After releasing the first beta version of Windows 11 for developers over the last month, Microsoft made it available to those enrolled in its Windows Insider Program on Friday. Until now, getting access to Windows 11 meant installing the developer preview, which Microsoft said was only for “highly technical users” due to its “rough edges,” according to The Verge.
This beta release is less volatile, according to the company, because builds are validated by Microsoft, though it’s still something you’ll want to install on a test machine or a second partition. To begin, you’ll need a compatible computer to install the beta. It’s notoriously difficult to figure out if your hardware will work with the next version of Windows, but Microsoft’s article about preparing for Insider builds directs people to its system requirements page.
The company has stated that it will be closely monitoring the performance of 7th Gen Intel and AMD Zen 1 CPUs during the testing period, so those systems may be allowed to run the beta but not the final release. If you want to switch from the developer preview to the new beta build, go to Settings — Windows Update — Windows Insider Program, then Choose your Insider Settings.
Normally, doing so necessitates a full OS reinstallation, but the Windows Insider Twitter account claims that it will be possible to do so in place for a “short time.” If you don’t need to stay on the developer channel, it’s probably best to get on that as soon as possible. The Beta Channel releases are more stable than the developer channel releases, but they are still betas, according to Microsoft. Bugs crashes and missing features are all likely.
According to The Verge, Microsoft has a comprehensive list of current issues in its blog post, which also states that the ‘Teams Chat’ feature, which is available in the developer channel, is not yet available for beta users.