Disney+, Zoom, the Epic Game Store and so much more. To learn more about what’s new in the Microsoft Store, visit this blog post.

Empowering your productivity and inspiring your creativity

Windows 11 features powerful new experiences that empower your productivity and inspire your creativity.

We’re all multitasking more than ever on our PCs, from multiple monitors and browser tabs to editing documents in Word or PowerPoint. With Windows 11, we’re making it easier to focus and stay in your flow with Snap Layouts and Groups, and Desktops.

Shopping experience on Windows 11
Shopping experience on Windows 11

Snap Layouts and Groups offer a more powerful way to multitask and optimize your screen real estate in a way that is visually clean. With new three-column layouts for larger screens, it has never been easier to have all the content you need at your fingertips perfectly arranged.

With Desktops you can create individual Desktops that display different sets of apps to help you stay organized and focused, like making separate spaces in your home, and you can even customize each Desktop with its own name and wallpaper.

Contrast themes in Windows 11

Accessibility was considered from the start in the development of Windows 11, with inclusive design reviews of new and redesigned features. We’re proud that Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows, built with and for people with disabilities. Windows 11 offers familiar assistive technologies like Narrator, Magnifier, Closed Captions and Windows Speech Recognition to support people across the disability spectrum. To learn more about accessibility in Windows 11 visit this blog post.

We’ve improved the experiences for touch in Windows 11 when you’re using a tablet without a keyboard. You’ll see more space between the icons in the Taskbar, adding bigger touch targets and subtle visual cues to make resizing and moving windows easier, as well as adding gestures. We’ve also enabled haptics with Windows 11 to make using your pen even more immersive – allowing you to hear and feel the vibrations as you click through and edit or sketch. Surface Slim Pen 2 (sold separately) is a great example of haptics in action.

With as much time as we’re all spending on our PCs, sometimes you might want to type on your PC with your voice. We’re excited to introduce new enhancements in voice typing on Windows 11. Now, with voice typing your PC recognizes what you say, even automatically punctuating sentences for you.

For developers, Windows 11 offers new tools and resources

With Windows 11, we endeavored to make Windows a more open platform. We thought about the development process and what tools and capabilities you need to create amazing apps. We built Windows 11 with developers in mind. You can create and build apps using the tools, frameworks and languages that you know and love. We’re also embracing all your apps and will work to make them feel at home on Windows. Visit this blog post to learn more about our advancements for developers.

Windows 11 is built for gaming

Windows 11 was made for gaming, with innovative new features that can take your PC gaming experience to the next level. If your PC has an HDR capable display, Auto HDR will automatically upgrade over 1000 DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games to high dynamic range, rendering a much wider range of colors and brightness. We also believe that player choice is important, so Windows 11 includes the ability to turn Auto HDR on or off on a per-game basis.

Windows 11 also includes support for DirectStorage, a feature we first introduced on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. When paired with an NVMe solid state drive and DirectX 12 GPU, games that implement DirectStorage can benefit from reduced load times and render more detailed and expansive game worlds.

Game Pass content on Windows 11

Windows 11 also includes the Xbox app built right in. Through the Xbox app you can browse, download and play over 100 high-quality PC games with Game Pass for PC (membership sold separately). And this October kicks off the three biggest months in Xbox history with incredible game launches including Age of Empires IV on Oct. 28, Forza Horizon 5 on Nov. 9 and Halo Infinite on Dec. 8. All three of these games will be available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass for PC members on day one. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can also play 100+ Xbox console games on their PC without having to wait for a download, thanks to the power of Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) with the Xbox app.

Enabling the hybrid workforces and classrooms of tomorrow

Woman sipping a hot beverage while viewing what's on her laptop computer

Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work and learning. Through the rapid acceleration of digital transformation that we’ve seen over the last 19 months, it is critical for today’s organizations to be resilient and flexible. With the shift to hybrid work, where work is constantly changing, we understand the importance of an operating system that is flexible, consistent, secure and works how you work. That’s why Windows 11 is built on the consistent, compatible and familiar Windows 10 foundation that is easy for IT to manage. Beginning today, organizations can begin moving to Windows 11 on powerful PCs and through the cloud with Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop. To learn more about how Windows 11 can empower your hybrid workforce, please visit this Microsoft 365 blog post.

Windows 11 is designed for chip-to-cloud protection

As we continue on our journey, feedback from our customers and the industry is so important to helping us shape a Windows that our customers love. To that end, we conducted a survey of Security Decision Makers in the U.S. from a range of industries and found that 75% of security decision makers, VP and above, feel that the move to hybrid work leaves their organization more vulnerable to security threats. This last year has proven that security needs to be built in from the hardware up, the chip to the cloud. In fact, 80% of respondents feel that software alone is not enough protection from emerging threats. Windows 11 was designed with security in mind to meet the challenges we will face in this new work environment and beyond. You can read more on our Security blog.

A new era for the PC begins today

We are grateful to our entire ecosystem of partners who have played important roles in helping us prepare to get Windows 11 into the hands of our customers around the world. From OEM and app partners, to silicon, to retail, to our Windows Insiders, a launch of this global scale could not be achieved without them.

On behalf of the entire team, we are pumped to bring you Windows 11, the Windows that brings you closer to what you love.

We look forward to seeing the dreams and ideas you bring to life with Windows 11. This is just the beginning.

Features and app availability may vary by region.