Microsoft begins rolling out Windows 11 22H2 to testers in the Release Preview channel

Even though Windows 11 22H2 isn't expected to start rolling out to mainstream users until this fall, Microsoft is encouraging business users to start testing it via the Release Preview channel beginning now.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is making its sole "feature update" for Windows 11, known as Windows 11 22H2, available to testers in the Release Preview channel starting June 7. Officials are doing this to help businesses validate that the update won't break anything in their organizations before it starts rolling out to mainstream users later this year (likely this fall). Microsoft previously released Build 22621 to the Beta Channel on May 11.

Microsoft is enabling business users to roll out Build 22621 to Insider testers with commercial devices running Windows 11 enterprise SKUs via Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services, and Azure Marketplace. (Microsoft considers a device to be a "commercial" one if it's not running a Home edition, is being managed via an IT administrator, has a volume license key, or is joined to a domain.)

Windows Insiders currently in the Release Preview channel also can test the 22H2 bits by seeking Build 22621 by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Business users who are still running Windows 11 and are offered Windows 11 22H2 can select "Stay on Windows for now." And Windows 11 users who don't yet want to move to the 22H2 test release can simply not select download and install.

"Along with commercial pre-release availability, we are also offering free support for commercial organizations running these builds. This means you can test this release -- and your preferred deployment methods -- while remaining supported prior to general availability," said officials in today's Windows Insider blog post.

Microsoft moved to a new servicing model with Windows 10 and Windows 11 last year via which there will be just a singled, rolled-up update for each OS that will be considered to be a "feature update." Once Microsoft rolls out the feature update for Windows 11 users, the support clock will begin ticking, with Home and Pro editions getting 24 months of support, and Enterprise and Education getting 36 months of support. 

Somewhat confusingly, Microsoft also is rolling out additional new features for Windows 11 outside of this single feature update. Earlier this year, Microsoft made a bunch of new Windows 11 features available to mainstream users via a Cumulative Update and is expected to do so again, at least once, at some other point this year.

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