There has been an unsurprising amount of lively discussion about Microsoft’s next big Windows release, and, also unsurprisingly, even Windows fans seem to be split on Windows 11’s value. Just like the operating itself, Windows 11 is complicated in more ways than one, and nothing is perhaps more complicated than its compatibility with existing Windows PCs. While that story seems to continue evolving, Microsoft is putting its foot down on at least one aspect of that narrative, giving Windows 10 users until next year to make up their minds about Windows 11.
It might disappoint some but relieve others but Windows 10 users won’t even be eligible for a Windows 11 update until the first half of 2022. Of course, there might be ways around that, like for members of the Windows Insiders program or other unofficial means. Given the potentially breaking changes, however, such users will be making the jump at their own risk.
Windows 11 is still scheduled for launch later this year but it seems that Microsoft will be prioritizing new devices that will be running Windows 11 out of the box. It says that the rollout will happen over several months but hints that Windows 10 upgrades will probably occur much later.
That’s probably for the best considering Microsoft’s compatibility requirements for Windows 11 are still a confusing mess. It will be easier for the company to communicate and dictate its requirements to OEMs than upgrade existing Windows 10 machines already out in the wild, especially custom-built desktops. This gives the company more time to settle on its hardware requirements and, hopefully, test the release before pushing it out to consumers and customers.
The bigger question that might be on people’s minds is how aggressive Microsoft’s Windows 11 push will be this time. It received a great deal of criticism and even lawsuits over its attempts to force everyone to update to Windows 10. Ironically, setting the hardware bar a bit high does limit how many existing systems it will be able to shove Windows 11 at next year.