Microsoft has released the first beta of Windows 11, available to those enrolled in its Windows Insider Program. Until today, getting access to Windows 11 meant installing the Dev preview, which Microsoft says is for “highly technical users” as it has “rough edges.” According to Microsoft, the beta release is less volatile, with builds being validated by Microsoft (though it’s still probably something you’ll want to install on a test machine or second partition).
Of course, to install the beta you’ll need a compatible computer. Figuring out if your hardware will work with the next version of Windows has been notoriously tricky to pin down, but Microsoft’s article about preparing for Insider builds directs people to its system requirements page. The company has said that it will be paying close attention to how well 7th Gen Intel and AMD Zen 1 CPUs work during the testing period, so it’s possible those systems could be allowed to run the beta but not the final release.