Microsoft has announced the first Windows 11 beta, an important milestone on the way to the full release of the revamped operating season later this year.

Now available to members of the Windows Insider Program, the first beta is a much more stable version compared to the ‘Dev Channel’ preview Microsoft has been offering until now.

While it had been available to the public, Microsoft had only recommended the Dev version for “highly technical users” due to less polished elements of the software still under development.

The new Beta launch will open the door to more people who’re keen to try Windows 11 before it arrives, although we’d still recommend doing this on a secondary machine. However, Microsoft does say some known issues have been addressed since the last release. If you’re interested, you can join the Windows Insider Program here.

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Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.100, as its officially dubbed, is now available in the beta channel. There, Microsoft says the Beta Channel is “ideal for early adopters. These Windows 11 builds will be more reliable than builds from our Dev Channel with updates validated by Microsoft. Your feedback has the greatest impact here.”

Microsoft also says that for a limited time, the company is enabling users to make the switch from Dev to Beta channels without requiring a clean install.

In a blog post the company adds: “If you are in the Dev Channel, now would be the right time to consider switching to the Beta Channel if you want to stay on more stabilised builds of Windows 11. For those of you new to the Windows Insider Program and flighting of OS updates – check out this article for how flighting works. (We use the term “flighting” for the activity of releasing new OS updates to Insiders.)”

Of course, users will still need to determine whether their PC is compatible with Windows 11, which hasn’t exactly been straight forward until now. Microsoft published the minimum specs required back in June, but there has been a lot of conjecture since, with Microsoft still to pin down the exact requirements.

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