Saturday, September 25, 2021

Windows 11 release date announced; no Android app support at launch

It’s official: Microsoft has announced that it will begin pushing the free Windows 11 upgrade to compatible PCs on October 5.

The rollout will be phased, the company said in a blog post announcing the release date, beginning with new PCs, then moving on to other eligible devices based on, it said, “intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience.”

Microsoft expects to complete the upgrades by mid-2022.

As previously announced, many PCs will not be eligible to receive Windows 11; the hardware requirements eliminate not-so-old PCs. Intel processors must be 8th generation or newer, with TPM 2.0 (there is a restricted set of AMD processors supported as well). Although Microsoft slightly capitulated to user indignation by saying it will allow Windows 11 to be installed from a system image on systems with older processors, it also warns that those systems will be unsupported, and will not be eligible to receive updates via Windows Update.

In other words – don’t do it.

One highly anticipated feature will not be available at launch: the ability to run Android apps in Windows (from the Windows Store via the Amazon store, not from Google Play) is still a work in progress. Microsoft says it will enter preview “over the coming months”.

In conjunction with today’s Windows announcement, Microsoft also announced new Endpoint Analytics features in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and said that with the September 2021 release of Endpoint Manager, customers will be able to assess the Windows 11 readiness (or lack thereof) for all managed PCs.

For PCs that are not centrally managed, the company promised that it will re-release its PC Health Check app “soon” so users can confirm whether or not their computers are eligible for the upgrade. The app was pulled in June after user outcry about the lack of information it provided; at release, it only said if a machine passed or failed the compatibility test, and users demanded specifics.

Finally, Microsoft said, ” For customers who are using a PC that won’t upgrade, and who aren’t ready to transition to a new device, Windows 10 is the right choice. We will support Windows 10 through October 14, 2025, and we recently announced that the next feature update to Windows 10 is coming later this year. Whatever you decide, we are committed to supporting you and offering choice in your computing journey.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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