This summer, a new Windows visual upgrade called Sun Valley will be released. We had thought that this upgrade would merely bring a new design to Windows 10 21H2—the big release of Windows 10 in the second half of 2021.
Windows 10 EOL in 2025
However, new information such as Windows 10's end-of-life (EOL) dates and a leaked screenshot of what appears to be "Windows 11 Pro" strongly suggest that significant changes are on the way.
Windows 11 is coming soon
“Will Windows 11 come out” one of the most popular questions recently. Rumors about Sun Valley being "Windows 11" have been circulating for months, but we didn't believe them until lately. Windows 10 was designed to be Windows as a Service, which is a significant break from the previous period of big Windows updates every three years or so.
Sun Valley's "sweeping aesthetic rejuvenation" seemed to indicate that Windows 10 21H2 will appear substantially different from Windows 10 21H1. Why fix something that isn't broken?
Last week, a Microsoft-issued EOL notice for Windows 10 provided the first significant signal that greater things are on the way. On October 14, 2025, "Windows 10 Home and Pro"—no code names, no minor version numbers—will be retired.
"Retiring" is a term used in the Modern Lifecycle Policy to describe when a product is no longer supported; this differs from the former Fixed Lifecycle Policy, which had "mainstream" and "extended" support. Hit the pasture if you're retired.
Also read: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Is Dead
The retirement date isn't a new phenomenon, as Windows Central points out. Microsoft initially offered "mainstream support" for the operating system until October 2020 and "extended support" until October 2025, the same five- to 10-year support tenure it offers for server and corporate operating systems.
What has changed is the tone with which Microsoft discusses the end of support. Until recently, there was no retirement date for Windows 10 as a whole on the home-and-pro life cycle page.
At this point, there's no genuine doubt about the end of life; Microsoft has announced it, and there's no reason to believe it won't happen. The intriguing questions concern what will happen next and when it will occur.
Curious? Windows 11 Is on Its Way
Windows 11 in 2021?
We'd heard stories about Sun Valley being a new Windows 11 for a few months, but we were doubtful until Microsoft issued a new EOL for Windows 10. There was no reason to expect anything different from Windows 10, which has been marketed as "Windows as a Service" with no set end date.
The end-of-life date for Windows 10 as a whole shifts things, as seen by leaked screenshots of a Windows build claiming to be "Windows 11 Pro" that surfaced on Baidu today. The latest build resembles the scrapped Windows 10X in appearance, and the screenshots appear to be genuine.
Will windows 11 come out? Almost yes and we won't have to wait long for further information—Next Microsoft's What's for Windows digital event will take place on June 24, and we can expect plenty of screenshots, news, and more thorough upgrade recommendations.