In case you hadn’t heard, Windows 11 is coming. Many rumors have been circulating ahead of the big Windows event on June 24, and then an early build leaked out. So lots of folks all over the place have been installing it and indeed it is Windows 11. That’s the name, and it seems to have a fairly dramatic redesign.
Of course, nothing is official until Microsoft says it is, and at this point, Windows 11 is nothing more than a piece of leaked software on the Internet. You can install it, but that doesn’t mean you should.
It’s easy to get carried away, and the urge to join in the fun is probably quite large. But just slow down a minute, because we’re here to urge caution.
Windows 11 leak: what’s going on?
First, a quick catch-up if you haven’t been following the news in recent days. Microsoft is holding an event on June 24 (opens in new tab) to unveil its next big thing for Windows. Much speculation has pointed towards the rumored ‘Sun Valley’ update actually becoming Windows 11.
Microsoft’s teasers for the event all have some connection to 11 as well, including the actual event time at 11 am. All signs point to 11.
Elsewhere, Microsoft has halted its Windows 10 Insider Preview builds in the dev channel, those that get the earliest look at forthcoming changes. With a big reveal on the horizon, this is hardly surprising, since you’d expect new stuff to start feeding out post-June 24.
Then, on June 15, a full, early build of Windows 11 leaked out. Not only giving away the name but also our first proper look at some of the design changes we can expect with the next big iteration of Microsoft’s OS.
Why you shouldn’t download Windows 11
So, there’s a fully functional build of Windows 11 out there. Build 21996.1 to be precise. It seems very nice, too. There’s not much substance to it, but the biggest design update in recent memory is on show. Essentially, this is Windows 10 with a new launcher over the top of it.
You’re probably going to love parts of it and definitely not love other parts. But this is also still a work in progress and, as we shouldn’t forget, an unofficial look. Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged anything about this build, but it’s very much Windows 11 regardless.
You shouldn’t go and download it though. There’s no shortage of press coverage of Windows 11, including our own, taking the risks so you don’t have to. For one, this can be classed as stolen software. Even if you activate it with a legitimate Windows 10 license code, don’t forget that this is software you’re not supposed to have right now. Nobody outside of Microsoft is.
The other side of that coin is that you’re going to be downloading from unknown and potentially untrustworthy sources. When you download preview builds from Microsoft, they might be broken, but you can guarantee that they’re safe. When you’re downloading from a random MEGA link you found on the web, you have no such guarantees. Anything could be inside that file.
So, we urge caution and ultimately to stay away. Of course, if you do go ahead and download it, make sure you’re not putting it on your only machine or one you rely on for work. Or use a virtual machine to isolate it from anything important. Just in case.
Windows 11 will be here soon
While we don’t expect Windows 11 to launch properly until October time, the big reveal is slated for June 24. After this, it would be expected that the first preview builds will make their way into the Windows Insider Program dev channel. And this is the first time we’d recommend anyone goes and grabs it for themselves as it’s from an official channel you can trust.
There are no barriers to entry on the Windows Insider Program either. All you need is a Microsoft Account and you can sign up to test it. Again, it’s recommended not to put it on your main or only PC, but nobody will be excluded.
It’s not often that Windows generates such huge buzz but Windows 11 has certainly sparked a fire of interest. But it’s also based on leaks and software that shouldn’t be public.
The best course of action is to exercise restraint, be patient, and wait for June 24 to find out more.