Microsoft issues DMCA complaint against site hosting Windows 11 ISO, confirms authenticity

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

What you need to know

  • An alleged copy of Microsoft's next-gen OS leaked to a public forum earlier this week.
  • The unapproved release confirmed the name 'Windows 11,' which is all over the OS.
  • Some conspiracy theorists doubted the leak's legitimacy, thinking it is a diversion or was done on purpose.
  • Microsoft is now issuing DMCA complaints to sites "distributing Windows 11 ISO (copyrighted to Microsoft)", appearing to confirm its authenticity and the name of the OS.

Microsoft has had one heck of a ride this week with an alleged Windows 11 ISO leaking to a public forum. That build of Windows had Windows 11 throughout the WinVer, setup screens, out-of-box-experience, and more along with a completely new UI and some hidden features too.

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

While we never doubted the authenticity of the leak or the OS being labeled Windows 11 (something we strongly hinted at a month ago), some people still thought this was some diabolic ruse by Microsoft. In other words, the leak was purposeful, the Windows 11 logos were a red herring, and later this month the company is going to reveal the real OS and new name.

Yeah, we know. Look, the internet is a weird and fun place.

Throwing water on that inane theory is the news Microsoft issued an official Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint against Google over an article by, based out of India. The protest was first spotted by Fossbytes this morning, and the DMCA complaint is viewable online. The complaint is against Google for listing the article in its search results and filed on June 17. From the complaint's description:'s article is distributing Windows 11 ISO (copyrighted to Microsoft). Please remove their article from the search. It is a leaked copy of the unreleased Windows 11.

It is unclear if other sites directly distributing the leaked ISO are also getting take-down notices, but it would seem likely once they are discovered.

Source: Lumen (Image credit: Source: Lumen)

However, the more important news is Microsoft demolishing the idea that this ISO was purposedly leaked by it, or the name of the new OS is not Windows 11.

Of course, as we noted, the leaked ISO is an early build of Windows 11 from May and is not the completed OS that will ship later in October as a free update.

Microsoft's next-gen OS has many revisions to the current Windows 10, primarily based around a new UI layer. Some of the changes include a new Start menu, new animations, improved touch experience, refreshed icons, novel system sounds, new OOBE, improved Ink Workspace, more Windows Snap options, and a Widget Panel.

Microsoft should fill in the gaps for features, further UI changes, developer news, monetization of apps, and any architectural changes on June 24 giving us the complete picture of Windows 11. Stay tuned.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.