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Microsoft is adding a new Canary channel to its nine-year-old Windows Insider program to allow the most intrepid users to try out what it describes as “fresh off the press” features.

Windows builds released through the Canary Channel will have higher numbers than those in the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels, starting with the 25000-series builds.

They’re designed for highly technical users who don’t mind previewing the latest Windows changes when they’re very early in the development cycle. They are also most likely unstable and will have minimal documentation.

Builds that will be pushed to the new Canary channel will be “released very soon after they’re built, which means very little validation and documentation will be done before they’re released to Insiders.” said Amanda Langowski, Windows Insider Program Manager.

“These builds may include major issues that could cause you to be unable to use your PC properly or, in rare cases, even require you to reinstall Windows.

“The new Canary Channel will be the perfect place to preview platform changes that require a longer lead time before being made available to customers. Some examples include major Windows kernel changes, new APIs, etc. .”

Windows Insider Program Canarian Channel
Windows Insider Program Canary Channel (BleepingComputer)

Microsoft will also be moving Insider testers from the Dev Channel to the Canary Channel starting today to allow them to continue receiving the latest updates.

If you are one of these Insiders, you will receive email and in-OS notifications regarding this migration. Insiders automatically transferred to Canary can choose to clean install and switch to another channel.

Redmond will also restart the Dev channel and push updates with the 23000 release series containing new ideas and previews of new features and experiences.

“If you’re a Beta Channel Insider who wants to be closer to the latest new features and experiences, we recommend upgrading to the Dev Channel today,” Langowski added.

“It is important to note that when switching channels, Insiders cannot switch to a channel that receives builds with lower version numbers without performing a clean install of Windows 11 due to technical configuration requirements.”

Windows Insider Channels
Windows Insider Channels (Microsoft)


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