Nothing lasts forever. Not even Windows 10, which was originally billed as the being the last version of Windows ever, with bi-annual feature upgrades to keep it fresh and relevant. Now as Microsoft prepares to unveil the "next generation of Windows," it has set an end date for Windows 10 Pro and Home support: October 14, 2025.
The "retirement date" is clearly outlined in an official Microsoft document (opens in new tab) (via Nordic Hardware (opens in new tab)) that was recently updated. It outlines when support will end for various builds, like the current version (21H1), which will be supported through December 13, 2022. The end of the road for Windows 10 in general, however, is a little over four years from now.
"Microsoft will continue to support at least one Windows 10 semi-annual channel until October 14, 2025," the document states.
This seemingly confirms that Microsoft will be unveiling a new version of Windows. It might (and probably will) be called Windows 11 (opens in new tab), or perhaps just Windows or something else.
"Soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said during the company's Build conference last month.
If that announcement isn't Windows 11, the other possibility is that Microsoft will overhaul Windows 10 with the oft-rumored Sun Valley update. With Windows 10 now having a retirement date, that feels less likely. Previous to now, Microsoft only listed end-of-support dates for specific versions of Windows 10, and not the OS as a whole.
There have been other hints. In addition to Nadella's comments, Microsoft's reveal event on June 24 starts at 11:00 am ET. Further evidence can be found on social media—the reveal date announcement on Twitter is accompanied by a refreshed logo (opens in new tab) with light spilling through to form the number "11," and on YouTube, Microsoft posted an 11-minute video (opens in new tab) of slowed down Windows startup sounds from over the years.
Today, we saw some leaked images that purportedly show the Windows 11 UI:
There are many questions to be answered about what is next for Windows. Assuming Microsoft does release a new version, will it be a free upgrade from Windows 10? And will this follow a service model with frequent feature updates, or is Microsoft going back to issuing major new releases every few years?
We don't have answers to those questions just yet, but we should soon with the reveal event now less than two weeks away.