Microsoft releases preview builds of Windows 11 and Office UI suite for Windows 11

Today, Microsoft has released its first Windows 11 preview build. Windows 11 preview (build 22000.51) can be downloaded. It includes access to the new Start menu, multitasking features, and overhauled Microsoft Store. Just like the previous Windows 11 leaks, the official preview also features an updated File Explorer. It replaces the ribbon with a command bar to simplify file management.

Most visual changes that the company discussed recently are available in this initial preview. If your PC has an accelerometer, the Windows 11 lock screen will also include a parallax motion effect.Interestingly, Microsoft has showed off new themes and dark / light modes of Windows 11 alongside the new Widgets feature in this preview. It seems all of the new themes like Glow, Captured Motion, Sunrise, and Flow were designed with the centered taskbar in mind.

As of now, in the preview, two big Windows 11 features are missing: Microsoft Teams integration and Android apps on Windows. Microsoft is still building them so it is likely that they will be available in the final commercial build. This Windows 11 preview also includes new features like Snap Groups and Snap Layouts which help the user in multitasking across a variety of screen sizes.

Microsoft has also redesigned the Settings section of Windows 11. The company has made its appearance visually more attractive and its navigation has been simplified. Settings will now come with a left hand navigation panel that persists throughout, making it quicker to switch between sections.

Today, along with the Windows 11 preview, Microsoft has also released a preview of its Office refresh for Windows 11. The updated UI includes rounded corners in Office apps to match Windows 11. Apart from this, there are some minor changes such as dark and light modes.

If you want to test the Windows 11 preview build, all you have to do is enroll in the Windows Insiders program and then navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program on a Windows 10 device. However, you will need a compatible machine for this. For checking compatibility, you can use Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.

Last but not the least, we would not recommend anyone in installing these previews on their regular machine as initial builds are prone to bugs and unfinished features. Only developers who would like to give a feedback can try these out. Note that Microsoft itself has pointed out a number of known issues about the preview build.

Michael Turner
Michael Turner is an environmental activist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.