Microsoft announced the upcoming release of Windows 11 in late June and is now releasing preview builds to some members of its Windows Insider program. The new operating system is scheduled to begin rolling out on October 5.
The Windows Insider program is divided into three channels:
The Dev Channel is where new features are introduced for initial testing, regardless of which Windows release they’ll eventually end up in. This channel is best for technical users and developers, and builds in it may be unstable and buggy.
In the Beta Channel, you’ll get more polished features that will be deployed in the next major Windows release. This channel is best for early adopters, and Microsoft says your feedback in this channel will have the most impact.
The Release Preview Channel typically doesn’t see action until shortly before a new feature update is rolled out. It’s meant for final testing of an upcoming release and is best for those who want the most stable builds.
The Beta Channel is currently receiving previews for the initial Windows 11 release, while the Dev Channel is testing potential features for Windows 11 updates beyond the initial October 5 release. The Release Preview Channel is not receiving Windows 11 updates; it is instead receiving builds for the next Windows 10 feature update.