Windows 11: The Final Approach

Jet Landing

Last week Microsoft revealed that Windows 11 will be released on October 5th. The pilots at Microsoft have declared that we are ready for descent and final approach to landing. Get your seatbelts on, your CD trays in their locked and upright position, and please store all your belongings properly. So here’s where we stand with Windows 11

So what is special about October 5th?

Microsoft will begin releasing Windows 11 to newer qualified devices via Windows Update. The key phrase here is they will begin to release. As with many of the Feature Packs to Windows 10 this release will be rolled out steadily over the course of the next several months. For enthusiasts and Windows Insiders there will be alternative SUPPORTED methods available on day 1.

Will my PC Work?

That is a great question. Right now from a broad perspective Intel and AMD chips released in the last 3-4 years are supported. For Intel it’s the Core 8000 series and for AMD it’s the Zen 2 series and up. The PC or motherboard will also need to support TPM 2.0, which is necessary to help secure the PC from power off to Windows start.

I’m Confused

I don’t blame you, the specifications have moved around a bit and the communication could have been better. The biggest reason for the change is to improve security for users. TPM 2.0 provides better encryption algorithms and signing. It is a more user-friendly implementation from the previous 1.2 spec and is the basis for Modern Device Encryption in Windows.

I’m Still Confused

Microsoft will be re-releasing their compatibility tool, PC Health Check which will be help answer these questions for you. OEMs will be releasing BIOS updates to help enable any TPM features that will be necessary to smooth out the rollout on supported equipment.

What if my PC doesn’t qualify?

The good news is you will still get to use Windows 10 for the next 4 years. It’s not a bad OS, it is the basis for Windows 11, it is how they were able to get Windows 11 out so quickly to users (June Announcement, October launch). Some features are even making their way into Windows 10 starting with 21H2. Windows 10 will have 10 years of support, which is much better than Android or Apple IOS.

So what’s going on with the Windows Insider Program?

The Windows Insider Program is right now testing 4 different versions of Windows in three channels/rings. 2 Flavors of Windows 10 in Release Preview as well as 2 flavors of Windows 11 (one in Dev and one in Beta). IF you want early access to see the Windows 11 that ships on October 5th, then you will want to check out the Beta channel. It will be fully supported to leave the Beta channel at that time if you no longer feel like an Insider. I am currently running 2 physical supported PCs, 1 unsupported physical PC, and a VM at home. I also have several machines I use at work with the WIP For Biz.

Windows 11 is a major release. There are just 4 weeks to go until landing and there are still several known issues laying around. That being said there were tons of bug fixes in the Dev Channel Build this week that I suspect will come to Beta soon.  

It’s a really exciting time to be a Windows Enthusiast as the Windows 11 release has been a breath of fresh air. Sure there are still logistics to work out, and some devices will be left out, but what’s an OS release without some of this stuff? We are on final approach for an October 5th landing. Buckle up!

Chris Gahlsdorf

I have been a System Administrator for 15 years now. I have been an avid Microsoft fan for over 20. From my first 486 with Windows 3.0 to my latest custom rig with Windows 11. I have gone from tinkering, to programming, to managing servers, and virtualization. I am a Windows Insider MVP as part of the Windows Insider Program.

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2 Responses

  1. Travis says:

    Really helpful post! Appreciate the “to the point” format. Looks like the PC I built in college won’t cut it any more these days, another reason to finally build that newer machine!

  1. October 5, 2021

    […] we’ve known for about a month, today is Windows 11 Release Day! I have been testing Windows 11 as my daily driver for a little […]

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