Microsoft targets Windows 11 leak with DMCA takedown

Windows 11 interface widgets
(Image credit: The Verge)

If there were any doubts over the legitimacy of the leaked build of Windows 11 doing the rounds in dubious corners of the internet, Microsoft has seemingly eliminated them.

As spotted by Fossbytes, the company has issued a DMCA copyright complaint to Google targeting Indian site Beebom, which Microsoft claims was distributing the unreleased software. The complaint has been indexed by the Lumen project, which bills itself as an “independent research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content”.  

The complaint comes from Microsoft Japan and simply reads “’s article is distributing Windows 11 ISO (copyrighted to Microsoft). Please remove their article from the search.” If that wasn’t clear enough for you, the last line really hammers the point home: “It is a leaked copy of the unreleased Windows 11.”

The build of Windows 11 doing the rounds was built more on cosmetic changes than the kind of dramatic shifts that would traditionally signal the launch of a whole new operating system, and it could potentially have been dismissed as a hoax, or something legitimate but outdated. But this DMCA takedown request from Microsoft really does seem to suggest that this is the new OS that Microsoft is set to debut on Wednesday.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that this was the final version of Windows 11. The leaked build was clearly an early one, labelled 21996.1 and there’s a good chance that there have been plenty more builds between it and whatever will be available to consumers when Microsoft releases it.

Hints that Microsoft was planning something big for Windows have been here for some time. At the recent Build developer conference, CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft was preparing to “share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade,” while Chief Product Office Panos Panay’s tweet promoting Wednesday's event seems to contain a sneaky “11” underneath the Windows logo as the light shifts.

Crucially, Microsoft has also updated its Windows 10 Lifecycle Policy page to give Windows 10 a retirement date of October 14, 2025. The company typically gives people a long window in which to upgrade, so you would imagine that Windows 11 will be released long before that deadline approaches.

You can find out exactly what Microsoft has in store by tuning in to Tom's Guide Wednesday 24 June at 11am Eastern Time, 8am Pacific Time or 4pm BST.  

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.