Microsoft outlines Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations
Microsoft announced Windows 11 yesterday, and it brings quite a bit of features to the table. The Snap options, centered Start Menu, Widgets, DirectStorage are just some new shiny things we can look forward to in the operating system, and being able to run Android apps in Windows 11 is amazing. The fact that it will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users is the icing on the cake.
The big question, though, is when's the Windows 11 release date?
According to the announcement, the next gen OS will begin to roll out in the holiday season. That's a long wait, but not if you want to try a preview build. Microsoft has outlined the preparations for the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program. This isn't a roadmap per se, but more of how it plans to test the operating system.
The first build of Windows 11 will be released to the Insider Preview Program next week, the company is using a similar system like the one it used to test Windows 10 before it was released to the public.
You can check whether your computer is compatible with Windows 11 by running the PC Health Check app. If your PC passes the check, you may opt in to the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program by opening the Settings app in Windows 10, heading to Update and Security, and clicking on Windows Insider Program to opt-in.
I wouldn't recommend installing Windows 11 Insider builds on your primary computer, it may not be stable for daily usage. But if you have a system to spare, go nuts.
Here's a flowchart that I created to simplify Microsoft's chart.
If your PC does not meet the requirements
Now, for those whose computer does not meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements, there is some good news. You can install the Preview builds too, but the catch is that you need to have been in the Dev Channel of the Windows 10 Insider Program before June 24, 2021. This is Microsoft's way of rewarding existing testers, and that's kind of nice. The key point to note here is that the computer should be compatible with the minimum requirements as that of the Insider Program, i.e. it needs to be running on a licensed version of Windows 10, to take part in the testing process.
The bad news is that systems that don't meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements could run into bugs and issues which, in Microsoft's own words, "may not be fixed". There is another caveat, if you decide to downgrade the computer from the Preview Build back to Windows 10, you will no longer be eligible to participate in the Windows 11 Preview Program, as it will be considered a new PC.
Things will change slightly as Windows 11 transitions to the next phase. PCs that don't meet the system requirements will be moved from the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel.
If your computer isn't eligible for the free Windows 11 update, I wouldn't advise rushing to buy a new CPU and Motherboard just yet. Go to the computer's UEFI/BIOS and check whether the TPM setting is enabled. Things could change as the testing progresses, a computer that isn't eligible for the upgrade today might be upgradeable in the future.Advertisement