Windows 11 Logo with Wallpaper

Microsoft has been pretty generous with Windows 11 information, with the notable exception being the release date. However, the company may have inadvertently revealed an October release window, thanks to some Intel and Microsoft support documents discovered by BleepingComputer.

Windows 11 Could Arrive Very Soon

Original reports indicated that Windows 11 would likely drop late in 2021 (there’s a beta of it now), though they predicted that we’d see it in November or December. However, support documents from both Microsoft and Intel suggest that the company may launch the latest version of Windows as soon as October 2021 (though November is still a possibility).

The Intel graphics driver release notes for July state that the drivers are compatible with Windows 11, and it lists the update as the “October 2021 Update (21H2).” Interestingly, Intel has since removed the mention of the October 2021 Update from the release notes, but there’s an archived version that still shows the original wording. There would be no reason to remove the name unless the company revealed something it shouldn’t have.

We know 21H2 is the version name used for Windows 11 because Microsoft called it that during its call for hardware driver submissions back in June 2021. On that page, the company set a September 24, 2021 deadline for submissions, which fits well with an October release window.

Further lending credence to the October release date is Microsoft’s own history—the company has almost always dropped major new versions of Windows in October or November.

Is Windows 11 Coming This October?

We’re still speculating here, and calling it the October 2021 Update doesn’t necessarily mean Microsoft won’t push it back a month and release it in November. For example, the October 2018 Update, which was Windows 10 version 1809, actually launched on November 13, 2018.

Perhaps the update will become stable in October 2021 before becoming generally available in the months after that.

All signs point to an October release date for Windows 11, but we can’t be sure until Microsoft actually announces the date itself. However, we’re confident that those early December estimates are unlikely and that we should see a fall release for the new operating system.

Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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