Microsoft says Windows 11 will be available from 5 October

31 Aug 2021

Image: © Ascannio/

Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for all eligible devices, but the Microsoft Store will not feature Android apps right away.

Microsoft has announced that its latest upgrade to the Windows operating system, Windows 11, will begin to roll out from 5 October.

Windows 10 devices that are eligible for the free update will get a notification from that date onwards, while devices that come pre-installed with Windows 11 will become available for purchase in stores.

In a company blog post published today (31 August), Aaron Woodman explained the many highlights of Microsoft’s latest release, including a cleaner, more aesthetic look, a start button that has been repositioned to the centre, better gaming experience, and enhancements for remote work.

Woodman also revealed that the new Microsoft Store will not feature Android apps for all users at launch.

“We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months,” he wrote.

In June, the company announced that Android apps were to be made available on Windows for the first time but did not confirm when. This came with the decision to open up the store to any type of app, including major third-party apps such as Disney+, Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom and Canva.

Woodman also said that Windows 11 Store will unlock new opportunities for developers and creators.

“We are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store, improving native and web app development with new developer tools, and making it easier for you to refresh the look and feel across all our app designs and experiences.”

The company had previously announced that app developers will also be able to use alternative payment systems in the Microsoft Store, which means they can keep 100pc of their revenue and avoid Microsoft taking a 15pc cut on transactions.

After eligible devices have been upgraded to Windows 11, the roll-out will be extended to in-market devices based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics and age, among other factors that impact upgrade experience.

All eligible devices are expected to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by the middle of 2022.

Last week, Microsoft’s product lead Panos Panay, who has overseen the development of Windows 11, was promoted to the company’s senior leadership team to directly advise CEO Satya Nadella.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic