Windows 11 is currently in the final stages of testing and it will begin rolling out to compatible hardware in October. As of today, it’s possible to grab the technical preview builds of Windows 11 by joining the Dev and Beta channels.
Although Windows 11 is still in the beta phase, it’s quite stable for day-to-day usage if you can deal with a few issues. Microsoft is now planning to focus on the next version of Windows 11 after version 21H2 (October 2021 Update) goes live in the holiday season, and the company has now issued a warning to users.
With Windows 11, Microsoft is moving to a single annual update cadence. Only one feature update will be released in the second half of the year and Microsoft will continue to release regular monthly updates throughout the year for all users.
Right now, we’re testing Windows 11 version 21H2 builds which will be released to consumers in October 2021. In the Dev Channel of the Insider, Microsoft is now planning to test next year’s experimental features and improvements, and builds could get pretty buggy.
The initial work on the unnamed and first major update to Windows 11 has already begun internally. The next version of Windows 11 is internally called version 22H2 (second half of the year 2022) and it doesn’t seem to have a special codename at the moment.
In the coming weeks, Microsoft will begin shipping unstable builds from the development and Dev Channel testers will get early access to new features and buggy releases of the operating system.
Microsoft’s warning to Windows 11 testers: switch to the beta channel
In an email to testers, Microsoft recently highlighted the risks of running Dev Channel builds and warned users that they will be provided with buggier builds from the upcoming version of Windows 11. Users are recommended to switch away from this channel if they only wanted to test the first and original version of Windows 11.
Initially, you won’t see many big noticeable changes or new features in Dev Channel, but these could get pretty rough on some devices.
If you’re not ready for buggy builds or upcoming features, you should switch to the Beta Channel.
“If you would like to experience more reliable Windows 11 Insider Previews Builds tied to the upcoming release [version 21H2], please move your device to the Beta Channel through the Windows Insider Program Settings,” Microsoft noted in an email to our Windows Insider accounts.
Microsoft will use Dev Channel to test experimental and unannounced features while the Beta Channel would be tied to the upcoming stable release called “Windows 11 version 21H2”.
Remember that Beta Channel will still give you access to all features coming to consumers later this year, so nothing would change if you flip the channel today. Users in both channels are currently testing Windows 11 Build 22000.160 and they have access to the same set of features.
If you’re interested in stable builds, the Beta channel is the best option and here’s how you can switch:
- Open Windows Settings.
- Head to Windows Update > Windows Insider program.
- Under the Choose your settings section, select Beta Channel by tapping on the drop-down menu.
Of course, no action is required if you want to test the experimental features that will be released in 2022 with version 22H2.