Windows 11 now available on Windows Insider Release Preview Channel
Microsoft on Thursday announced that members of the Windows Insider Program in the Release Preview Channel can finally start testing out the new Windows 11 build ahead of its public release. This is a major milestone for the updated operating system since the Release Preview Channel is reserved for updates that are ready to be shipped to consumers. Here are more details.
According to XDA-Developers, the Windows 11 build bearing version number 22000.194, which is currently available to Windows Insiders on the Release Preview Channel, is the exact same version that would be available to non-Insider Program members on October 5. Windows Insider is Microsoft's beta testing system for Windows. It comprises the Dev Channel (for developers), Beta Channel, and the Release Preview Channel.
If you are on the Release Preview Channel and just updated to Windows 11, there is a lot to look forward to. Microsoft has incorporated an all-new design featuring new icons across the user interface, centered taskbar icons, refreshed Start Menu, and rounded corners for all the windows. Now, Widgets replaces News and Interests, a recently added feature on Windows 10.
Windows 11 also gets Microsoft Teams Chat integration and all-new Snipping Tool, Calculator app, a Clock app, and Photos app. Microsoft reportedly even teased a new Paint app but that is not available yet. One of the biggest highlights of Windows 11 is the upgraded Microsoft Store that would allow you to install Android apps and run them on Windows as native apps.
Understandably, Microsoft has deferred the implementation and availability of the Android apps feature for now, probably due to the challenges of adapting Android apps to the x86 architecture. Android apps can't even be run on the Windows Insider Beta Channel builds, so chances are it will not be a part of the final release on October 5. Microsoft has confirmed this as well.
The app store on Windows will not be the fully-featured Google Play Store. It is a Microsoft-Amazon partnership to bring Amazon Appstore apps to Windows. You can expect the likes of Kindle and Comixology to be supported. Windows 11 will not be available to all computers on October 5. Microsoft will roll out the update gradually, prioritizing computers based on their hardware and age.