Windows 11 lands October 5 — as preview builds suggest bugs are still being swatted
Microsoft has revealed the date for Windows 11 general availability: From October 5, Windows 11 will begin rolling out to “eligible Windows 10 PCs”, while PCs pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to hit the shops, it confirmed on August 31 — as the company started pushing unsupported Windows 10 PCs out of the Windows Insider Program (a long-confirmed approach) amid strict hardware requirements.
“New eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience. We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022,” the Windows team said in its latest update this week.
Bug-crushing continues ahead of Windows 11 general availability
The announcement of a hard date for Windows 11 general availability comes as Microsoft starts pushing unsupported PCs out of the Windows Insider Program. (It has always been clear that unsupported devices would not have access to Windows 11 builds beyond 22000; warning in a June 24 blog that “PCs will be allowed to preview Windows 11 updates only via flighting until General Availability. PCs will then need to take action to go back to Windows 10 and will not be eligible for future Windows 11 Preview builds.”
The October 5 date for Windows 11 general availability also comes as Microsoft released its Windows 11 preview build 22000.168 to everyone in the dev and beta channels on August 27. This introduces a new “Microsoft 365 Widget” that surfaces personalised documents, news and meeting recordings to the desktop for enterprise users. (This widget will only be available if users are signed in with an AAD account on a PC running Windows 11.)
That release’s notes suggest there’s no shortage of bugs still being squashed. On Microsoft Teams, for example, the preview build’s release notes note that it has just fixed an issue where “sometimes videos would freeze or display a black image during video calls” as well as another where “if you switched between calls, the previous call is not automatically put on hold, so audio and video streams continue with both calls.”
The Windows team also noted that “we fixed an issue where typing certain phrases into the search box in Settings were crashing Settings sometimes.”
Windows 11 comes with deep Teams integration, which has had a radically rethought architecture to boot. (Teams 2.0, coming with Windows 11, will consume half the memory of the same consumer account on Teams 1.0, said engineering lead Rish Tandon, adding that with the revamp, Teams is “moving away from Electron to Edge Webview2” and is ditching Angular: “We are now 100% on reactjs.”
The full list of Windows 11 updates is here.