Microsoft has released the first beta build of Windows 11, now available to those enrolled in its Windows Insider Program.
Until today the only way users could get access to Windows 11 is through the installation of the Dev Preview, which Microsoft says is for “highly technical users.” The Dev Preview is also a rougher version of the OS, being a very early build.
According to Microsoft, the beta release is less volatile than the Dev Preview. Though users should still consider only installing the Beta on a test machine or second partition.
Before installing the Beta, users should first see if their PCs are compatible with Windows 11.
The Verge writes that figuring out if your hardware will work with Windows 11 has been notoriously tricky.
Windows 11’s system requirements are notably high for a Windows OS, but the company is using this testing phase to monitor how well 7th Gen Intel and AMD Zen 1 CPUs operate with the OS. Users interested in the Beta should check out Microsoft’s article about preparing for Insider builds to gauge hardware requirements.
Can Your PC Run Windows 11?
Microsoft has said that Windows 11 will be a free update to users who are running a legitimate copy of Windows 10, however, the new OS’ system requirements may hamper users with older PCs to run it well.
Some older machines may not be able to run Windows 11 at all, since there will no longer be support for a 32-bit version of Windows. Windows 11 will still be able to support 32-bit apps, though.
The minimum RAM requirements have been quadrupled – from 1GB for the previous OS to 4GB. A stocky increase for a Windows OS, though generally under what is expected of new PCs today.
The storage requirements for Windows 11 will be another big barrier for users, needing a whopping 64GB to install. Windows 10 64-bit only requires 20GB. Storage space for further updates, which there inevitably will be, is not taken into account in the requirements.