Has Microsoft started testing Windows 12 already?

Welcome to the Canary Channel.

by Rafly Gilang

Rafly Gilang

Rafly is a journalist with growing experience, ranging from technology, business, social, and culture. A holder of the Romanian government scholarship, his writing has been published in several… read more

  • Rumors of Windows 12 have been circulating the internet.
  • At the same time, Microsoft released the Canary Channel for insiders.
  • The tech giant will roll out the future of Windows within this channel.

In its latest attempt to innovate for the hotly-anticipated Windows 12, Microsoft launched the Canary Channel to preview changes, especially major issues like the kernel, APIs, etc. 

As mentioned by Amanda Langowski, head of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, in a blog post, the new channel will live side by side with what’s already available: Dev, Beta, and Release Preview.

The builds that will be flighted to the Canary Channel will be hot off the presses, flighting very soon after they are built, which means very little validation and documentation will be done before they are offered to Insiders. These builds could include major issues that could result in not being able to use your PC correctly or even in some rare cases require you to reinstall Windows.

Recommended for technical users only, the Canary Channel does not promise daily builds but it supports preview builds with higher numbers than the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview Channels (25000 onwards). Microsoft automatically migrates insiders from the Dev Channel who already received these builds to the Canary Channel, but should you want to revert to the Dev, you can fresh install Windows 11 due to technical setup requirements.

With that said, it’s worth noting that you can’t switch to a channel with lower builds without doing a clean installation. 

So, what are the differences between these channels?

What’s the difference between each insider channel?

For almost a decade, Microsoft has been rolling out changes for insiders within these three channels, but Canary could be a game changer in the new generation of OS. 

It can be confusing, after all, which channel of insider should you join? Here’s the table of differences. 

[NEW!] Canary Channel (25000 series)  Ideal for highly technical users. Preview the latest platform changes early in the development cycle. These builds can be unstable and are released with limited to no documentation.
[REBOOTED!] Dev Channel (23000 series)  Ideal for enthusiasts. Access the latest Windows 11 preview builds as we incubate new ideas and develop long lead features. There will be some rough edges and low stability.
[Unchanged] Beta Channel (22000 series) Ideal for early adopters. These Windows 11 builds will be more reliable than builds from our Dev Channel, with updates validated by Microsoft. Your feedback has the greatest impact here.
[Unchanged] Release Preview Channel Ideal if you want to preview fixes and certain key features, plus get optional access to the next version of Windows before it’s generally available to the world. This channel is also recommended for commercial users.

The news comes amidst Microsoft’s attempt to focus on more AI-powered features through Intel’s Meteor Lake in Windows 12. A speculative leak said that it would include 20 PCIe Gan5 lanes and support for Windows 12, likely as a direct competitor to the AMD 600E platform.

While Redmond higher-ups haven’t said anything about the upcoming operating system, the all-new fourth channel will likely bring out features that aren’t tested much, which could potentially carry major issues. 

Have you joined Windows Insider’s Canary Channel? Let us know in the comments!

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