Microsoft today released Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2 to business customers in commercial preview. This is one of the final steps before Microsoft officially finalizes its desktop Windows releases, and is perhaps the first time ever it has released (or will soon release) two different major Windows upgrades at the same time.
“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 writes in the announcement post. “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 that are enrolled in the Windows Insider Program Release Preview channel will be offered Windows 11, Microsoft notes, assuming that they meet the stringent new minimum requirements for that release. Commercial PCs in the Release Preview channel that do not meet those requirements will be offered Windows 10 version 21H2 instead.
Of course, organizations can choose to remain on Windows 10 and not upgrade to Windows 11. And since these updates are both optional, they can also remain their current Windows 10 version; they will continue to receive preview builds of quality updates for that version instead.
From an application compatibility standpoint, Microsoft promises that apps that work with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 will also work with Windows 11 (and with Windows 10 version 21H2).