The first beta of Windows 11 has been made available to individuals who have signed up for Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program. Installing the Dev version, which Microsoft says is for “very technical people” since it has “rough edges,” was the only way to obtain access to Windows 11 until today.
The beta release, according to Microsoft, is less volatile, with builds approved by the company (though it’s still something you’ll want to install on a test system or a second partition).
Of course, you’ll need a suitable computer to install the beta. It’s notoriously difficult to figure out if your gear will function with the next version of Windows, but Microsoft’s blog about preparing for Insider versions links visitors to its system requirements website.
The beta release is also welcome news for those of us who installed the Dev preview in order to get our hands on Windows 11 as soon as possible.
If you’re still using Windows 10 but want to participate in the test, you can sign up for Microsoft’s beta program here. While Microsoft claims that Beta Channel releases are more stable than Dev Channel releases, they remain betas.
There will almost certainly be problems, crashes, and missing functionality – Microsoft even has a full list of current difficulties in its post, which also states that the Teams Chat feature, which is accessible in the Dev channel for select customers, isn’t yet available for beta users.