Microsoft issues copyright takedown request over leaked Windows 11 build

Windows 10 Logo on Laptop
(Image credit: Shutterstock - Wachiwit)

Windows 11’s leaked build which emerged earlier this week is reportedly now the subject of a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown complaint, meaning the company wants Google to remove links to download the OS.

This was flagged up by Fossbytes (as spotted by Neowin) and it lends credibility to the authenticity of the Windows 11 leak, with Microsoft obviously keen to stop the spread of build 21996.1, and actually referring to it by the name ‘Windows 11’ in the highlighted request (as discovered via the Lumen project, which is an “independent research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content”).

In fact, the DMCA request to Google, to facilitate the removal of Indian tech site’s page hosting the Windows 11 ISO from search results, was made by Microsoft Japan, and refers specifically to a “leaked copy of the unreleased Windows 11”, seemingly not leaving much doubt that this spillage is indeed, well, Windows 11.

Caution first

At any rate, we obviously have to be careful about taking this leaked build at face value, because even if it is real, the build is an early one, and development between version 21996.1 and whatever we’ll eventually (presumably) see could be very different.

Theoretically we will see Windows 11 later in 2021 – with an initial reveal imminent on June 24 – but we don’t know that for sure, although the latter seems pretty certain (remember, we had all those 11-based hints even before the leaked build surfaced online, and this event is known to be about the “next generation of Windows”).

As we’ve seen, the Windows 11 leak clearly shows a lot of work has been done to the appearance of the OS, including older legacy bits of the UI, but under the hood, things seem to be much the same. Of course, that could change substantially between this leaked software and the release version, as we’ve already pointed out, and there are certainly clues of nifty features which might be primed to go live with Windows 11.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).