Earlier this week, a Windows 11 ISO for build 21996.1 leaked to the web, letting users try out the yet-to-be-announced offering from Microsoft. The build that seems to have been compiled late in May provides a first look at what the Redmond giant is teasing to be the “next generation of Windows”.
As the leaked build does not paint the complete picture of the OS update owing to it being a pre-release version – one that hasn’t even been released to Insiders –, Microsoft seems to want to restrict users from downloading it, which is why it is issuing DMCA complaints to Google (spotted by Fossbytes) in some regions asking the search giant to take down results containing articles from publications with links to the ISO files. Interestingly, in the linked Microsoft Japan complaint, the firm does confirm the Windows 11 name as it is requesting for the removal of “Windows 11” ISOs, claiming that those are leaked copies of “the unreleased Windows 11” OS.
The company is slated to hold a dedicated event to show off Windows 11 on June 24, and it probably (and understandably) wants users and enthusiasts to reserve their judgement about the upcoming update till it is officially unveiled. Components such as the Microsoft Store, which is said to be receiving a major refresh, are yet to be shown off or talked about. Additionally, the leaked version lacks other improvements that will likely be served through the way of Feature Experience Packs that can be delivered without the need for an OS update, something that is currently being targeted only to internal employees.
There is also a lot that is unknown, such as whether there will be a separate update to Windows 10 this fall (version 21H2) and what the update and support lifecycles look like for Windows 11. What seems to be increasingly certain is the ‘Windows 11’ branding, which is present in the About Windows (winver) pop-up, setup process, and even in the DMCA notices.