We reported earlier that some Windows 11 Insiders whose PCs did not meet Windows 11 hardware requirements were receiving messages suggesting they downgrade to Windows 11.
Brandon LeBlanc from the Windows Insider program has now clarified the situation somewhat.
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.
— Brandon LeBlanc (@brandonleblanc) September 1, 2021
In short, if your PC does not meet hardware criteria you will continue to recieve the small cumulative updates which Microsoft has been sending out weekly to Insiders, but not the larger departures Microsoft is planning for Insiders in the Dev ring in the near future.
In addition, when Windows 11 reaches general availability you will once again be asked to downgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft did not clarify what exactly will happen to Windows 11 Insiders who decline to downgrade to Windows 10.
Brandon notes that this was always been the plan since Windows 11 entered the Insider programme on the 24th June.
The relevant section is the Red section – for PCs which do not meet the minimum hardware requirement for the Windows Insider programme.
Notably that minimum requirement is a very low bar – being able to install Windows 11 from the Media Creation Tool, and not Microsoft’s higher bar for Windows 11 offered via Windows Update. Windows 10.
Microsoft has some more clarification to do, but it seems most Windows 11 Insiders will not be affected by this policy.