The launch build of Windows 11 releases on October 5, but Windows Insiders are already getting a preview of the upgraded operating system. Previously tested in the Beta channel, the current build is now in the Release Preview channel.
“In the Release Preview channel, you’ll get the upcoming version of Windows before it’s released to the world, with advanced quality updates and certain key features. These builds are also supported by Microsoft if you’re in the Windows Insider Program for Business,” Microsoft explains in a blog post announcing the release.
This stage of development suggests Windows 11 is basically ready to roll out to the public. With not long now to wait, those looking to get a head start on the new OS can still register for the Insider Program provided they have an eligible PC.
From there, Insiders can download Windows 11 in its current state, although as it is still technically pre-release, there may be a select few issues that should be stamped out by October 5. As such, users are advised to back up their PC data before installing the new OS.
In a blog post released in August, Microsoft called the new OS “the first version of a new era of Windows”. It also outlines the improvements it aims to deliver with Windows 11, with a “modern, fresh, clean and beautiful” approach to design and, interestingly, sounds; a refined Start menu; better multitasking through the new ‘Snap’ feature; and chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar.
It’s gaming that gets the biggest focus though, with Microsoft hyping Windows 11’s ability to deliver “technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR”. It also highlights the benefits of Xbox Game Pass for PC, which provides access to a rotating library of games for a monthly subscription.