New “Canary” channel will showcase more-experimental, less-stable Windows builds

Enlarge / A PC running Windows 11. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft started its Windows Insider program in 2014 to get public feedback on Windows 10 as it was being developed. Ever since then, the company has continued to provide regularly updated prerelease builds of Windows 10 and Windows 11 to preview and test new features.

Like many public beta programs, Microsoft has maintained different channels for different users, with periodic tweaks to each channel’s name and stated purpose. Today, Microsoft is renaming one channel and introducing another one. The one formerly known as the “Dev” channel will now be called the “Canary” channel, and it will be where Microsoft tests its least-stable and most-experimental features (including “major changes to the Windows kernel, new APIs, etc.”).

“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,” writes Windows Insider Program Lead Amanda Langowski.

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