US retailer SoftwareKeep even suggested Microsoft would officially launch Windows 11 on 1 July 2020, ahead of availability from 29 July. At US$174.99/approx £140, it would have cost slightly more than the £119.99/US$139 Windows 10 Home is currently selling for.

You might think SoftwareKeep quickly realised the error of their ways and took the listing down, but in fact it persisted with the idea of 'Windows 11' for some time. 

In an extraordinary live chat exchange with Mark Wyciślik-Wilson of BetaNews, the support team reportedly emphasised on a number of occasions that it was a '100 percent real' product. 

Of course, as it turns out, this was not the case. In a lengthy apology letter, SoftwareKeep explained that it was mislead by an 'insider source', and reiterated that 'Microsoft has not released any official communication regarding Windows 11'.

It turned out that no-one had placed an order for 'Windows 11', with the exception of an internal test. As a further gesture of goodwill, SoftwareKeep is offering customers 15% off their next order by using the code 'SORRYOFFER' at checkout. 

You can be confident that all the remaining products for sale on the SoftwareKeep website are genuine, but it's unclear how much of an impact this will have on any future agreements with Microsoft. 

Windows 11 listing tend to crop up online from time to time, but having a product live on a certified partner's website left many wondering if there had been a sudden U-turn on Microsoft part. 

Read: Will there be a Windows 11?

A version of this story originally appeared in German on our sister site, PC-Welt.