Windows 11 was unveiled last month with a new interface, app icons, and a centrally placed Start menu. The rollout is expected to begin sometime later this year and will come pre-installed on new PCs. Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade to Windows 10 users. It is currently available for testing to Windows Insider members. Microsoft has also unveiled the feature update plan for Windows 11 every year. It has confirmed that only a single Windows 11 big feature update will be rolled out annually, whereas regular monthly quality updates will be provided for security and bug fixes.
Microsoft has detailed the feature update and quality update rollout plan for Windows 11 on its official support site. The company confirms that “it will provide a single Windows 11 feature update annually, targeted for release in the second half of each calendar year.” This is in contrast with Windows 10 update schedule, that received two major updates every year. However, Windows 11 and Windows 10 devices will continue to receive regular monthly quality updates to provide security updates and bug fixes, the company says.
The tech giant also confirms that Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro for Education editions of Windows 11 will receive 24 months of support from the general availability date. Also, Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 11 will be supported for 36 months from the general availability date.
Given that adoption of Windows 11 will likely be a prolonged affair, Microsoft assures that devices on in-service versions of Windows 10 will continue to receive monthly Windows 10 security updates through 2025, as well as incremental improvements to Windows 10 to support ongoing Microsoft 365 deployments.
As for hardware requirements, Microsoft said that it has worked with all major silicon partners, including AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm to ensure that Windows 11 can be deployed on most devices out in the market. However, the minimum requirements for Windows 11 are not as lightweight as Windows 10. Windows 11 will require at least 64-bit x86 or ARM processor, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Windows 10, in contrast, required at least 1GB RAM and 16GB storage.
Apart from the centrally aligned Start menu, Windows 11 also brings enhancements with multitasking and PC gaming. Windows 11 also carries new wallpapers, animation effects, and sounds to deliver a fresh experience. Further, the latest Windows OS comes with the updated Microsoft Store that has a lot of underlying changes — including access to Android apps.