The next feature update for Windows 11 is just about complete, according to Microsoft leakster WalkingCat. Windows 11 version 22H2 is reportedly set to hit RTM status on May 24.
Windows 11 22H2 RTM = May 24
— WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_) May 14, 2022
What RTM means for Windows 11
In the old days – the days before Windows 10 – RTM used to mean that Microsoft had completed a version of Windows and was ready to ship it out to OEMs. Indeed, it stands for release to manufacturers.
Things don’t work that way anymore, ever since Microsoft introduced the Windows as a service model. The company will talk about how Windows updates are never done, and it’s also true that OEMs don’t get some special copy of the OS to pre-install on new hardware anymore. While Microsoft doesn’t publicly call it RTM, that’s a term we often use just to describe the build that will eventually ship as a feature update.
That’s the build that we’re expecting to see on May 24. Of course, things could change. There could be some show-stopping bug that could push it back, which is something that we’ve seen before.
What happens after RTM
Once we get the so-called final build for Windows 11 version 22H2, that doesn’t mean the update is about to be released. That’s when Microsoft is going to start servicing it with cumulative updates.
This is exactly what happened with the original version of Windows 11, and the timeline is the same. Windows 11 had already reached that critical milestone when it was announced, so all we got to test after that we’re cumulative updates to build 22000. We’ll see those same kinds of updates with version 22H2, and then there will be a fall release.
You can still test new Windows 11 features
The Windows 11 version 22H2 build will be available in the Beta channel, and testing is going to be boring. Of course, boring means things are good and bug-free. If you want the excitement of new features, you can still get that. All you have to do is enroll your PC in the Dev channel. You’ll get all of the rs_prerelease builds after that.
Speaking of the different channels and features, Microsoft hasn’t even told us specifically what’s going to be included in Windows 11 version 22H2. We have a general idea based on what’s in the Beta channel right now, but there are no guarantees. Hopefully, we’ll know on May 24.