Microsoft today said that the shipping version of Windows 11 22H2 has been released on its Insider channel, indicating that Release to Manufacturing (RTM) will be available later this year.
Meanwhile, corporate IT departments may take a leap to test version – build 22621 – from the Windows Insider preview download website and begin verifying it on systems with the correct hardware requirements.
Commercial devices enrolled in the Windows Insider program for business within the Release Preview Channel will automatically be offered Windows 11 22H2 as an optional update. Non-commercial Windows Insider devices can be traced manually via build 22621 Settings> Windows Update.
Once an Insider Channel subscriber updates a PC to 22H2 version, it will automatically receive new servicing updates via Windows Update (the usual monthly update process). Microsoft provides instructions on joining the Windows Insider program and joining a PC on the Release Preview Channel.
In addition to commercial pre-release availability, Microsoft is also offering free support for companies running builds, which means IT shops can test release, and their preferred installation methods, continue to receive support before availability. Microsoft has not specified when the next version of Windows 11 will arrive, although major updates have traditionally been launched in October or November.
Steve Kleinhans, vice president of research at Gartner’s Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations, says the latest build of Windows 11 is by no means a “final release”.
“This is a comprehensive preview of the current build of the 22H2 codebase,” he said. “It’s probably nearing completion, but there’s still some refinement and refinement to come in the coming months. In addition, there are still some features that haven’t been released (like the Windows 365 piece discussed in April). There is a lot of flexibility about what can change the experience. “
Interestingly, Kleinhans said, “Microsoft has chosen to move the 22H2 to a wider preview this early – probably four months before it is officially released. Start the installation.
“Most companies don’t plan on rolling out until 2023 – probably about a year from now,” he said. “I suspect Microsoft would like to move this to 1Q if possible.”
That being said, the current preview is “quite tough: and much more polished than the current 21H2 version, and since Microsoft is making it widely available, it shows a level of confidence on the part of the company that could tempt some early adopters to accept. Immersion,” Kleyhanhans said. .
In recent months, Windows 11 adoption rates have dropped, according to recent data from computer monitoring software providers AdPlex and others.
Released in October 2021, Windows 11 reached “overall usage” of 19.7% in April, an increase of more than 10% since the beginning of December 2021. An additional 0.6% of users are in the Windows 11 Insider build, the latest data from AdDuplex.
Windows 11 usage rose less than 0.4% in April. According to Adduplex, it topped the low growth of 0.2% in March.
While Windows 11 isn’t growing, Windows 10 21H2 has added another 6.5%.
Microsoft has pushed users to upgrade to Windows 11, but the majority have opted for the previous version, which will continue to receive support until 2025.
Of the 80% of Windows 10 users, the most recent users are in two recent updates, Windows 10 N21U (21H2), released in November 2021 (28.5%) and Windows 10 M21U (21H1), released in March 2021, (26.5%). .
The remaining 25% is in five older iterations of Windows 10.
“For the most part, commercial customers aren’t really diving into the new OS, and we don’t expect to receive much there until 2023,” Kleyhanhans said.
“For most consumers who are not PC enthusiasts in any way, this is not really a high priority, and they will not actively seek upgrades,” he said. “Unless Microsoft starts upgrading, or at least marketing it to users on more aggressively qualified machines, things are going to be a bit stagnant. . “
According to a January blog post by Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer for Windows, Microsoft says it has seen strong demand for Windows 11 and people have accepted the OS upgrade offer for Windows 10 at twice the rate. And devices.
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