Windows 11

This article is about the operating system series developed since 2021. For the original operating system release called "Windows 11", see Windows 11 (original release).
Windows 11
Version of Microsoft Windows
Initial releaseWindows 11
(5 October 2021)
Latest releaseWindows 11 2023 Update
(31 October 2023)
Latest previewGermanium (build 26217)
(15 May 2024)
Supported platformsAMD64, ARM64
Preceded byWindows 10

Windows 11 is a series of Microsoft Windows operating systems that succeeded the Windows 10 series in 2021. It is the eleventh overall major release in the Windows NT operating system line. It was released in October 2021 after being announced in June 2021. As of May 2024, it runs on 27.53% of desktop and laptop computers.[1]

The series is notable for dropping support for 32-bit x86 systems and keeping only AMD64 and ARM64 target platforms, although 32-bit user applications are still supported via WoW64. The system requirements have also been increased in a controversial move that left many older systems that fully support Windows 10 ineligible for the free upgrade. A system with 64-bit UEFI firmware that supports the Secure Boot specification and includes a Trusted Platform Module is now required, dropping support for the legacy PC/AT BIOS firmware. Windows 11 also bumps up the official processor requirements significantly, only supporting CPUs from Intel Coffee Lake and AMD Zen+ families and newer – the first time that CPU support has been defined by model rather than available features.

Major user interface changes have been introduced with Windows 11, including an updated taskbar with centered icons by default, a redesigned Start menu with a simple grid of pinned and recommended applications instead of Live Tiles and the new Widgets panel which features a set of customizable user widgets, comparable to the macOS Dashboard. The Fluent Design System has been refreshed with the addition of the new Mica material – an opaque, dynamic transparency effect whose tint is based on the active theme and desktop wallpaper, intended to be used for app background areas. Many built-in applications were redesigned around the updated design guidelines, including File Explorer, Notepad, Paint, Settings and Snipping Tool.

List of versions[edit | edit source]

Name Version Codename Based on Build no. Release date Support end date
Consumer Enterprise LTSC IoT LTSC
Windows 11 21H2 Sun Valley Cobalt 22000 2021-10-05 2023-10-10 2024-10-08
Windows 11 2022 Update 22H2 Sun Valley 2 Nickel 22621 2022-09-20 2024-10-08 2025-10-14
Windows 11 2023 Update 23H2 22631[a] 2023-10-31 2025-11-11 2026-11-10
Windows 11 2024 Update 24H2 Germanium 26100 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
Old version
Older version, still supported
Current stable version
Latest preview version
Future release

An LTSC edition of Windows 11 is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2024.[2]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Based on build 22621; new features are enabled via an enablement package.

References[edit | edit source]