Did Microsoft just tease the Windows 11 release date?

Windows 11 Logo
Windows 11 Logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft may have teased the official release date of Windows 11.
  • Several press images from Microsoft show October 20, 2021 in the Taskbar.
  • A Walmart listing also mentions a Windows update in October and links to a page with "OCT21" in its URL.

Windows 11 will ship at some point this year, but Microsoft hasn't shared an exact release date. Microsoft has confirmed that the operating system will come out before the holidays, but that's a wide timeframe. Even if Microsoft says it will release the OS in the fall, that could mean any date up to December 20, 2021. There is a chance, however, that Microsoft has already teased the release date of Windows 11.

As pointed out by The Verge, Microsoft has laid out several hints about when the operating system might ship. A Microsoft Teams message from the Windows 11 event reads, "excited to turn it up to 11... can't wait for October!"

That message is from Stevie Batiche, an engineer of Surface devices, to Microsoft's Panos Panay. Of course, it could also be a hint at a Surface event in October, which would line up with previous years.

Several press release images could potentially nail the release date down even more precisely. Quite a few photos from Microsoft have October 20th as the date shown in the Taskbar.

Some Walmart listings for products mention a free upgrade in October 2021, but also specify that exact rollout plans are being finalized. Additionally, a link from the Walmart listing for the Lenovo Legion 5 is to "https://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-OCT21-specifications." The date within the link could refer to the month of October this year. The link leads to an error message from Microsoft.

Source: Walmart (Image credit: Source: Walmart)

While Windows 11 won't come out until later this year, you should be able to test it soon. Microsoft confirmed that the first preview builds of Windows 11 will ship to Insider in the Dev Channel at some point this week. The company did not confirm any specific dates for the first Insider build.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.