Windows 11 release date could be announced later this week

Windows 11 File Explorer on a PC in an office
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 could be rolling out come mid-October, and Microsoft might announce the general availability date as soon as this week, according to the latest from the grapevine.

This comes from a respected source for Microsoft leaks, Zac Bowden, who shared a rumor on Twitter indicating that Microsoft is preparing to announce the release date for Windows 11 within the next week or two.

Bowden believes that the final build for testing is expected to be signed off in mid-September, which would give Microsoft a month to further tweak and hone the operating system, and squash any last-minute bugs.

As you can see in the above tweet, his guess is that Microsoft will look to be launching Windows 11 on October 19.

This broadly fits with what we’ve previously heard from the rumor mill, namely that Windows 11 could emerge in October at some point, with evidence coming from Microsoft’s schedule for driver submissions, and various other leaks, including from an Intel document (driver release notes) and a Walmart product listing.

A further piece of the puzzle to bear in mind is that we just heard that the Dev Channel (which plays host to the earliest preview builds of Windows 11) is now shifting to test the next update for the OS due in the second half of 2022, another indication that work is finishing up on the release version for this year. Bowden observes on Twitter that this very thing is what got him prodding his sources on this matter in the first place.

Analysis: Phasing in slowly – in time for Alder Lake?

There are a lot of clues, then, that this might be what Microsoft is aiming for, but we certainly can’t take an October launch for granted. Naturally, even if this is currently the intended schedule, Microsoft could run into problems with Windows 11 that cause a delay. This is, of course, always a possibility when preparing something as complicated as a new OS.

Even if Windows 11 does debut around the middle of October or thereabouts, what we’ll see initially is likely to be a very limited rollout. It may well be the case that it doesn’t reach your PC until December, or early 2022, as Microsoft’s typical phased rollouts can be quite prolonged affairs.

Another thought is whether the launch of Windows 11 is going to be directly tied in with Alder Lake processors arriving from Intel. We already know that there’s considerable synergy between these two products, so technically, if Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs are coming out at the end of October as rumored, maybe Microsoft has promised to get at least the initial launch of Windows 11 happening by then. It would make sense for them to debut together, or very close by, after all, but that said, we can’t be sure Intel is aiming for this launch timeframe anyway; so huge heaps of salt all round as ever.

Via Windows Latest

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).