Microsoft releases first Windows 11 beta

Windows 11 is one step closer to general availability as Microsoft has published Preview Build 22000.100 for Windows Insider beta channel members. The release comes almost one month to the day after Microsoft dropped a rougher preview build for Windows Insiders on the dev channel.

Windows Insider is a software testing program that gives users access to pre-release builds of Microsoft’s operating systems. It follows a channel model in which each successive tier is increasingly stable, with the goal of helping Microsoft identify and mitigate bugs and flaws ahead of public releases.

Microsoft notes that the beta channel release won’t have Chat from Microsoft Teams out of the gate, but they will be looking to add it in the coming weeks.

As mentioned, you’ll need to be a Windows Insider to get in on the action. While there’s nothing stopping you from installing Windows 11 as your primary operating system, I’d personally recommend tinkering with it on an extra computer or a secondary partition. And as always, make sure and back up any important files that you can’t afford to lose.

The final version of Windows 11 is expected to start shipping on new computers later this year. As for those upgrading from Windows 10, Microsoft said that rollout will start in early 2022 and run through the first half of next year.