Microsoft Adds Canary Channel to Windows Insider Program

Microsoft has updated the Windows Insider program with a rebooted Dev Channel and a new Canary Channel. The latter gets the most experimental features, while Dev Channel should be a bit more stable. The Beta and Release Preview channels remain unchanged.

The Canary Channel becomes similar to the old Dev Channel, writes Microsoft. In Canary, users can try out new features and changes that may not come to the stable Windows versions or may take some time to come. This concerns, for example, changes to the Windows kernel or new APIs.

Builds in the Canary Channel are little validated and little documentation will be shared about any new features. Microsoft also warns that Canary builds can cause major problems “that in rare cases require you to reinstall Windows.” Users currently on the Dev Channel will be moved to the Canary Channel. Users are informed about this by e-mail and in the operating system. Canary builds start at the 25000 series builds.

The ‘rebooted’ Dev Channel is very similar to the Canary Channel in many cases and so will contain new features that will not come to the stable Windows versions until later or perhaps never. However, the builds from the Dev Channel will be more stable. Microsoft therefore recommends that most Insiders users go to the Dev Channel. Builds from the Dev Channel are in the 23000 series.

Users who want to move from Canary to the Dev Channel will need to reinstall Windows. This is not necessary for a step to a Channel with a higher build number. Microsoft notes that it is possible that a function will come to Dev, but is not yet in Canary, in order to test a function with a different target group.

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