Does anybody else see irony in this? If you check the lead-in graphic for this story, you’ll see it captures the header of the Windows 11 known issues and notifications document. The section I show is dated May 17. It reads (in part): “Windows 11 is designated for broad deployment.” Thus, when I claim that Windows 11 21H2 hits broad deployment that’s almost verbatim.
So, where’s the irony? We’re taking about 21H2. It has an RTM date of June 24, 2021, and a GA date of October 5, 2021. This is late May 2022. As I’ve already reported on May 16, Beta Channel Build 22621 is very likely to RTM as 22H2 in a short while. That makes 22H2 GA likely in September or October. To me, the irony is strong. As the older version gets fully broadcast, the new one is entering the pipeline, heading in the same direction.
What Windows 11 21H2 Hits Broad Deployment Means
Simply put, this means MS is not longer withholding an upgrade offer of Windows 11 21H2 to any qualified PCs. Previously, they’d been holding back on machines with known issues such as device or driver incompatibilities. Now, it’s open season for anyone with an eligible PC. In part, this tells business users that “Windows 11 is ready for prime time.”
This comes at roughly the same time that Panos Panay delivered a Computex keynote in which Windows 11 figures strongly. In that address, he touted Windows 11 in a string of superlatives. Windows 11, he avers, is MS’s highest rated, highest quality OS ever, with faster business adoption than “in any previous version of Windows.”
Interestingly, Panay also mentioned that “Windows 10 had that great moment” (emphasis mine). He went on to say that “But Windows 11 in its moment …[is]…driving in the right direction for our customers every day.” Paul Thurrott interprets this to mean “…you shouldn’t expect any meaningful updates to Windows 10 going forward.” FWIW, I agree.
Too Much Windows 11 Drama
Lots of news outlets online are expressing dismay and disbelief in reaction to Panay’s keynote. I’m not upset, and I think I understand what’s going on. Panay is working to move the business base to dig into 11 and to get the long, slow, deliberate migration process going. Given that business usually waits for the first “real upgrade” to a new OS to start its processes forward, I see this more an an announcement that “The upgrade is coming. Time to get serious about migration.” more than anything else.
Hyperbole is to be expected in trade show keynotes. I see a more serious and not at all sinister purpose at work. Call me naive, or even a Polyanna, but this looks like a calculated wake-up call to me.