Windows 11 release date possibly teased — why the OS could arrive in October

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

We know Windows 11 is scheduled to arrive this holiday but Microsoft didn't specify a date, meaning the OS could begin rolling out in October or as late as December. However, screenshots shared on the Windows 11 site tease the former date. 

As TechRadar points out, screenshots shared on the Windows 11 site seem to hint at an October release date. Look closely at the Microsoft Teams image and you'll notice an October 20, 2021 date set in the Taskbar. The time below is set to 11:11 which we already know is a reference to Windows 11.

Windows 11

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

It's not much to go by, but this possible teaser makes you wonder why Microsoft would set the date to one in the future for these screenshots. This wouldn't be the first time Microsoft dropped a subtle hint about an upcoming announcement. Prior to the Windows 11 event, the company posted a video that was exactly 11 minutes long. It also sent event invites with an image of the Windows logo seemingly casting a shadow in the shape of an "11." 

But even if this is a hidden clue, Microsoft could always push back the release date in case it needs more time to iron out bugs (or determine the final Windows 11 system requirements). 

October 20 is the most specific date being thrown around but other info released in the past few days helps narrow a launch window. Walmart has already begun updating laptop pages with a Windows 11 rollout plan, stating it "is being finalized and is scheduled to begin in late 2021 and continue into 2022." 

If Microsoft meets its "Holiday 2021" release goal, it would put Windows 11 on a collision course with the launch of macOS Monterey. Which desktop OS grabs the most attention is anyone's guess. What I do know is that Microsoft needs to clarify the Windows 11 CPU requirements for any chance of a smooth release. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.