Windows 11 is now available to download for free.
The free download is available on the Microsoft website and can be installed in three different ways: as an installation assistant (which Microsoft recommends for installing on a device already running Windows 10), as a bootable DVD or USB drive, or as an ISO file.
Microsoft claimed in a blog in August that “Windows 11 delivers the best Windows ever for gaming and unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware with technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR”.
Windows 11 has a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with a new design to make it easier for users to find apps and games.
Windows 11 gaming trailer
An article on Xbox Wire explained how Windows 11’s gaming features will include the Xbox Series X/S tech to improve the gaming experience on PC.
Auto HDR will automatically add High Dynamic Range (HDR) image enhancements to any games built on DirectX 11 or higher, even if they previously only featured Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). This will allow for a wider range of brightness values and colours, making the image more vivid.
Windows 11 will also includes DirectStorage, which is part of the Xbox Velocity Architecture featured in Series X/S consoles.
DirectStorage lets games quickly load assets to the graphics card without putting strain on the CPU, meaning titles can feature detailed game worlds at extremely fast speeds without long load times.
Players will need to have “a high performance NVMe SSD and the proper drivers” to access DirectStorage, and Windows 11 PCs marked ‘DirectStorage Optimised’ will be sold to let those buying a new computer know if it’s compatible out of the box.