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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has finally confirmed when Windows 11 is actually launching, after an extended period of beta testing and rampant speculation about its release date.

The full version will be available to everyone as a free upgrade as part of a roll-out commencing 5 October 2021, so there's not much time left to wait.

Like with previous generations of Windows, though, there's slightly more to it than that. At first, the new OS will ship on new machines, while the process of getting an update on your Windows 10 PC or laptop could be a little slower as Microsoft rolls it out.

In terms of a date when you can expect any eligible computer to be able to get the free upgrade, Microsoft is playing things safer and staking itself to a "mid-2022" time frame, so it might not be too imminent.

That said, the change coming in the form of a free update, and for most people via a simple software update triggered by Windows Update, it's nice to reflect on the bad old days when these upgrades were both way more annoying and also cost an arm and a leg.

Windows 11 will bring a pretty substantial visual redesign to the masses, alongside plenty more changes under the hood, and you can read the full detail of Microsoft's plans for its release on the Windows Blog, here.

Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Originally published on 31 August 2021.