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Microsoft announced about big changes in the Windows Insider program that will help the company start testing builds of the operating system, potentially related to the next version of Windows. For these purposes, created Canary channelwhere experimental unstable builds will be regularly released.
The builds for the Canary channel will include various changes to the platform that require extensive insider testing before they are rolled out to the general public. These changes include major changes to the Windows kernel, new APIs, and more. Canary will in many ways resemble the old Dev channel, which means that not all of the changes presented will make it to the final release.
For now, insiders on the Canary channel will receive build numbers of 25000, while Dev, Beta, and Release Preview numbers will be lower. Since Insiders in the Dev Channel are already using 25XXX builds, they will automatically transferred to the Canary channel to continue getting new builds. Information about this change will be sent by email and as a toast notification in Windows. To switch to another channel, insiders will need to completely reinstall the operating system.
The change also applies to corporate clients managed by Group Policy, Windows Update for Business, or Microsoft Intune.
Please note that builds for the Canary channel will be released shortly after compilation without much internal testing. This means that builds may contain critical bugs that will prevent you from fully using the operating system. Moreover, in rare cases, a complete reinstallation of Windows may be required to resolve problems.
The Windows Insider team will not publish a blog post for every build on the Canary channel. This will only happen if the build includes new features. Documentation for builds in the Canary channel will be limited.
The Dev channel is recommended for those Insiders who want to try out new features and changes, but still want to encounter critical issues as little as possible.
There really aren’t many changes in the Dev channel. It’s still the place where Microsoft will test new features and capabilities that are not tied to specific versions of Windows. In some cases, changes may never make it to the release version of Windows, or they may appear in future versions of the system when they are ready for it.
It is possible that innovations will first appear on the Canary channel, and then become available to insiders on the Dev channel. But it’s important to understand that builds on the Dev channel will be built on a more stable platform, which is why Microsoft recommends that most Insiders join this update channel.
Insiders in the Dev channel will begin receiving builds with build numbers 23XXX shortly.
Build numbers on Windows Insider channels:
Insiders cannot switch to a channel that releases builds with a lower number than the installed version of the system. For example, you won’t be able to migrate from Canary to Dev or from Dev to Beta. To make this transition, insiders need to completely reinstall the operating system.
Microsoft controls the inclusion of individual features and capabilities through Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) technology. It allows the company to gradually implement changes by monitoring feedback and stability of the OS, as well as testing different versions of the same innovation (A / B testing).
Thus, Microsoft may release a build to the Dev channel with the new feature enabled, but deliberately disabled in the Beta and Canary builds. Changes will be activated as soon as the Windows Insider team is ready to do so..
Microsoft will only talk about features that are specifically included for insider testing.