Windows 11 isn’t the only exciting launch from Microsoft next month

Windows 11 isn’t the only exciting launch from Microsoft next month

Next month promises to be a thrilling month for Microsoft fans. The US company has already revealed its all-new operating system, Windows 11, will be available to PC owners from October 5, 2021. And now, there’s another launch coming on the exact same date.

Microsoft has confirmed the next version of its Office software will launch on October 5 too. Office 2021 will include all-new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook with re-imagined designs that will better fit with the new look coming to Windows 11. However, Office 2021 isn’t only available to those on the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft – Mac owners will unlock the new software on the same day.

Microsoft 365 allows subscribers access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook on the web as well as via smartphone and tablet apps. These versions are continuously updated, with Microsoft constantly tweaking the design and features. However, for those who don’t want to be beholden to a subscription service, Microsoft does still offer standalone versions of the apps.

That’s what Office 2021 will provide for businesses and consumers.

Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, announced the new versions of Office for both Windows and macOS. In a blog post, he revealed: “We also know some customers aren’t ready to move to the cloud. We remain committed to supporting our customers and these scenarios. Earlier this year, we previewed Microsoft Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for Windows and macOS.

“Today, we’re announcing the general availability of this next perpetual version of Office for commercial and government customers.”

On the same date that Office 2021 will become available to purchase, some PC owners with an official copy of Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to the redesigned operating system completely free of charge. Microsoft offered a similar free upgrade at the launch of Windows 10 to try to boost adoption. Brand-new laptops, desktop PCs and two-in-one tablets with Windows 11 preinstalled will also begin to hit store shelves worldwide from October 5, Microsoft added.

Windows 11 is set to bring a dramatic new look to your PC. The new operating system, developed under the watchful eye of executive Panos Panay – who oversees the Surface hardware division inside Microsoft, brings an almost unrecognisable Start Menu, rounded edges to all windows, six preinstalled themes to customise the look, and a new panel of interactive widgets that can be accessed at any time. During the launch event back in June, some of these changes were lauded by fans… while others have caused anger.

To find out whether your current machine is capable of running Windows 11 (not every device with Windows 10 can upgrade to the next version), Microsoft has updated its Windows Update app. This will now scan the components in your PC and let you know if your system is eligible for the upgrade. You can check now by heading to Settings > Windows Update > Check Updates to see if your device is ready for the new OS.

Even if you are eligible for the free upgrade scheme and your system is powerful enough to run Windows 11… you might still not be able to install the new operating system on October 5. Microsoft has confirmed that its worldwide launch will be “phased” starting from October 5 in order to “focus on quality”. As such, it could take a few months before the update is available in your area.

This isn’t unusual, Microsoft has staggered the rollout of new updates throughout the lifecycle of Windows 10. This is designed to stop delays as millions of people try to download the latest software from the server on the same day. However, it also means that – should there be a show-stopping glitch or bug discovered early in the release – Microsoft will be able to pull the update before too much damage is caused.

However, with Windows 11, Microsoft is stretching out its release window for months. In fact, the Redmond-based company has admitted that not all Windows 10 devices eligible to upgrade to the next operating system will be able to do so until mid-2022. Yikes. You could be waiting nine months before you get your hands on Windows 11. By then, you’re likely going to be in need of a new machine rather than a software update.

Published at Sat, 18 Sep 2021 09:31:00 +0000