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Windows 11 version 22H2 enters Release Preview channel as public release nears


A PC running Windows 11.
Enlarge / A PC running Windows 11.

Windows 11 version 22H2 has just entered Microsoft’s Release Preview channel for Windows Insiders, the company announced today. The Release Preview channel is the last stop before public release for most Windows updates, barring unforeseen show-stopping bugs, and it gives developers, businesses, and enthusiasts a chance to take new updates for a spin before general availability.

Microsoft adheres to a less rigid schedule than it used to when it comes to pushing out new apps, UI refinements, and minor feature improvements to Windows 11. The operating system has received a stream of continuous tweaks and app updates since it came out last October, including a particularly noteworthy batch of updates in February. But the 22H2 update includes more wide-ranging enhancements, a new Microsoft account sign-in requirement for new Windows 11 Pro installs, new default security settings, and other changes.

Microsoft’s support timeline for Windows updates is also tied to these yearly Windows updates. Security updates for Windows 11 version 21H1 will only be provided until October 2023, for example—if you want to keep getting security updates, you’ll eventually need to install version 22H2.

Windows 11 22H2 is moving toward release, but we’ve still heard almost nothing about Windows 10 version 22H2 (a Microsoft rep told Ars that the company had “nothing to share at this time”). Windows 10 will continue to receive once-yearly updates for at least the next few years, but since the company hasn’t been issuing new Insider builds of Windows 10, we don’t know how significant these updates will be. Windows 10 will continue to be supported in some fashion until at least October 2025, which will be important for the PCs that don’t officially support Windows 11.



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