Microsoft gives further clues about the Windows 11 release date

Windows 11

We know that Windows 11 is on the way, we know that there is a new look, we know that there are new features, and we know that we can test drive the beta version right now. But what about the actual release date for the finished product?

So far, Microsoft has not given much away beyond saying it will be ready for the holiday season. That said, it seems that the only way to get hold of the RTM build this year will be to buy a new computer with it pre-installed; anyone looking to upgrade from Windows 10 will have to wait until next year. We've already had hints that the release date for Windows 11 is October, but now there are further clues -- from Microsoft itself.

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In official Windows Hardware Certification documentation, Microsoft gives hardware manufacturers and partners a deadline by which to submit their Windows 11-compatible drivers in order to be included on systems that will ship with the operating system pre-installed.

As spotted by Windows Latest, Microsoft tells partners that "Windows 11, version 21H2 based systems may ship with drivers that have achieved compatibility with Windows 10, version 2004 until September 24, 2021".

The document goes on to say:

Partners looking to achieve compatibility for systems shipping with Windows 11, version 21H2 Release may factory-install drivers for components that achieved compatibility with Windows 10, version 2004 until September 24, 2021.

Errata 81316 is available to filter the "System Logo Check" failure seen when testing Windows 11, version 21H2 based systems with Windows 10, Version 2004 qualified

On one hand, this does not tell us much more than we already know, but on the other, it does suggest that October is looking increasingly probable. It seems unlikely that there would be a huge delay between the final driver submission date and the actual launch of Windows 11 -- up to a month, perhaps, which takes us into October.

But there is still the question of just when upgraders will get their hands on the new version of Windows. The official Windows Twitter account recently tweeted that it would be made available to Windows 10 devices in the first six months of 2022:

This does not address the matter of people who are part of the Windows Insider program currently running a Dev or Beta build.

A reasonable assumption would be that anyone with a preview build installed will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 RTM as soon as it is available (i.e. October), but we'll have to wait to see for sure.

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