Microsoft outlines Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations

Microsoft announced Windows 11 yesterday, and it brings quite a bit of features to the table. The Snap options, centered Start Menu, Widgets, DirectStorage are just some new shiny things we can look forward to in the operating system, and being able to run Android apps in Windows 11 is amazing. The fact that it will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users is the icing on the cake.

Microsoft outlines Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations

The big question, though, is when's the Windows 11 release date?

According to the announcement, the next gen OS will begin to roll out in the holiday season. That's a long wait, but not if you want to try a preview build. Microsoft has outlined the preparations for the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program. This isn't a roadmap per se, but more of how it plans to test the operating system.

The first build of Windows 11 will be released to the Insider Preview Program next week, the company is using a similar system like the one it used to test Windows 10 before it was released to the public.

You can check whether your computer is compatible with Windows 11 by running the PC Health Check app. If your PC passes the check, you may opt in to the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program by opening the Settings app in Windows 10, heading to Update and Security, and clicking on Windows Insider Program to opt-in.

I wouldn't recommend installing Windows 11 Insider builds on your primary computer, it may not be stable for daily usage. But if you have a system to spare, go nuts.

Here's a flowchart that I created to simplify Microsoft's chart.

Am I eligible to participate in the Windows 11 Insider Program

If your PC does not meet the requirements

Now, for those whose computer does not meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements, there is some good news. You can install the Preview builds too, but the catch is that you need to have been in the Dev Channel of the Windows 10 Insider Program before June 24, 2021. This is Microsoft's way of rewarding existing testers, and that's kind of nice. The key point to note here is that the computer should be compatible with the minimum requirements as that of the Insider Program, i.e. it needs to be running on a licensed version of Windows 10, to take part in the testing process.

The bad news is that systems that don't meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements could run into bugs and issues which, in Microsoft's own words, "may not be fixed". There is another caveat, if you decide to downgrade the computer from the Preview Build back to Windows 10, you will no longer be eligible to participate in the Windows 11 Preview Program, as it will be considered a new PC.

Things will change slightly as Windows 11 transitions to the next phase. PCs that don't meet the system requirements will be moved from the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel.

If your computer isn't eligible for the free Windows 11 update, I wouldn't advise rushing to buy a new CPU and Motherboard just yet. Go to the computer's UEFI/BIOS and check whether the TPM setting is enabled. Things could change as the testing progresses, a computer that isn't eligible for the upgrade today might be upgradeable in the future.

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Microsoft outlines Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations
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Microsoft outlines Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations
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Microsoft has outlined the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program preparations ahead of the first build that will release next week.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on June 25, 2021 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    Its time to look at Linux. Windows is done.

  2. ddk said on June 25, 2021 at 8:48 pm
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    I’m sorry but this is such a load of crap. Why make everything so complex & confusing? Takes all the excitement out of trying something new.

    What happened to just releasing an ISO preview build? Or is that too “old school”?
    Also getting rid of unecessary bloat (like news & interests) could make Win 11 compatible with more devices.

    So fed up with MS. Bye Bye Windows. Installed Linux Mint and together with MACOS and iPad Pro (in case there’s programs & apps not working on Mint.) will forge ahead using Unix based systems. After 23 years of Windows and throwing away $200 for Win 10 it’s time to move on.

    My advice…just get an iPad, set it up and forget about MS BS. Easy as heck to use and can do almost everything Windows can.

    1. daftmonkey said on June 28, 2021 at 7:55 am
      Reply

      If this is too confusing for you, you shouldn’t be running beta OS software. Seems pretty simple, honestly.

      1) Look at the leftmost column, which current software release channel are you on?
      2) Look at the top row, which box matches your PC specs or your target specs?
      3) Find the box that lines up with both

      They teach these types of tables in elementary school…

    2. grogman said on June 28, 2021 at 1:24 pm
      Reply

      What a joke. You go and install Linux but think installing an insider build of Windows is too complicated?

      Can’t make this shit up

  3. dmacleo said on June 25, 2021 at 11:45 pm
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    wonder if I pull my win11 VM ff domain if I could test insider stuff

  4. Anonymous said on June 26, 2021 at 12:50 am
    Reply

    Run it in a VM. There is no checks in there.

  5. Paper said on June 26, 2021 at 4:23 pm
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    Can’t wait for it. The new changes look interesting to me. Furthermore, that isn’t any reason to hold me back either. The only Windows that hold me back was 8/8.1 due to the nonsense start menu or start screen or whatever the actual name is, other than I jumped to Windows 10 as soon as it is available. The telemetry nonsense didn’t stop me either because there are tools to block it.

  6. Cody said on June 27, 2021 at 10:19 am
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    Windows 11 looks like more bloatware and spying on the user. I say no thanks to it. I’ll stick with Windows 8.1 Industry Enterprise as my primary OS. Windows 10 LTSC will be my secondary OS.

  7. John said on June 27, 2021 at 10:37 pm
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    Will the Windows 10 insider and beta builds continue?

    I know that sounds like an odd question to ask, since obviously the development effort has moved to Windows 11 and Windows 10 is likely to stop getting big updates with new features sometime soon (If this spring’s feature update wasn’t the last, this fall’s or at the very outside next spring’s probably will be), but Microsoft’s timetable claims mainstream support for Windows 10 until 2025 (Unless that’s changed, that was what they had up on their site before Windows 11 was announced), so there will presumably be some ongoing Windows 10 security updates and bug fixes, at least, that they may want users to test, for the first few years of the Windows 11 era.

    I’d be a little concerned for they stopped Windows 10 insider releases and such. Rumor has it that internal quality assurance at Microsoft was trimmed down dramatically when those programs started, so even security patches and bug fixes could probably use some home users who are willing to opt into a program like that to take them for a test drive briefly before they are rolled out to everyone else.

    Inevitably some users will stay on Windows 10 due to lack of hardware compatibility with Windows 11, lack of financial ability or perceived need to buy a new machine right away, or just a preference to stick with an OS they like (Windows 10 in this case) until the end of the support they were promised when they bought a machine with Windows 10 or upgraded to Windows 10 from older versions of Windows.

    Plus, we all know that corporations with a lot of computers often take years to roll out new operating systems.

    So, it’s fair to expect Windows 10 to continue to be supported at the promised levels for the promised amount of time. I imagine that most reasonable Windows 10 users aren’t going to expect huge feature updates given that Microsoft has moved on to Windows 11, but will quite reasonably expect the security patches and bug fixes Microsoft promised until 2025 (or through 2025- whatever they promised the support period would be).

    I’m not anti-Windows 11 per say. I may upgrade to it. My laptop narrowly clears the processor requirement (It’s 8th generation Intel, and 8th generation is the minimum requirement for Windows 11), has more RAM than their spec requirements, and presumably has TCM 2.0 or higher, because it passed the Microsoft Health Check program thing.

    I just think Microsoft should stick to it’s promises, even if it’s not going to necessarily be relevant to me personally in a direct way.

    If nothing else, there must be people with 7th generation Intel processors (or below), no TCM or TCM 1.2 (or below), and maybe not the 4 gigs of RAM minimum (How they don’t get frustrated and check their machines out the window trying to work with 4 gigs of RAM is beyond me, but people do it) who can’t upgrade to Windows 11 because of the required minimum specs (Some of these are likely laptops that are created to make upgrades like that tough if not impossible, but even if they aren’t, not everyone is comfortable taking the screws out and messing with the inside of their computer.).

    I think that percentage will be high enough at Windows 11 launch that, if the other reasons aren’t good enough, it would be worth doing security patches for Windows 10 for a while just so that those PCs don’t wind up infected with botnets and viruses and spreading them everywhere, because the machine got infected without the owner’s knowledge or consent and could have been patched.

    I also think they should keep Windows Defender for Windows 10 going until the end of support for the OS.

    Now, after 2025, owners of those machines will have the choice to either upgrade to Windows 11 if they meet the minimum specs, get a new machine with Windows 11 (if they can afford to), buy buy a Mac or a Chromebook, use their machine for off-line stuff only, switch to a Linux distro if one can be found that supports their hardware, or take their chances on the world wide web with a computer that likely has unpatched vulnerabilities to malware. I don’t recommend that last option, but it’ll be up to the owners of those PCs to decide individually.. But they should have until 2025 to figure that out (The delay also will mean there are fewer Windows 10 PCs marketshare wise, and it’ll thus be safer to phase out support at that point than it would be to do it sooner).

    Just as an aside, do you guys think all the Internet-based stuff baked into Windows 10 will mean it will be harder for people to continue once Microsoft drops support for it?

    I know during Windows 7’s period of active support, after a certain update relatively early in it’s history that would be included on all the service packs (and in all Microsoft operating systems thereafter from initial release onward as far as I know.), there were anti-piracy measures introduced that meant that if it couldn’t contact Microsoft for a certain span of time, it’d assume it was pirated and limit what users could do with the operating system, put up a warning, and screw with it’s appearance (Wallpapers would apparently disappear, replaced by a blank black screen.). Some people who had legitimate licensed copies of Windows 7 but didn’t let it online for whatever reason ran into this issue, because of course it couldn’t phone home to Microsoft if it wasn’t online,.

    Anyone know what happened after Windows 7 support ended for home users? Did people wind up getting the anti-piracy stuff directed at them even though they didn’t pirate (Perhaps because in Microsoft’s view, end of support meant no more servers to send back the okay signal.), did Microsoft put out a patch towards the end to disable that stuff and sort of prep it for being on it’s own, or are their servers still accepting Windows 7’s attempts to contact Microsoft, and sending back the right confirmation?

  8. Shmu said on June 28, 2021 at 10:11 am
    Reply

    To enable TPM on an ASUS Motherboard, go in the BIOS: Advanced –> PCH-FW Configuration.
    Enable firmware TPM.
    That’s it.

  9. Jozsef said on June 29, 2021 at 3:37 am
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    Not true that existing Insider members can run 11 test builds on “unsupported” hardware. I’ve been in the insider program for years and today it told me my hardware is not up to the requirements for Windows 11. Apparently TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot are non-negotiable. Done, game over, no options.

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