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:
Windows 11 is due out later in 2021 and will be delivered over several months. The rollout of the upgrade to Windows 10 devices already in use today will begin in 2022 through the first half of that year.June 25, 2021
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.