Microsoft releases Windows 11 insider preview, available to download now. In addition, theIn addition, the next version of Windows is available for testing.
Windows 11 is set to reach the general availability stage sometime later this year. But ahead of that, Microsoft has released the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build for developers to test the new experience.
WIndows 11 insider preview for you.
Microsoft is releasing its first Windows 11 preview build today. Windows Insiders can download the Windows 11 preview (build 22000.51) right now, which includes access to the new Start menu, multitasking features, and overhauled Microsoft Store.
The Windows 11 preview includes features such as the centrally-placed Start menu and taskbar and new themes and sounds — almost all showcased at the virtual Windows event last week. In addition to the debut of the Windows 11 preview build, Microsoft seems to be hinting at an October release date for Windows 11. Thus, the launch could happen precisely on October 20.
Windows 11’s new themes and dark/light mode improvements are also part of this preview, alongside the new Widgets feature. All of the new themes — Glow, Captured Motion, Sunrise, and Flow — are designed with the centered taskbar in mind, and Microsoft has coupled them with new sounds in Windows 11 as you use the OS.
Deep dive into the creation of Windows 11 insider preview.
The first Windows 11 Insider Preview (build 22000.51) carries most of Microsoft’s features at the Windows event last week. These include an all-new Start menu and a taskbar that now sit in the display center and come with new animation effects, enhanced Notification Centre and Quick Settings, and new themes.
Check out the Inside Windows 11 website to discover why and how we built the latest OS. For the first time, we’ll take you behind the scenes to meet our makers and experience stories that shaped Windows 11. Visit Inside Windows 11
The Windows 11 preview also includes new sounds, including the new startup sound that will refresh your experience. Further, there is an updated File Explorer that will show context menus when right-clicking on the screen.
Microsoft has also provided widgets that you can look at by clicking on the dedicated Widgets icon in the taskbar. You can also swipe from the left using the touch bar/ display or hitting Win + W on the keyboard to access the widgets. There are, by default, widgets for the calendar, weather, local traffic, Microsoft To-Do lists, OneDrive photos, sports and esports, stock watchlist, and tips. The widgets section also includes a news feed section to show personalized news content.
The Settings also have a new Power & battery settings page, showing the battery usage patterns. Finally, there’s a redesigned out-of-the-box setup experience, which is quite similar to the now-canceled Windows 10X.
The new Action Center with the improved notifications, playback controls, and other UI changes is also available in this build. Unfortunately, Microsoft also lists a few known bugs, including failing to launch Settings when upgrading a device with multiple user accounts. You will also not see the taskbar across multiple monitors, and the “Install” button in Store may stop working in some scenarios. You can check out the complete list of known bugs in the official blog post right here.
How to download Windows 11
To download the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build on your Windows 10 PC, you will need to enroll in the Windows Insiders program and then visit Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Microsoft provides the testing build specifically on compatible machines, though it has brought some changes in the minimum hardware requirement for testing Windows 11 on various systems. The changes include support for Intel 7th generation and AMD Zen 1. However, the fundamental minimum requirements remain the same — greater than 1GHz and dual-core processors, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage.
It is advised to download the first Windows 11 preview only on secondary devices as it includes some known issues. These include a limited taskbar that will not be shown across multiple monitors, unavailability of the ‘Power mode’ setting on the Power & battery page, and misaligned widgets on external monitors. There are also many bugs that could impact your day-to-day experience.
Microsoft has also temporarily removed its PC Health Check app to allow Windows 10 users to see whether their PCs are compatible with Windows 11. The app will, however, be back around the time of Windows 11’s general availability.
The Bottom Line
Alongside the first Windows 11 preview release, Microsoft is supposedly hinting at an October release date for Windows 11. As The Verge reports, the release date was suggested multiple times during the Windows event last week.
Microsoft has also provided Wi-Fi 6E support for the machines that have compatible hardware and driver in place. Furthermore, Microsoft Office has received a new preview build to align with the Windows 11 beta.
The first Windows 11 preview excludes some of the features that Microsoft showcased last week — one of them is Microsoft Teams integration, and the other is support for Android apps on Windows. Both are currently under testing and are likely to be provided in a later preview build.
Those hints include a Microsoft Teams message from Surface engineer Stevie Bathiche that appeared on a Windows 11 screen showcased during the virtual event. The message addressed to Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay reads, “Excited to turn it up to 11… can’t wait for October!”