Microsoft officially revealed Windows with great fanfare today, detailing all the new features coming to the operating system, as well as its release date and when it will be available for testing.
We do know that the next generation version of Windows will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 this holiday season. And we also know that the first Windows 11 Insider build will be released next week for everyone enrolled in the Windows Insider Program.
The company has now detailed who will get access to these early bits, and when.
Long story short is that not all Insiders will be able to install this first build of Windows 11. And that is because it all comes down to the hardware — those running Windows 10 preview builds on a PC that meets that Windows 11 system requirements will be offered the preview of the new OS.
This will apply to existing Dev and Beta channels.
As explained by the Windows Insider team:
“In preparation for releasing Windows 11 Insider Preview builds to the Beta Channel later this summer, we are moving PCs that do not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11 in the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel. Some of these PCs may be able to move back to the Beta Channel, but at their own risk.”
New Insiders on the Release Preview channel will be offered Windows 11 preview builds later this year.
Those already on the Dev channel with a PC that is not meeting the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 or the Windows Insider Program will still be eligible for Windows 11 Insider builds, though some features may not work properly.
This is quite a bit of change, but Microsoft says that it is done to ensure Insiders have the best possible experience with Windows 11 preview builds on their PCs.