We’re talking about the Dev Channel, and while builds from that channel are currently for the release version of Windows 11 which is due to come out later in 2021 (possibly in October), they will soon switch to previews of the next update for 2022 (known as 22H2 – Microsoft is only doing one big update per year with Windows 11, if you recall).
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Work on that 22H2 feature update will obviously be in the very early stages, so testers could well hit a bunch of glitches, meaning that if you don’t fancy the prospect of bugs aplenty, you need to move to the Beta Channel instead (which will continue testing this year’s far more stable builds for version 21H2).
As Windows Latest points out, Microsoft recently sent an email to testers noting that: “If you would like to experience more reliable Windows 11 Insider Previews Builds tied to the upcoming release [version 21H2], please move your device to the Beta Channel through the Windows Insider Program Settings.”
Analysis: Should you stay, or should you go?
If the thought of far more buggy builds is one that concerns you (and remember, there are already bugs with existing previews), then obviously you’ll need to switch channel as soon as possible. That’s definitely the case for those who don’t want their PC being messed with in any meaningful way (though you shouldn’t really be using any pre-release version of an OS on a machine that’s used for any kind of serious application).
The reason to stay on the Dev Channel, of course, is the tantalizing prospect of seeing and playing around with the new features coming to Windows 11 next year, albeit these will be rough around the edges as noted.
That said, in the initial builds of version 22H2 of Windows 11, there won’t be any major introductions, as these first outings are really just about laying the groundwork for what’s to come in terms of new features. So don’t expect anything too exciting in the immediate future even if you are sticking in the Dev Channel, but new features (and doubtless gremlins) will slowly be drip-fed in as time progresses.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).