Microsoft Teases October Launch for Windows 11... but Not for Windows 10 PCs

Microsoft teases Windows 11's launch date
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Multiple teasers suggest Microsoft is targeting an October launch window for Windows 11, but according to the official Windows account on Twitter, the upgrade won't start rolling out to devices already running Windows 10 until early 2022.

Microsoft officially announced on June 24 that it planned to release Windows 11 during the holiday season. It also dropped a few hints that it planned to ship the new operating system in October, however, which suggests the official time frame is a conservative estimate meant to give the company a chance to respond to any issues.

Here are some of the clues Microsoft left to suggest an October release:

  • Widget dates set to October 20: A video showcasing Windows 11's new design highlights the updated Widgets section. Both the Calendar and Photos widgets have their date set to October 20. (A Microsoft To Do widget also has a task called "Send invites for review," but ideally, Windows 11 reviewers would be able to test it earlier.)
  • Teams message referencing October: Microsoft also put the spotlight on Teams, which will be built directly into Windows 11, at its event. One of the messages shown read, "Can't wait for October."
  • Press materials reference October 20: The same widgets shown in the "First Look" video are part of the official product images Microsoft shared with the press, and other images show chat messages with October timestamps or have the Taskbar's date set to October 20, 2021. The company isn't exactly being subtle about the October hints.

Unfortunately, it seems like Windows 10 users might not be able to upgrade to Windows 11 until 2022, even if the operating system is released in October. (And that's assuming they've been able to navigate the new TPM 2.0 requirements despite the new shortage of those chips resulting from Microsoft's announcement.) See:

The company previously confirmed that Windows 11 would be a free upgrade, much like Windows 10 before it, but it didn't offer much other information besides that. We've reached out to Microsoft to clarify the upgrade path for Windows 10 devices to Windows 11 and will update this post if the company responds.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • excalibur1814
    New hardware range incoming. Let's hope they don't skimp. Say NO to 64GB Space!

    I wonder if Acer will ship a computer with 256MB ram? Vista ran like crap, but MS got the blame. Those were the days. Vista wasn't bad, yet people not knowing what SuperFetch was really dented Microsoft's shine. Units shipping with barely any ram, SuperFetch filling what you had... Blimey.
  • Friesiansam
    I see no reason to rush in with W11 so, won't be upgrading from W10 until I change my motherboard and CPU. That will be when AMD launch socket AM5 and, hardware is both available and, obtainable at a reasonable price (i.e. not scalper enhanced).
  • waltc3
    Saying it won't roll out to Win10 users through Widows Update is not the same thing as saying Win10 users can't upgrade on the day Win11 is released. Right now there are two ways to get new Win10 builds onto your systems: Use the media creation tool or wait for the new build to roll out through Windows Update. Win11 will follow the same path. Those who want it on Day 1 can get it and upgrade from Win10 via a W11 .iso created by the Media Creation Tool, or wait for it to roll out via Windows Update, which typically takes a few months for new Win10 builds. Rinse/repeat for Win11.

    As well, since Win10 will not EOL for at least 3.5 years from now, Win10 users will be able to turn down a Win11 upgrade through Windows Update, no doubt.

    I am due for my first Win11 beta build this week, through the Insider's beta group, which will upgrade on top of my current beta Win10 build, 21390.2025, according to Microsoft.

    I still can't understand why 64GB of drive space for Win11 upsets people. 250GB NVMe drives sell for $100 or less, and 1TB 7200rpm platter drives sell for $50 or less. Does anyone still sell systems with < 64GBs drive space?
  • targetdrone
    Something very sus about this TPM requirement.
  • ThatMouse
    Free upgrade once you swap out your motherboard... RAM... and CPU... I have 3 PC's and 2 laptops. I use them as a software developer, and none can be upgraded. My hardware upgrades are on hold due to the the supply chain sucking right now.