Windows 11 release date confirmed: What you need to know

Microsoft kicked off the final day in August with a bang, this morning announcing the release date for Windows 11. While we knew Windows 11 was coming at some point later this year, Microsoft hadn't shared a specific release date up to this point. Now, we know not only when Windows 11 will launch, but we also know how it will roll out to existing Windows 10 machines.

Microsoft today confirmed that Windows 11 will launch on October 5th. That's a little over a month away, but not everyone is going to get the new operating system all at once. Instead, Microsoft says that it will launch Windows 11 with a phased rollout that prioritizes new devices first and uses several different metrics to determine the order in which existing Windows 10 machines get Windows 11 from there.

"Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we're providing you with the best possible experience," Microsoft wrote in its announcement today. "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, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience."

The company plans to offer the Windows 11 upgrade to all eligible devices by mid-2022. So, while Windows 11 does indeed launch on October 5th, we could be well into 2022 before many of us are offered the upgrade. As always, Windows Update will let you know when your Windows 11 upgrade is ready, but Microsoft also says that Windows 10 users can manually check on the status of their upgrade by going into Settings, then into Windows Update, then hitting the "Check for Updates" button.

Windows 11 is bringing several big changes along with it, including overhauls for the taskbar and the Microsoft Store. In addition, Windows 11 will support Android apps, which is a huge move for the operating system. Check out the links in the timeline below for more on Windows 11, but otherwise, look for the new OS to drop on October 5th.