Microsoft is already working around the clock on getting Windows 11 ready for prime time, and while the company hasn’t said anything officially about the release date of the new operating system, we’ve known for a while that October 2021 could be the month likely to witness the big launch.
And now, the Redmond-based software giant itself is suggesting that October is the target for the release of Windows 11, with driver documentation pointing to September as the submission deadline for OEMs.
In other words, Microsoft wants OEMs to sent their drivers for Windows 11 by the end of September, so that the company has enough time to include them in the OS installation image by October when the rollout to production devices is supposed to begin.
“Windows 11, version 21H2 based systems may ship with drivers that have achieved compatibility with Windows 10, version 2004 until September 24, 2021. 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,” this documentation reads as per a discovery from MSPU.
Free upgrades starting in late 2021
As far as Microsoft is concerned, Windows 11 is only projected to launch later this year. The company said in the official announcement released in June that Windows 11 will be offered as a free upgrade beginning with the holiday season of 2021, with the rollout projected to continue into 2021.
“We’re also working with our retail partners to make sure Windows 10 PCs you buy today are ready for the upgrade to Windows 11. The free upgrade will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 PCs this holiday and continuing into 2022. And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program – this is a passionate community of Windows fans whose feedback is important to us,” Microsoft said.
Windows 11 is already available for testing as part of the Windows Insider program.