Windows 11 officially revealed, free upgrade with no time limit, launches Fall 2021

Written by Chad Norton on Thu, Jun 24, 2021 5:10 PM

Microsoft today officially announced the next generation of Windows, which includes a bunch of design changes (some of which we have already seen in the leaked build) and a brand new Microsoft Store. The release date is expected for Holiday/Fall this year, but Beta builds will go out for Windows Insiders starting the week of June 28th.

Interestingly, Microsoft said that the leaked build from last week was not at all representative of the full release. That’s a given considering it was just an early build of W11, but it seems like that one specifically was only scratching the surface in terms of new features and enhancements.

For instance, Windows 11 is aimed to be the most functional, practical, and personal version of the OS so far. Windows Updates are 40% smaller, and are more efficient by operating in the background. W11 also uses less energy so gives you more battery life, and is also apparently the “most secure yet”.

Of course, for us, Windows is a major part of gaming and according to Microsoft: Windows 11 was made for us. That’s pretty ambitious. But the features they revealed are pretty exciting to say the least:

Auto HDR is one of those features, which was introduced in a Beta build on Windows 10 recently. The Xbox app is also now integrated directly into Windows 11, and the Microsoft Store is getting a cool new makeover to make it less of an eyesore and less frustrating to use. Android apps are also coming to Windows 11 through the use of the Microsoft Store’s integration with the Amazon marketplace.

But perhaps the most exciting feature for Windows gamers is the introduction of Direct Storage, which was first introduced in the next-gen Xbox Series X/S consoles last year and is finally coming to PC after much anticipation.

Windows will also apparently be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, though you will have to pass the official system requirements in order to do so, which are slightly beefed up specs compared to Windows 10:

Windows 11 system requirements

  • 64-bit dual-core processor
  • 1Ghz clock speed
  • 64GB drive
  • 4GB RAM
  • UEFI, Secure Boot, and TPM 2.0
  • 9-inch display
  • 1366 x 768 resolution
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x

If you don’t feel like upgrading though then don’t worry, because Windows 10 users can keep using the OS until official support is dropped in 2025. Plus, there’s no time limit on the free upgrade, so you can cruise on the Windows 10 ship for as long as you want and upgrade whenever you feel like.

What do you think? Are you excited for Windows 11? How do you feel about the design changes? Do you think you’ll be upgrading soon? Let us know!

What do you think of Windows 11?

Will you be upgrading at launch?

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08:32 Jun-28-2021

Great, Microsoft shoving even more ads and bloatware down my throat with these garbage widgets.

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10:39 Jun-28-2021

Win 7 and Vista had Widgets too. In Win8/10 they were replaced by "live tiles" (which are crap) and now MS is backtracking on that.


What exactly do you feel is different?

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20:13 Jun-27-2021

so, I did a proper system check for compatibility (frankly I had to use third-party app because official Microsoft is not able to provide meaningful information) and apparently my i7-5820K rig doesn't support TPM 2.0,
it's funny Microsoft introduced such nonsense requirements, because it means I'll consider new computer, and in price/performance/reliability I'll be definitely taking a look at new Macs (I did some tests already, and "entry-level" M1 MacMini multicore performance in Cinebench R23 is on par with my 4.3GHz overclocked 12-thread Core i7, with singlecore performance being no less than 50% better than my Core i7)

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10:43 Jun-28-2021

I'm almost certain people will find a way around the TPM requirement. There's already an installer mod that bypasses it, but it's unclear whether this will continue to work on release.


And yes, plz get a mac. You clearly always wanted one xD

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03:11 Jun-26-2021

what is this TPM I keep hearing about? Do I have it? Can I buy it? Did I waste $400 on my new mobo? WTF Microsoft. You guys were doing so well then you pull this bull****.

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10:02 Jun-26-2021

Dunno where i read it, but it's something that has been implemented on motherboards since 2015 or so. So i think you should be fine

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18:41 Jun-26-2021

Depends on the motherboard in question. Many (if not most) gaming boards do not have the TPM modules, for example, which are often hardware chips that you can buy separately...which are now being scalped...


Most laptops, OEM pre-builds, tablets, etc will be fine, but the custom-built machines (such as mine) will be the ones that are screwed :)


There's also a workaround that can be applied on the installer, but I'm not sure if this will work at launch.

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18:44 Jun-26-2021

Another bit of info: TPM is for hardware-based encryption. One of the main uses of it is Bitlocker (which sucks because you'd lose access to your data if the mobo ever fails). There are also proposed uses of TPM for DRM purposes, so that you don't get to make changes to the software you paid money for, you filthy customer :)


Overall - this is a very fishy and unnecessary "requirement". I don't know why MS insists on this, but it can't really be good long-term, no matter how many times they write "security" on it.

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20:22 Jun-26-2021

Ah yes, the classic "Look at all this shiny stuff on the top, but don't you dare try to see how it works or change anything that we don't like" or something. Basically they are going even stronger with their crap about not letting users have full freedom. I guess that's why it's also free, yet again. They must be making some mad cash some other way, and damn do i hate just thinking about it.

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21:44 Jun-26-2021

Yep, I bet they're gonna be making a pretty penny on the Amazon app store, all the services and other crap that it comes with, the user data (as usual), etc. But it's still very strange that TPM alone disqualifies (or complicates things for) such a vast number of systems. Surely this is also to push hardware sales, as was said during the stream - "our hardware partners are ready"...

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04:51 Jun-27-2021

confirmed that the z390 aorus pro wifi has it out of the box. I had to go into bios, change to classic mode then under peripherals was PTT which is what intel calls it. Amd is called FTPM. Hope that helps any fellow gamers.

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19:41 Jun-25-2021

I thought i was already on 11 sigh...oh my bad...10 sorry....

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13:42 Jun-25-2021

Well, looks like my 4790K has reached the end of the line if they actually proceed with TPM being a requirement. Funny how I can still max out any game at 1080p but I won't be able to run what is essentially a Win 10 reskin. Someone could also say "don't worry, Win 10 has support until 2025" yeah, but look at win 11, it looks so much better, plus apparently it's better optimized.

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13:42 Jun-25-2021

I'm planning to upgrade when DDR5 comes out, so hopefully that won't take too long.

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10:23 Jun-25-2021

I don't like it. The xbox thingy direct integration, the update thingy because it "runs in the background" meaning i won't know what's sucking up my CPU at random times, or i might just get booted to update without even knowing why. Also i do not give a single piece of poo about the Microsoft Store. To say that i have been using windows 10 would be putting it nicely. I have been STUCK on windows 10 because i don't have another option. The programs i use don't run on Linux, and with every update my anger spikes for various reasons.

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10:29 Jun-25-2021

I do not want more of the same BS that comes jammed in without my consent or knowledge. And even if i want to remove something, tough hecking poop, cause i can't uninstall anything from microsoft without using the damn console or opt out of having the stupid edge browser installed with every "major" update. To put it in another perspective i cannot think of ANYTHING that windows 10 does better or has that Windows 7 did or had.

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11:48 Jun-25-2021

May I ask you why then you are still using it? Do that software really requires Windows 10 and there is no Windows 7 alternative? I for example still rocking Windows 7 and even game like Age of Empires 2:DE which was labeled Windows 10 only works perfectly fine on Windows 7...

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09:57 Jun-26-2021

Mate... i have a foken Ryzen CPU, a THIRD GEN RYZEN PROCESSOR THAT IS NOT SUPPORTED BY WINDOWS 7. I've literally tried starting a preinstalled windows 7 installation on this rig and it does not function properly in ANY way. Do not assume Windows 10 was my first option

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11:25 Jun-26-2021

Sorry, I didn't look at your specs + you mentioned only software limitations in your post, so I didn't thought about that you are limited by hardware in your choice of OS...

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18:48 Jun-26-2021

Do that software really requires Windows 10 and there is no Windows 7 alternative?



Well, there's a little thing called DX12 and it's module DXR (raytracing) that need Win10, just to name one... I'm sure it's a small thing that nobody cares about, right? :D

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06:31 Jun-25-2021

Wait a bit (till I have no choice but upgrade)

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01:27 Jun-25-2021

XP good. Vista bad. 7 good. 8 bad. 8.1 was actually good if you got classic shell at the time. 10 got bad. It got bloated. 11 might be a vista/7 moment.


I'm gonna upgrade next year. All motherboards from 2015 onwards supports TPM 2.0. On Intel its called PTT and on AMD its called fTPM

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07:03 Jun-25-2021

"11 might be a vista/7 moment."
So it can be bad or good? Hot take :D

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01:04 Jun-26-2021

Excuse me I got controversial. lol

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23:37 Jun-24-2021

The battery life savings sound great, but beyond that all I really care about are privacy and bloatware. If I can turn off all of the personalization crap and uninstall whatever Microsoft garbage they bundle with it I'll probably be happy with it.

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22:13 Jun-24-2021

Start is significantly changed in Windows 11 including the following key deprecations and removals - Named groups and folders of apps are no longer supported and the layout is not currently resizable and Pinned apps and sites will not migrate when upgrading from Windows 10.


no thanks

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22:13 Jun-24-2021
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06:25 Jun-25-2021

I just knew it. Always can rely on your "detective skills"

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15:04 Jun-25-2021

I'll be honest, I almost never use Start. Everything I use frequently is pinned to Task Bar. I open Start simply to find a new program or a rarely used program, and to shutdown/hibernate/restart.


My main thing is I just want them to unlock the number of folders(yes, I know you can edit registry) you can pin in Explorer.

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18:58 Jun-26-2021

I use the fullscreen start with Windows animations disabled. Click > start instantly pops up > muscle-memory-click on software I need > done
I'd really like to see it back in WIn11, but ah well.

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23:49 Jun-26-2021

So, the real takeaway is they should be giving us the options to customize however we prefer, want a slim Start Menu that drops down from the top...Or a 3/4 screen from the left...a window smack-dab in the middle...Or no Start at all/just task bar...

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02:23 Jun-27-2021

They're most likely just copying Apple and will try to get away with giving people as little customization as people will accept without a backlash.

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07:49 Jun-27-2021

That's a sad scenario that makes me feel gross inside.

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12:47 Jun-27-2021

Here's another gross thing: recently google updated the Android TV Home launcher (the one that comes with the Shield TV, Android TVs, etc) to have a huge ad banner that occupies 1/3 to 1/2 of your TV screen... Just out of the blue one day people woke up and their TVs have become billboards for google to sling shows and services. 100s of people complaining everywhere and nobody cares.

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16:21 Jun-27-2021

Ouch.That would certainly piss me off good.

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22:49 Jun-27-2021

Oh it certainly did piss me off. Luckily - can sort that out myself. But many people are not technologically-inclined, so they're not that lucky and even complain about inappropriate ads shown to their kids.

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21:04 Jun-24-2021

They somehow managed to make the new Windows logo look even more boring than the old one. I much preferred the Windows XP and 7 logos.

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21:26 Jun-25-2021

It's a modern trend. For the past couple of years sharp and simple has been the name of the game

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19:54 Jun-24-2021

I don't care really. The only reason I even hopped on Win10 is because a few games I wanted to play required it (Thanks PSO2). Other than that I was completely fine using windows 7.

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23:02 Jun-24-2021

Same here... I loved Win7 and the only reason for me changing to Win10 was because of Forza Horizon 3 in Microsoft Store ^^

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18:59 Jun-24-2021

64GB of Microsoft bloatware!?!

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18:49 Jun-24-2021

Direct Storage is reason enough to upgrade, I’ll wait couple of months until major bugs are ironed out

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22:10 Jun-24-2021

DirectStorage requires 1 TB or greater NVMe SSD to store and run games that uses the "Standard NVM Express Controller" driver and a DirectX 12 Ultimate GPU.

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00:33 Jun-25-2021

Why would you need 1 TB of space ? I know for a fact that you need an NVMe SSD for Direct Storage,but this 1 TB + requirement wasnt writen in any article i read

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00:33 Jun-25-2021

What is your source ?

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04:06 Jun-25-2021

He's mistaken.
On Microsoft it says this


DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the "Standard NVM Express Controller" driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support.

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03:59 Jun-25-2021

Sigh
i hate that DX12 Ultimate. Are the tensor/RT Cores needed to make Directstorage work? if not then why won't it be supported on 16 series? It's the same architecture as Turing RTX... Maybe Turing whole Arch isn't enough for DX12U.

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18:45 Jun-24-2021

64 gb of the space holly .

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10:17 Jun-25-2021

So much for being "The most practical"

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18:25 Jun-24-2021

I'm sitting between two fences here... If we see previous WOS, XP great, VISTA big nope, 7 awesome, 8/8.1 big nope again, 10 Big YES! so... 11 big nope maybe?

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19:02 Jun-24-2021

11 is basically just 10 with a new skin and a few other features, so I would say it's still yes

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Gigabyte D5 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte Windforce 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
80% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
APU A8-7410 Quad-Core Radeon R5 7410 8GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 30FPS, Low,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-10400 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
0% No [1 votes]