Microsoft has already made available to Windows testers the first officially released version of Windows 11. Version 22000.51 includes some, but not all of the features that Microsoft showed off last week during the Windows 11 release. And a first official preview of the new App store is available to testers as well, as is a trial version of Office that includes a user interface that has been updated to be more compatible with Windows 11.
Version build 22000.51 features the new Start Menu and Taskbar, Centralized Lock screen elements and text, Widgets, Snap layouts, redesigned Settings, new Windows sounds and themes, and much more. The Windows 11 preview available doesn’t include chat with teams and updated versions of Microsoft apps like Photos – which will come in future test builds. And the Store’s preview testers will show off the new design, but don’t yet include other features, like the ability to run Android apps that many are waiting to see how they work.
A new “out of the box” configuration experience is part of the test build. Includes new animations and access to the new “Get Started app” (for those who choose to give it a try). Microsoft is also allowing a subset of Insider testers to try out a feature that will provide estimated times of how long a reboot will take for updates as part of the build. This information will be in the Power menu under Start.
Windows 11 Inside Testers can check the ability to rearrange “pinned” apps and recently accessed content in the paginated grid that is part of the new Start experience. The search box is not yet part of the new start. But the new Notification Center and Quick Settings, yes. By clicking or tapping the date and time, users can open Notification Center and see a calendar view for the entire month (or just a few weeks if they prefer).
The new File Explorer – updated versions that Insider testers saw in March – is now getting a command bar instead of a ribbon. The most used commands are prioritized and application developers will at some point be able to extend the new context menus. Microsoft has visually tweaked the Settings menu to make it prettier and easier to navigate.
The Widgets option currently gives users access to calendar, MSN weather, MSN News, local traffic, Microsoft to-do lists, and OneDrive photos. Widgets can be accessed by a new icon in the taskbar; swiping left using touch or using shortcut WIN + W.
Testers can also try out the ability to customize their touch keyboards and “voice typing” (two features that Insiders were already testing). The Build also includes three- and four-finger touch gestures; a new Pen menu; and display improvements, including a way to increase the dynamic refresh rate; Automatic HDR support; and better application support for multiple monitors.
For those with PCs that include Wi-Fi 6E support and a WiFi 6E compatible router, Windows 11, including the trial version, will include built-in support. Microsoft has more details about the trial version features at blog post. This blog post also includes a list of known build issues.
To test the first official version of Windows 11, people need to sign up as Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel.
As Microsoft officials reported last week, the ability to download official Windows 11 builds onto existing PCs is no guarantee that those same PCs will run the final version of Windows 11, which begins shipping later this year. Microsoft has raised the hardware requirements for Windows 11, but it’s done a terrible job of communicating, so it’s not really possible to know for sure whether an existing PC will support the next OS or not.
In addition, Microsoft said last week: “All Windows Insiders who have already installed builds of the Canal Dev on their PCs by June 24, 2021 will be allowed to continue installing builds of Windows 11 Insider Preview, even if their PC doesn’t meet the minimum hardware requirements. ” Those who are already downloading the official Windows 11 build are saying that it installs right on top of the leaked Windows 11 build.