Windows 11 will be a free update. Release date, price, and everything you need to know

Windows 11 is on the way, and if you’re already a Windows 10 user, it will be free to upgrade to Microsoft’s newly redesigned operating system, the company said in a blog post after its virtual event Thursday. So long as your PC meets the minimum requirements, you’ll be able to update to Windows 11 the same way you usually update to new versions of Windows 10, once it starts rolling out during the 2021 holiday season.

Windows 11 includes a whole bunch of new features and changes that differentiates it over Windows 10. To begin, Windows 11 features a brand new user interface (UI) design, built from the ground up with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Microsoft has tried to simplify the UI in as many areas as possible, creating a clean, fluid space for work and play.

Windows 11 brings some major changes to the operating system. It includes a visual overhaul that rounds corners, adds animations, and makes the operating system feel more modern. The Taskbar has a new layout, and the overall look of the OS appears fresh. Many of the changes seen in Windows 11 were first demonstrated in Windows 10X, a new version of the OS that Microsoft announced in 2019. Windows 10X is now on ice to focus efforts on the full version of Windows.

Windows 11 is an exhaustive reimagining, better positioning the platform alongside competitors in the personal computing space.

Microsoft steadily established the groundwork for Windows 11, with both Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and CPO Panos Panay teasing the “next generation” to come. The company then unveiled the new operating system at an event on June 24.

How to download Windows 11, once it’s available

Once Windows 11 becomes available, you’ll download it the same way you would with any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install.

If you want to test out Windows 11 ahead of time, an early beta version will be available next week for those in the Windows Insider Program, and a public beta will be released in July. However, we only recommend installing a beta if you have a second tester device — not on your main device, as there are likely to be bugs.