Earlier this week I posted my monthly rundown of #WindowsInsider builds for August and now we get to talk about the upcoming public release of Windows 11 and future development of Windows 10 and 11 in the Windows Insider testing channels.
First, on the last day of August, Microsoft announced that Windows 11 will become available on October 5th, 2021. This will be a slow and steady rollout and according to Microsoft it will take several months to reach availability for all eligible devices. The company plans to provide Windows 11’s initial release to newer devices that are already out on user’s desks and then slowly ramp that up to all eligible devices.
Commercial users now have access to the Windows 11 (Version 21H2) bits and can begin their own deployment testing in preparation for the availability of the new Windows operating system.
As is always the case recently for recent updates to Windows, Seekers, those who go into Windows Update on their device and manually check for updates, will be offered the Windows 11 update if their devices meet the specifications that have been established for this update.
Of course, Windows 10 will continue to be supported until October 2025 for those users who choose not to or can’t upgrade to Windows 11.
Speaking of Windows 10, Version 21H2 is now available in the #ReleasePreviewChannel for Windows Insider testing in preparation for general availability later this year. Although Microsoft has announced an official date for the release of Windows 11 (Version 21H2) the Windows 10 (Version 21H2) does not yet have a date, but we know it will be this fall. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this update released in either October or November.
Both the Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H2 builds are close to final at this point. I have been running the #BetaChannel builds of Windows 11 on multiple devices without any significant issues. This includes my primary device which I use for hours daily plus for my gaming.
Windows 11 in the #DevChannel
As I noted in my August Windows Insider build article earlier this week, both the #DevChannel and #BetaChannel mirrored each other the entire month. That all changed on September 2nd when the Windows team pushed the first future build of Windows 11 into the #DevChannel.
Windows 11 Build 22449.1000 represents the beginning of work towards releases of Windows 11 that will arrive after Windows 11 (Version 21H2). With the new plan to only release one feature update per year for Windows 11, and Windows 10 by the way, means work happening in these #DevChannel builds should not be showing up until late next year.
One caveat from personal experience over the last six years of Windows 10 in the Insider program – app updates and such will likely continue to get released for Version 21H2 as they are ready although they will probably still see some time in the #DevChannel for early testing.
Windows Insider Channels Moving Forward
It will be interesting to see how the three Windows Insider development channels are used following the release of the 21h2 version of Windows 10 and 11.
Well actually, we know that the #DevChannel will continue to see the future builds of Windows 11. The #BetaChannel is testing Windows 11 (Version 21H2) heading towards its release next month and the #ReleasePreviewChannel has options for testing both Windows 10 (Version 21H2) and Windows 11 (Version 21H2) right now.
I expect that the #ReleasePreviewChannel will continue with both those options to test subsequent monthly cumulative updates that will be heading towards those production versions of Windows 10 and 11. So technically, you could potentially have one #ReleasePreviewDevice testing Windows 10 and another testing Windows 11. I might have to try this in a virtual machine on Hyper-V to see if this works or at least see how they offer those choices to the end user.
Of course, #BetaChannel will continue being that main testing channel for the next release of Windows 11 once they branch out of rs_prerelease in the #DevChannel to start that focused testing towards the next feature update for Windows 11 expected in the fall of 2022.
The caveat to all of this is that I am looking from the outside and trying to read the tea leaves based on how these things have been used/done in the past. Therefore – this is all subject to change.
How are you trying out Windows 10 and Windows 11 moving forward?