Windows 11 Heads to Release Preview

Posted on September 24, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 24 Comments

With an October 5 launch date looming, Microsoft quietly pushed Windows 11 into the Insider Program’s Release Preview channel.

“We are making Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.194 available as an optional update for any Windows Insider on an eligible PC in the Release Preview Channel,” Microsoft noted in an addition to a blog post from a week earlier, ensuring that no one would be alerted to the change. We have also made the ISOs available for Build 22000.194.”

Build 22000.194 was originally provided to Windows Insiders in the Beta channel and to commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel last week; this build has no new features, of course, but it was the first to include updated Calculator, Clock, and Snipping Tool apps outside of the Dev channel.

The Beta channel—and now the Release Preview channel—is currently testing the version of Windows 11 that will ship to customers on October 5. (The Dev channel is not affiliated with a specific version of Windows 11 but is instead designed to test features and improvements that could appear in the platform at any time in the future.)

Why Microsoft didn’t announce this major milestone on the road to completion in its own post is unclear but sadly typical.

You can download the Windows 11 build 22000.194 ISO from the Windows Insider Preview Downloads website, assuming you’re an Insider.

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Comments (24)

24 responses to “Windows 11 Heads to Release Preview”

  1. chriswong13

    Upgraded last night around 2 am on my Surface Book 3. It's been pretty smooth so far...

  2. sentinel6671

    I'm looking forward to moving my main desktop to Windows 11 on launch day. I think it's a far more complete and coherent experience that Windows 10 ever was. I like the visuals and have had zero issues performance wise.

  3. DLF

    “… in an addition to a blog post from a week earlier, ensuring that no one would be alerted to the change.” Passive/ aggressive sarcasm at its finest; I love it!

  4. scovious

    At this point in time, does Windows 11 have a dark mode skin for the "copy files"/"move files" dialogue window? I am curious how deeply dark mode has been extended through Windows 11 because I see this window every day many times...

  5. blue77star

    This OS is incredible pile of junk.

    • hrlngrv

      Incredible?


      Sadly, Windows 11 is an all too depressingly predictable pile of manure from a company intent on destroying any relationship between experience and productivity.

    • Maverick010

      Speak for yourself. I for one, actually like it. It feels faster than Windows 10, and the animations are nice and smoother than anything 10 had. Overall the settings is finally being streamlined and the OS had a lot of tweaks under the hood and some seen in the store app and OS. Like it or not, Microsoft has one heck of an OS in Windows 11. Only bad part was their communication issues for certain decisions.

      • blue77star

        Let me add more agonizing things in Windows 11:

        1. When I want to switch audio device requires extra click which is not really nice to go about
        2. When I want to switch different wireless connection requires extra click
        3. Settings are so so useless, real clustered f. with ton of useless options which should even be part of OS to start with
        4. Most important things to setup, you still need to use control panel and if they are moved to Settings it is limited and it is junk.



      • blue77star

        I have a game F1 2021 installed and couple others. When I click on start to search for a game to launch it does not find it. What there is good about it? What I get is useless web search results, how is that good? When I want to unpack archived files with 7zip I have to make an extra trip to show more options to get where I want to be, how is that good? Windows 11 has no improvements at all for desktop users. It performs same as Windows 10, let's cut that BS. I have a proper hardware to test it which is 5950x Zen 3. There are absolutely no performance gains.

        Also the taskbar is completely broken, meaning has nothing on it, just one option called Taskbar Settings which is pretty basic. As I said, OS is a junk. It is Windows 10 with UI which is nothing but agonizing for desktop users.

  6. polloloco51

    The feeling of installing Windows 11 (Oct 5th) is like moving into a house that's been rushed to completion in 3 months.


    It's probably best to just wait, and have an independent contractor inspect everything.


    I'm sure Windows 11 is perfectly fine, but it's those little unnoticed bugs, that could ruin everything. Especially on odd configurations or setups that haven't been put through the ringer yet.

    • Maverick010

      I have been using since the leaked version and early official beta. It actually has been a smooth ride mainly and the update process actually surprisingly has been improved and no issues at all. Small and efficient updates that install very quickly was one of the key points when Windows 11 was announced, and I would say Microsoft has learned from their past, and made that process actually better.


      Overall no major hiccups and now what 22000.194 is in the release preview and most likely the RTM version for the Oct 5th part 1 launch timeframe, I am quite satisfied with the new GUI and streamlining of the OS. Shortening the CPU list was a slight bummer, but I get it, especially for security and possibly the future updates to the OS. Overall happy with Windows 11, and have begun installing it on the supported systems, but if the waiver is what you have to agree to for the unsupported systems, than I may just go ahead and update them to eventually.

    • madthinus

      This. I don't feel the need to upgrade this time. Windows 10 I did. I also feel like right now there is more pain points than gains.

  7. ggolcher

    I installed Windows 11 in the Release Preview channel, and the taskbar and Start menu are seriously underwhelming. I'm not seeing substantial benefits to counteract the impact to my workflow.


    I am seriously considering returning to Windows 10 for the time being.

    • Maverick010

      The new taskbar is most likely a change that is here to stay. It really is not that different though from Windows 10. The "power user" settings are still there if you right click on the Start icon. There is a lot more they did under the hood, while on top you will see subtle changes here and there with settings getting a much needed organized facelift and the animations and speed feeling much smoother and faster.

      • hrlngrv

        The Windows 11 taskbar lacks toolbars, any option to display icon captions, any option to display icons for each of multiple simultaneous instances of the same program, and handles drag-and-drop onto pinned icons rather poorly compared to previous Windows versions going back to Windows 98.


        Aside from that, it's OK, maybe.


        IMO, Windows 11 is a claxon call to long-time Windows users that it's high time to try 3rd party desktop UI component replacements. Not just the Start menu.

  8. vernonlvincent

    Downloaded and installed this morning. Maybe it was my internet connection or high demand - but it seemed to take a while (45 minutes or so with a 25 Mb download connection). That said - installation was flawless and I'm kicking the tires around now. I like what I see so far. While some things aren't there that were previously (like the daily agenda in the taskbar calendar) - I expect the edges to get sanded off (and they're not bad at all so far) as things move along.

    • Maverick010

      Correct daily agendas were removed from the calendar view with Windows 11 and Microsoft acknowledged it. You will now use Widgets to track that stuff now. It is most likely their way of getting folks to use Widgets and get use to them as they will expand that functionality more I am sure.

  9. wolters

    So this is also the time where we can get the release preview, install it and then leave the insider program to "officially" be on Windows 11 and get "normal" updates from that point on, correct?

    • Maverick010

      That would be correct. Windows 11 22000.194 that is in Beta and now Release preview is the suspected RTM version for the Oct 5th launch. I have been using Windows 11 since the first preview and it has been mainly smooth and bug squashing has been ongoing. Some of the bugs are already even fixed in the Dev version and those updates can hit this version anytime now. I have not personally seen anything show stopping this time around.

  10. mmurfin87

    But I don't own a machine that can install it. So this is going to be anticlimactic for me.


    It might be an inflection point with Windows for me actually. I was just reorganizing things this week and found my stash of Windows install disc's going back to Windows 95.


    No plans to upgrade even though I'd like to. Except I'm upgrading my phone. So the biggest choice for me stick with Android and get something with 12, or get the latest iPhone and iOS15? Crazy how the world changes.

  11. djross95

    Upgraded last night and aside from the MS taskbar icons (store, chat, etc.) being umovable, it was smooth as silk. The new start and contect menus take a little getting used to, but aside from that it seems fine.

    • Maverick010

      You can actually remove those icons in taskbar settings if you wish. For me I am keeping them front and centered for now. Chat, desktop, and Explorer I may use the most. The store this time may be worth it, especially since apps like Disney+ will arrive starting on Oct. 5th.

  12. edzucker

    I was offered windows 11 on my surface pro 6. I tried it and reverted back to 10. The missing taskbar customizations were a deal breaker for me. Can the taskbar be vertical in the latest builds?

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