Along with new Windows 11 builds for the Dev and Beta channels rolling out for consumers, Microsoft today announced that it is also releasing Windows 11 build 22000.176 and Windows 10 version 21H2 to the Release Preview channel for commercial customers enrolled in the Windows Insider Program for Business. The updates will be released as optional ones, giving admins the choice to opt into installing these updates and moving to the fall releases of both Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Unsurprisingly, the optional Windows 11 update will only roll out to users with supported hardware. These eligible devices will only be served the update if they have the latest cumulative update that was released yesterday, KB5005101, installed on the system. Those that wish to stay on Windows 10 will be able to do so by hitting the "Stay on Windows 10 for now” option, after which they will be offered Windows 10 version 21H2. Additionally, unsupported devices will automatically be offered the latest Windows 10 version 21H2 preview. You can read through the new features in the OS here.
Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible devices in a staggered fashion starting October 5. With the release of the OS to commercial customers for validation and testing, it is safe to believe that the OS is almost ready for release. The next few weeks will likely contain a bunch of bug fixes, addressing the known issues in the OS. Windows 10 version 21H2, on the other hand, does not have a specific release date, though it will not be surprising if it releases sometime in October for everyone running Windows 10. The next Windows 10 LTSC version will be based on version 21H2 and is also expected to be released later this year.
Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2 are available for commercial customers through "all standard channels", which include Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Azure Marketplace, and the Windows Insider Program ISO download page. You can read through the blog post for details on each distribution channel here. Additionally, the Redmond firm will be providing free support for businesses running these builds. For those customers with more than 150 seats, the company is promising support with app compatibility, thanks to App Assure.