Windows 11 isn’t even out yet, but Microsoft claims it’s already hugely popular

A Screenshot Of The Windows 11 Start Menu
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 is on target to launch later this year, and the preview version of the incoming operating system is already really popular, according to comments Microsoft’s CEO has just made.

Satya Nadella imparted the info in a recent earnings call, in which he noted that Windows 11 has sparked a huge deal of interest, and has witnessed a greater number of downloads of preview builds compared to any other Windows release.

As Windows Latest reports, Nadella said: “More people have downloaded our early builds than any other Windows release or update in the history of our Insider [tester] program. And, along with our OEM ecosystem, we’re excited to bring Windows 11 to new PCs beginning this holiday.”

Note the mention that Windows 11 is still on track to appear on PCs as the 2021 holiday season rolls into town, as well, which was what Microsoft initially said after revealing the revamped OS.

Analysis: Is Windows 11 already winning?

It doesn’t hurt to see an indication that Windows 11 is still on target for its launch timeframe, although that’s no surprise, given that it was only just revealed a month back – so it’d have been a shock to hear that the launch is suddenly further out.

Of course, don’t forget that holiday 2021 is when deployment of Windows 11 starts, so only a limited amount of folks will initially get the upgrade, with a phased expansion of the rollout as time goes on (as is the case with a Windows 10 feature update). Realistically, you may not be offered the new OS until early 2022, and how soon will obviously depend on how smoothly the rollout goes and whether any major hitches are encountered.

What’s more interesting here is the revelation of the amount of folks downloading Windows 11, although again, if you think about it, that’s not too surprising either. Windows 10 was supposed to be the last version of Windows, if you recall, so when Windows 11 popped onto the radar, it was inevitable that folks would be clamoring to see exactly what Microsoft is doing with the new incarnation.

Furthermore, some of the controversy around Windows 11 will doubtless have piqued curiosity and spurred more downloads as a result. We’re talking about things like changes to core elements such as the Start menu, and its central realignment to look more like the launcher from Chrome OS – not to mention the Mac-like appearance of the overall redesign.

No doubt this has tempted folks to find out exactly what all this really looks like, and how it works (and indeed some may have wanted to check how the OS runs on their PC, given the whole confusion around system requirements).

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).