The Windows Insider Program is getting a Canary Channel

by Alexandru Poloboc

Alexandru Poloboc

With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,… read more

  • The Windows Insider Channel is getting a new addition to the family.
  • Microsoft has launched the Canary Channel, which will replace Dev.
  • Make sure you get all the information on it, especially if you are an Insider.

insider program

We constantly keep talking about the Windows Insider Program and the Channels where users get the latest test builds and new features.

However, you might not be ready for the latest announcement Microsoft made in regard to the above-mentioned Insider Program.

If you guessed that we are getting a brand new Channel introduced to the program, then you were right. No, seriously, we are getting a new one.

Dev Channel Insiders are being moved to the Canary Channel

As you know by now, Microsoft regularly makes updates to its Windows Insider Program to potentially improve the way that preview builds are seeded to members.

Today, the Redmond-based tech colossus has announced some annual changes to the program, with the highlight being the introduction of a new Canary Channel.

This Canary Channel for the Windows Insider Program will get releases much faster than the Dev, Beta, or Release Preview Channels.

As a matter of fact, Microsoft has hinted that it may get new features as soon as they are built, with incomplete documentation and validation.

Know that they may contain major modifications to the Windows kernel and APIs, requiring a longer lead time before general release, which is why the idea is to get these changes into the hand of volunteering customers for testing as soon as possible.

Please keep in mind that, previously, such features were made available through the Dev Channel, which is the most experimental of them all.

You are probably also wondering about build numbers, so know that moving forward, the build numbers for each Insider Channel will be as follows:

  • Canary Channel: 25000 series
  • Dev Channel: 23000 series
  • Beta Channel: 22000 series
  • Release Preview: Released versions of Windows 10 and Windows 11

Also important is the fact that current Dev Channel Insiders are being migrated to the Canary Channel and they will be informed of this change via an email too.

There’s a downside to it, though. Those who want to remain on the Dev Channel will need to perform a clean install, which is usually the case when switching to a lower Channel.

Furthermore, those currently enrolled in the Beta Channel but want to test out newer features are recommended to join the Dev Channel instead, with no clean install needed.

Even though the Canary Channel is supposed to get new releases and features the fastest, Microsoft has interestingly noted that the Dev Channel may still receive new capabilities earlier than Canary, due to its A/B testing process. 

Microsoft mentioned that it will control the state of individual features and experiences included in the builds released to Windows Insiders across the channels.

The company will achieve this with Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology, which allows it to roll out features in stages to monitor quality and feedback in addition to trying out different variations of features.

That being said, if you are a Dev Channel Insider who does not want to be moved to Canary, follow this guide to perform a clean install.

However, if this doesn’t work, Microsoft says that in its email about the changes to the Windows Insider Program, it will also include instructions on how you can order a clean installation kit.

What is your take on this change to the Windows Insider Program? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below.

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