Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 11, the new version of its operating system, will be released on 5 October. All eligible PCs that currently run on Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 for free.
Highlights of the new OS include a repositioned Start button (it’s now at the centre of the screen) and the Snap Layouts and Snap Groups features, which are designed to help you organise your windows and optimise your screen real estate.
You can also set up different desktops for different tasks, such as work, gaming and - of course - music-making.
The Chat feature from Microsoft Teams, meanwhile, has been integrated into the taskbar, and you can get a curated view of personalised widgets. Expect a new look for the Microsoft Store, and the option to run certain Android apps, downloadable via the Amazon Appstore.
- Check out our guide to the best budget PCs for music production
The two big questions, of course, are whether your current PC will be able to run Windows 11 and, assuming it can, if you should upgrade straight away?
To help you answer the first of these, Microsoft has published system requirements on its website, and it’s also announced that a PC Health Check app, which will check that your machine is up to standard, is coming soon.
Our advice, though, would always be not to upgrade until you’re confident that your DAW, all of your essential plugins and your audio hardware is compatible. In music production terms, it seems unlikely that you’ll gain much by being an early adopter, but you stand to lose plenty if your gear stops working.
Find out more on the Microsoft website.