Microsoft is adding the Canary channel to the Windows Insider Program

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

Canary channel has become similar to the old Dave channel, Microsoft writes. In Canary, users can experience new features and changes that may not be coming on stable Windows versions or may take some time to come. This concerns, for example, changes in the Windows kernel or new APIs.

The builds in Canary channel have been validated quite a bit and a bit of documentation will be shared on any new features. Microsoft also warns that Canary builds can cause significant problems that “in rare cases require a reinstallation of Windows.” Users currently on the Dev channel will be moved to the Canary channel. Users are notified of this by e-mail and in the operating system. Canary builds start at 25,000 series of builds.

The “rebooted” Dev Channel is very similar to the Canary Channel in many cases, and therefore will contain new features that won’t come to stable Windows releases until later or perhaps never. However, builds from the Dev channel will be more stable. So Microsoft recommends that most Insider users go to the Dev channel. Buildings from the Dev Channel are in the 23000 series.

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

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