In what comes as a surprise, Microsoft today announced that it is beginning the rollout of Windows 11 to devices that are running supported hardware. While the company had promised that the rollout will commence on October 5, the company seems to have changed its mind and begun rolling out the new OS to users a day earlier. Of course, the date is already October 5 in some regions like Australia, but the firm specifically notes that the "upgrade will start to be delivered to qualifying devices beginning Oct. 4".
There has been a lot of confusion regarding the minimum hardware requirements, but as of today, the hardware requirements seem to be locked, with supported processors including select seventh-gen Intel Core chips, and all eight-gen chips, and newer. If you have been running Insider builds on unsupported hardware, you likely will be moved off of the Insider Program if you haven't been, already.
If you still force the OS on an unsupported device, the firm might deny you any updates and even get you to sign a waiver. However, if you are unsure whether your device qualifies for the update, you can head here to download the PC Health Check app to ascertain if you are eligible. Additionally, you can also download the Installation Assistant, the updated Media Creation tool, or the official windows 11 ISO images from Microsoft here to perform an in-place upgrade, create media for a different PC, or clean install the OS, respectively.
As for what's new, Windows 11 brings a much-needed coat of paint to Microsoft's popular OS. There are UI changes, new apps, new capabilities aimed at power users, and much more. However, there have been some steps in the opposite direction as well with half-baked features and some inconsistencies still present. Overall, those looking for a refreshed design and some new bits to play with will be happy to upgrade, while those accustomed to the OS might see some inconsistencies in the taskbar, default apps, and more.
Windows 11 will roll out to "eligible new devices" first, who will be offered to install the OS right away. Through the course of this year and the next, Microsoft will gauge the rollout performance and eventually expand availability to more devices. You can check our Closer Look series to take a detailed look at all the separate components added in Windows 11, or check out our full review of the OS.
If you can't wait for it to be offered to you in Windows 10, you can use the new Windows 11 Installation Assistant on this page at Microsoft.