“Windows 11 Has Been Built with Compatibility in Mind,” Microsoft Says as It Starts Commercial Release Process Through Preview Builds

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After releasing new builds for Windows Insiders in the Dev and Beta Channels today, Microsoft has also confirmed that it is releasing the new operating system for commercial preview to enable organizations to explore and validate Windows 11 and upcoming Windows 10 version 21H2.

"Organizations enrolled in the Windows Insider Program for Business can access these builds through all standard channels, including Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Azure Marketplace, and the Windows Insider Program ISO download page," Microsoft's Aria Carley wrote.

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"Along with commercial pre-release availability, we are also offering free support for commercial organizations running these builds. This means you can test these releases - and your preferred deployment methods - while remaining supported prior to general availability."

Commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel can now get to experience Windows 11 through Preview Build 22000.176, which was delivered to Beta Channel earlier today.

If your devices meet the minimum hardware requirements of Windows 11, the new OS will be offered to you as an optional upgrade. These devices will also need to install September 1, 2021's optional cumulative update (KB5005101) to be able to get this free upgrade offer.

Don't want Windows 11? You can instead try Windows 10 v21H2

For those who do not wish to upgrade to Windows 11, just select Stay on Windows 10 for now, and you will be offered Windows 10 version 21H2 instead. Those who don't meet the hardware requirements will get this offer automatically.

"Commercial devices in the Release Preview Channel that do not meet the hardware requirements necessary to support Windows 11 will be offered Windows 10, version 21H2 automatically instead."

Microsoft said that both the previews of Windows 11 and Windows 10 v21H2 are completely optional, adding that "you can choose to remain on your current version of Windows and continue to receive preview builds of quality updates for that version."

To be able to get this Windows 11 free upgrade offer, your device should be considered commercial

Microsoft considers a device a commercial device if:

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  1. it is not running Windows 10 Home edition;
  2. it is being managed by an IT administrator (whether via Microsoft Endpoint Manager or other endpoint management solution)
  3. it has a volume license key or commercial ID, or is joined to a domain.

The Windows maker added that it is committed to ensuring your applications work on the latest Windows 10 version 21H2 and Windows 11.

"Windows 11 has been built with compatibility in mind," Microsoft said. "Our promise states that apps that worked on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 will work on Windows 11."

For support and details, check out this tech community blog.

- Microsoft Begins Kicking Out Insiders Running Win 11 On Older PCs – Time to Go Back to W10

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