Back in 2015, Microsoft’s Jerry Nixon declared that Windows 10 would be the “last version” of Windows. Lately, evidence has been mounting that Microsoft has had a change of heart: not only are there plenty of hints that Windows 11 could be launching at Microsoft's June 24 event, but the company has just posted a date for the end of support of Windows 10.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Home and Pro Lifecycle Policy page has been updated to state that the company will “continue to support at least one Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel until October 14, 2025.” The words “retirement date” feature on the page, and a note explains that this includes Home, Pro, Pro Education and Pro for Workstations.
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While Microsoft did state that Windows 10 would be the last version, as XDA Developers notes, recent developments suggest that this is no longer the company’s strategy.
The most clear of these was the ‘Sun Valley’ slip. For a time, the HTML meta description of the Windows application management website read “learn about managing applications in Windows 10 and Windows Sun Valley” which clearly points to two distinct products.
If you prefer your clues in a teaser form, the following tweet from Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay, also seems worth flagging. Observers have noted that the light of the Windows logo creates an “11” logo as it animates, leading some to believe that ‘Sun Valley’ is a code name for Windows 11.
Looking forward to June 24th, hope you’ll join us! #MicrosoftEvent https://t.co/bDONj8sPL4 pic.twitter.com/551P6wLY9zJune 2, 2021
The date Panay is highlighting in the tweet is the upcoming Windows event on June 24. While the placeholder page only promises you’ll see “what’s next for Windows”, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave a few hints of his own at the recent Build developer conference.
“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,” he said. “I've been self-hosting it over the past several months and I'm incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows.”
While the word “update” suggests a new set of Windows 10 enhancements, “next generation of Windows” sounds like a bigger leap.
If Windows 10 is truly retiring in 2025, then we may see Windows 11 sooner than you’d think: after all, Microsoft wouldn’t launch a new OS without giving people a decently sized time period in which to migrate. All should become clear on June 24.