Microsoft has released the first official Windows 11 ISOs for Insiders interested in doing a clean install or in-place upgrade of the OS.
Microsoft sounded the horn on Windows Blogs with a new Windows 11 Insider build. However, before Microsoft even goes into detail about what this new build does, it declares that ISOs are now available for people to download.
The ISOs are essential for Microsoft’s testing plans because they give users the whole experience of installing Windows 11 on their PC. Beforehand, users got the Windows 11 beta by upgrading their current Windows 10 system, but this doesn’t replicate the same experience that someone has when installing the operating system on a new PC.
Microsoft calls this the “out of box experience” (OOBE) because it’s what you see between taking the CD out of the box and having a fully-working Windows 11 PC. Now, with official ISOs out for everyone to download, people can test the Windows 11 OOBE for themselves and report any problems or bugs that arise.
If you want to give the ISO a try for yourself, head over to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads page and grab it there. If you don’t see the option to download Windows 11, it’s because you’re either not signed up for the Insider builds or not signed in to your Insider account.
Of course, if you remember, this update isn’t just about the ISOs alone. Microsoft did make some changes to Windows 11, even if they’re not as exciting as the official ISOs. For instance, during the Windows 11 OOBE, you can now give your PC a name, so your network isn’t full of randomly generated device names by default.
There’s also a brand new Clock app coming to Windows 11. This includes a new feature called “focus sessions” that allow you to set a short timer to get work done. During the timer, Windows will pause your music so you can work in peace. Microsoft talks more about this on the Windows Insider Blog.
If you’ve been looking for an official Windows 11 Beta ISO, now is the time to leap into action and grab one. The Windows 11 ISO will give you an idea of what it will be like to install the operating system from scratch, so you know what to expect when it officially releases.
Now that Microsoft is going full bore with Windows 11, will Windows 10 loyalists be left in the dirt? Fortunately, Microsoft’s track record supporting older operating systems shows that Windows 10 users have nothing to worry about.