Windows 11 is due to launch a week from now, on Tuesday, October 5. Since we’re in the home stretch, Microsoft has rolled out what should be a near-final version of the operating system to all participants of its Windows Insider program.
This is a big deal because it’s the first time a Windows 11 build has been released to folks in the Release Preview channel of the Insider program. While Insiders in the Dev and Beta channels have been testing early builds of Windows 11 for some time, the only Release Preview builds available up until now were builds of Windows 10, which Microsoft has promised to continue supporting through October of 2025.
Now that a build of Windows 11 (Insider Preview Build 22000.194, to be exact) has hit the Release Preview channel, we can be pretty confident it looks and feels like the version of Windows 11 Microsoft will release next week. This version has many of the features promised to arrive in Windows 11, including the revamped Start menu and improved Photos app, but not everything’s here. Microsoft has delayed the launch of Windows 11’s Android app integration until 2022, for example.