Microsoft is planning to release Windows 11 (Sun Valley) sometime in the fall of 2021, but it appears that it won’t immediately replace Windows 10. Instead, the company is likely to release Windows 11 alongside a new feature update for Windows 10 (version 21H2).
Although it’s still unclear the exact details of the plan, it looks like we will have two versions of the operating system. According to a new report from Windows Latest (and GitHub), the company recently published a documentation page (later edited) that includes the reference of the “Windows Sun Valley” and Windows 10 separately, which indicates that the software giant will continue to support the older version alongside the new operating system.
Furthermore, the Windows 10 lifecycle documentation page also received an update recently indicating that the operating system will continue to be supported until October 14, 2025, which also supports the claim that the Sun Valley update will release simultaneously with the next feature update of Windows 10.
However, since there is no official information, it is also unclear who is getting what version since, according to the same report, there is a chance that consumers may not be able to choose to stay on Windows 10 beyond version 21H1. Instead, Microsoft may be thinking of making Windows 11 available for consumers and Windows 10 21H2 as a minor update for enterprise customers since they usually are not interested in new features.
Whatever the plan might be, one thing is almost certain. Windows 11 won’t be an entirely new operating system. It will continue to be Windows 10, but with a user interface refresh that promises to be more elegant and consistent throughout the experience. It will also include new features to help users be more productive, and the company has said that there will be new ways for developers to build, distribute, and monetize applications.
Some of these new features include new system icons for File Explorer, Settings, and across the operating system. Auto HDR feature to convert SDR games into HDR content automatically. Redesigned touch keyboard experience and a new version of Voice Typing application to convert voice into text. Linux GUI app support with the Windows Subsystem for Linux, many improvements and features for the Settings app, and a lot more.
Microsoft is expected to host a virtual event on June 24, 2021, to share details about the “next generation of Windows,” which the company will stream live at 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT.