Windows 11 is now available for Insiders in the Release Preview channel
Today, Microsoft announced that Windows Insiders on the Release Preview channel can finally start testing out Windows 11. Previously, it had been available for businesses that had PCs being tested in the channel, but as of today, it’s available for everyone.
This is a pretty big deal, as it’s a major milestone for Windows development. The Release Preview channel is reserved for updates that are ready to ship. That means that yes, Windows 11 build 22000.194, or the build in the Release Preview channel, is the RTM build that should ship out to non-Insiders on October 5. It’s possible that there could be some servicing update between now and then, but this is considered to be signed off.
If you’re on the Release Preview channel and you’re new to Windows 11, there’s a lot to get to know. It comes with an all-new design, with a centered taskbar, all-new Start Menu, and rounded corners throughout the shell. That’s not all though. Widgets replaces News and Interests, Microsoft Teams Chat is built into the OS, and we’re getting all-new inbox apps.
Included in those are a brand-new Snipping Tool, a new Calculator, a Clock App with a new feature called Focus Sessions, a completely revamped Photos app, and more. Microsoft has even teased a new Paint app, but that hasn’t arrived just yet.
One feature that’s coming but not at launch is support for Android apps. Microsoft partnered up with Amazon to bring the Amazon Appstore into the Microsoft Store, so you’ll get apps like Kindle, Comixology, and much more. Indeed, Windows 11 is a big update.
As we know, the OS is going to ship on October 5. Some will see it in Windows Update on day one, and of course, it’s optional. The staged rollout will continue through mid-2022, but you can always force the update with the Media Creation Tool if you want to.
If you’re on the Release Preview ring, you can get Windows 11 today through Windows Update. If you don’t see it, your PC is probably not supported, as the minimum requirements were raised significantly.