With the first release of Windows 11 pretty much finalized, Windows Insiders in the Dev channel have a new Windows 11 build to test. And it’s for a future version of Windows 11, not the version users will get on October 5.
Yep. That’s how wacky the Insider Program is these days.
“[The] build number [for this build] is higher than [that of] the Windows 11 preview builds you’ve been receiving,” the Insider team tries to explain. “That’s because we’re moving the Dev Channel back to receiving builds from our active development branch (RS_PRERELEASE) [or what should be called “the prerelease development branch]. This means the builds released to the Dev Channel no longer match the Windows 11 experience that will be released to customers on October 5th.”
It’s [sort of] clear now that this is what Microsoft meant when it told us that the Dev and Beta channels would soon diverge, and that Dev builds could be less stable: now they’re not even for Windows 11 1.0! So that’s fun, I guess, though the first few builds won’t include any new features or major changes.
There are, however, some minor changes. Build 22449 includes an algorithm change to the still-new SMB compression feature, a new progressive ring animation during boot-up instead of the Windows 10-style ring of animated dots, acrylic backgrounds in notifications, and other minor changes. There is also an alarming number of bug fixes, given that users around the world won’t be getting them in Windows 11 1.0, presumably. (Maybe bug fixes will be pushed to the Beta channel too.)
Microsoft also tries to clarify the shitty way that it is booting testers without supported hardware out of the Insider Program for Windows 11.
“Now that we are moving [the] Dev Channel forward with newer Windows 11 builds than what will be released to customers on October 5th,” the Insider team notes, “those PCs [that do not meet the Windows 11 hardware requirements] have been opted out of [receiving new builds] and [will] likely see [a] message [explaining this] in the Windows Insider Program settings page [under Windows Update]. However, they will still receive Windows 11 Cumulative Updates leading up to general availability.”
At that point, of course, they will be on their own and will need to manually reinstall Windows 10.