Microsoft is being upfront and straightforward with Windows 11 rollout. Upgrading to the latest version of Windows OS will be entirely in the hands of Windows 10 users.
Windows 11 will need a newer version of Windows 10 to perform an ‘Upgrade’:
Microsoft will initiate Windows 11 rollout later this year. The company is continuing Windows as a Service, a way of deploying updates to Windows OS.
Accordingly, upgrading from Windows 10 should be a simple process. However, Windows 10 OS users will have to first install a newer version of the Cumulative Feature Update on their computers.
— Windows Latest (@WindowsLatest) July 8, 2021
For in-place or Direct Upgrade using Windows Update on Windows 10, users will need Windows 10 version 20H1 (May 2020 Update) or newer. Incidentally, there is a 20H2, and even a 21H1 update already available.
What Microsoft has indicated is that the update process might not work if the Windows 10 PC is still running a version older than 20H1. Incidentally, this applies to all consumer-grade iterations of Windows 10, which are Home and Pro.
Additionally, the Windows 11 update will certainly be quite larger than the standard Cumulative Feature Updates. Hence, both the download and installation should take longer to complete.
The upgrade to Windows 11 is available for devices running Windows 10, version 20H1 or newer, on eligible hardware. Please view this link to access the full minimum hardware requirements and specs: https://t.co/VEamLNFfgb
— Windows (@Windows) June 29, 2021
For enterprise customers, Microsoft advises their Windows 10 PCs should be on version 1909 (November 2019 Update) or newer. Needless to mention, v1909 is an earlier version than 20H1 (May 2020 Update).
Qualifying PCs will have to “Self-Initiate” upgrade process:
Microsoft assures it is offering complete control and transparency over Windows Updates. In other words, Windows 10 OS users will not start their computers and suddenly see the upgrade process has begun automatically.
Microsoft has ensured that Windows 11 will be a user-initiated or seeker process. This means Windows 10 OS users will need to manually “seek” the update to Windows 11.
Upgrading directly from Windows 7 to Windows 11 is possible but will take a bit longer than if you're already on Windows 10. https://t.co/jiHw9dzWM8
— Windows Central (@windowscentral) July 7, 2021
It is important to note that all computers must meet “Minimum System Requirements”. If the PC fails to qualify, seeking an update will not work.
Moreover, Microsoft will also reportedly block the update when users attempt to use Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant tool on an unsupported device.
The company has insisted PCs must have TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot to install Windows 11. However, determined users can bypass these requirements.