What you need to know
- Unsupported PCs in the Dev channel will receive Cumulative Updates until Windows 11 hits general availability.
- Once Windows 11 hits general availability, PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of the OS will be asked to downgrade to Windows 10.
- Microsoft has not specified what will happen to unsupported PCs that aren't rolled back to Windows 10.
Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc clarified what will happen to unsupported PCs currently running Insider builds of Windows 11. We already knew that PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of the operating system will be asked to roll back to Windows 10. Now we know that these PCs will continue to receive cumulative updates until the general availability of Windows 11 but won't receive any new builds. Microsoft hasn't shared what will happen to these PCs if they aren't rolled back to Windows 10.
LeBlanc's comments appear in a thread about the recent news of unsupported Insider PCs being rolled back to Windows 10. A debate on Twitter occurred regarding the exact timeline of PCs being opted out of Windows 11 Insider builds. Leblanc states, "Our blog post from June 24th still holds true to the statements made - PCs in the Dev Channel that were given an exception will just not receive new builds from the Dev Channel going forward."
Contentions arose because Microsoft is opting PCs out of new Windows 11 Insider builds now rather than waiting until the day of general availability. This move is likely due to the fact that the Dev channel is moving to another branch soon. As a result, Microsoft wouldn't have anywhere to put unsupported PCs, as explained by XDA's Rich Woods.
This is somewhat of a "straining at gnats" situation. Windows 11 reaches general availability on October 5, 2021, which is just over one month away. Until then, unsupported PCs on Windows 11 will receive Cumulative updates but won't see any new builds. These PCs will then be asked to roll back to Windows 10. It's unclear what will happen to any of these PCs that are not downgraded.
LeBlanc summarizes the situation, "The PCs given an exception will no longer receive any new future Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel but will still get Cumulative Updates for Windows 11 leading up to GA. As I said, there is a distinction between new builds here."
Dev channel builds of Windows 11 have received Cumulative Updates since July, so it's unsurprising that they'd continue to receive them until people have to downgrade to Windows 10.