Windows 11 to start official rollout on October 5, Android app support will be available only in 2022
Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 will be officially available on October 5. This means the rollout will commence for eligible Windows 10 PCs via Windows Update and OEM PCs pre-loaded with Windows 11 will also start to become available from October 5.
Windows 11 is already available to test if you are enrolled in the Dev and Beta channels of the Insider Program. The current build is largely final, though it will continue to receive weekly cumulative updates and possibly a zero-day patch on launch date to iron out reported bugs. For the official release, Windows 11 brings new features such as Snap Layouts, integrated Teams chat in the taskbar, Widgets, a redesigned and centered Start Menu, and a revamped user interface.
Xbox Series X features such as DirectStorage and Auto HDR are coming as well. While Auto HDR is already available on current insider builds, we are yet to see DirectStorage in action. Microsoft is also offering a fully revamped Store experience with new monetization opportunities for developers. What will not be available at launch, however, is Android app support, which was a very talked about and hyped feature when Microsoft originally previewed the OS back in June.
The company notes that it is working with Amazon and Intel to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and this feature will first start showing up in Insider Preview builds over the coming months. It is not clear if Microsoft will push this feature to version 22H2 codenamed Nickel or if it will debut sooner. Also not clear is what kind of apps will be offered initially and how the functionality of those depending on Google services will be affected.
While the rollout commences on October 5, the exact date of arrival for your PC will depend on many factors. Microsoft, as usual, is opting for a phased rollout that is expected to be completed by mid-2022. Fully eligible devices will be the first ones to receive the new bits. Other PCs will follow suit depending on reliability metrics gained over time. Users will be informed of the availability status via Windows Update.
Microsoft also highlighted some of the offerings from OEM partners that are ready for Windows 11 along with its own devices such as the Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Laptop 4. That being said, the minimum requirements for running the OS remain unchanged. While Microsoft has now conceded to allowing users on older PCs to bypass the hard requirements in a way, ongoing OS updates for such PCs remains a big question mark.