Windows 11 coming October 5, but without Android app support
Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11 will be available from October 5, but not all new features will be available on the release date. This includes support for Android apps, one of the most anticipated upgrades – Microsoft says this will be “rolled out over the next few months.”
A more specific timeline has yet to be revealed, but many have figured it out means 2022. This will allow the feature to debut in the Windows Insider program, with user feedback shaping the final version. The delay will be felt most severely by those who buy a new Windows 11 device in October – most Windows 10 users will be waiting until next year for the free upgrade anyway.
One of the more surprising announcements at the Windows 11 launch event on June 24 was support for Android apps. This means that Android apps will be natively supported by Windows for the first time, with the ability to pin apps to the taskbar or take full advantage of new multitasking features.
The Amazon Appstore will now be integrated directly into the Microsoft Store app, with early signs suggesting there will be plenty of apps to choose from. TikTok, Kindle, and Disney + are among those that have been confirmed, while sideloading APK files should also be possible.
Microsoft uses Intel Bridge technology for this functionality, which recompiles Android applications in real time. This native support is smoother and more transparent than using emulation software like Bluestacks – it was the only way to get Android apps on Windows until now.
This makes the Microsoft Store a much more attractive destination for all app developers, especially since they can now use their own payment system and keep all the money they earn. This is a key advantage over Apple and Google stores, where companies take a share of total revenue.
Windows 10 free upgrades just get even more confusing
Since Microsoft announced the update to Windows 11 hardware requirements, it has been a roller coaster of emotions for anyone using an older processor. Officially, processors older than 8th Generation Intel or AMD Ryzen 2000 series will not be supported. However, it is not that simple.
Microsoft has now extended that line of processors to include Intel Xeon and Core X desktop processors, as well as the 7th generation Kaby Lake chips that power the company’s own Surface Studio 2.
Microsoft confirmed to The Verge that Windows 11 ISO files will still be available for download on unsupported hardware, but there is a big caveat. These devices may not have the right to obtain Windows updates, including security updates, which means that their long-term use poses a serious security risk.
An updated version of the PC Health Check app, which can be used to find out if your device meets Windows 11 hardware requirements, is now available to members of the Windows Insider program. However, if you have already installed the beta on an unsupported PC, Microsoft will now ask you to reinstall Windows 10.
This might be the easiest option, but we don’t recommend rushing to buy a new Windows 11 PC until you’re sure your current device won’t be supported. Even if this is the case, Windows 10 will continue to be supported until October 2025 and will receive a feature update in late 2021.