Microsoft announced last week that Windows 11 would start rolling out to Windows 10 users this holiday season, with the company also working on PC OEMs to start shipping new Windows 11 PCs at the same period. While the software giant is planning to release the first Windows 11 preview build to Windows Insiders later this week, many signs are currently pointing at an October release for the new OS.
First of all, sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans have told The Verge that "the company is aiming to release Windows 11 in October, ready for new devices from OEMs.” Microsoft has also teased the October 20 date in several marketing images for Windows 11, including the one below where you can see an October 20th date with the clock set to a 11:11 AM.
During Microsoft’s Windows 11 event last week on June 24, we also saw during a very brief moment a notification from a Microsoft Teams message from Stevie Bathiche, VP of Windows, Surface, Duo, and Hub. “Excited to turn it up to 11… can’t wait for October,” the message from Bathiche reads, and this could be a subtle teaser for software and maybe hardware news in October.
In recent years, Microsoft has consistently announced new Surface devices in October, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the company come up with some Surface-branded Windows 11 launch devices this October. As for existing Windows 10 PCs, Microsoft said that its upgrade rollout plan is being finalized and is scheduled to begin in late 2021 and continue into 2022, with specific timing to vary by device.
In the meantime, the software giant is expected to once again clarify the minimum requirements for installing Windows 11 on Windows 10 PCs. Last week, the company updated its documentation to make TPM 2.0 chips and modern processors mandatory for installing the update, but the company has yet to explain why many devices with not-so-old CPUs with a TPM 2.0 chips are not good enough for Windows 10. That includes Microsoft's own Surface Studio 2 all-in-one PC, which currently isn't eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade even though you can still purchase one for a hefty $3.499.