Alongside the release of Insider Preview Build 22000.160 today, Microsoft has finally released the first ISO for Windows 11. The ISO is based on Build 22000.123 that was released the past week so it doesn’t have any of the changes, additions, or fixes introduced in today’s update. Still, an official ISO from Microsoft is a major milestone in the road to Window 11’s wide-scale public release.
Hi Folks – We have a new #Windows11 preview build (22000.160) for #WindowsInsiders in both the Dev and Beta Channels. Check out https://t.co/RDs2xr2DxE for all the details + ISOs now available for 22000.132 ^AL pic.twitter.com/hM4MqOrvzq
— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) August 19, 2021
As Windows 11 is getting closer and closer to its public release each week, it only makes sense that Microsoft feels the need that an official ISO is ready for release. Of course, unofficial ISOs have existed, they were making the rounds before Windows 11 was even announced. But, now the ISO for Build 22000.123 is available directly from Microsoft. It should be noted that this is last week’s build that brought several changes to the OS and NOT today’s update.
Before heading over to the download page, make sure you’re registered in the Insider Program. You can’t download the ISO without being an Insider first. Then, check if you meet the minimum hardware requirements. The ISO itself is available for both Dev and Bet Channels so you can choose which one you want to download depending on which channel you’re in.
New Setup Experience
Microsoft says they’ve built the OOBE to propel the excitement of the user upgrading to Windows 11. That’s why even the setup is built to basically hype you up for the beauty of the OS from the moment you boot. There is a new option to name your PC that Microsoft has added through community feedback. And, a new Get Started app will help you, well, get started with Windows 11 on a new device after the initial setup completes.
The Time Is Now
Being an official release from Microsoft also means the ISO is free from any kind of malware or potential viruses, which is always a lurking threat in unofficial ISOs. So, if you’ve been wanting to take Windows 11 for a flight but haven’t gotten the chance, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. After all, flighting Windows 11 this early makes you a valuable voice to Microsoft as your feedback can help improve the OS. You can also use it to perform a clean re-install or an in-place update if you wish.
Since the official ISO is based on the last week’s build which was released in both Dev and Beta channels and the latest build is also available in both channels, you’ll be able to easily update to the latest build afterwards. Microsoft even recommends shifting to the Beta Channel for a better, more polished flighting experience. But, if living on the edge is more your style then opting for the Dev channel may be more suitable for you.