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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Windows 11 preview build is now available for download but only to Insiders.
  • You need to enrol yourself as a Window Insider to be able to get Windows 11.
  • Microsoft is likely to release Windows 11 to everyone in October.
 

Windows 11 is now available for download, well, sort of. Microsoft has released the Windows 11 preview build today but it is meant for beta testers only. The beta testing programme for Windows is called Windows Insider and you need to be a member of this programme to be able to download and use early versions of Windows. The first version of Windows 11 that is available for anyone to download bears the build number 22000.51. However, I would not recommend downloading this version to your laptop or PC, which you use daily for work.

The Windows 11 preview build brings a new Start menu, new icons, new startup sound, and other visual changes, per what Microsoft outlined at the event. There is also a new File Explorer that replaces the ribbon with a new command bar that should simplify tools for you. The notification centre is also revamped, along with rounded edges for windows, new volume flyouts, and the Windows 11 widget that brings all necessary yet personalised information in one place and is available via the taskbar. The Windows 11 in this preview build supports new themes, including new wallpapers and both light and dark modes.

But while most things seem intact, this preview build does not include Android support and Microsoft Teams integration. Support for Android apps through Amazon Appstore is one of the mainstays for Windows 11 as it is likely to bring more customers to this OS, while Teams integration is something that is a result of the pandemic-induced shift in using Windows. Microsoft Skype is officially retiring as the go-to app for video calls and will be replaced by Teams in Windows 11. Both these things seem to be under development at this stage and should come in later builds, but definitely on the stable release build that may come out in October.

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