Microsoft’s New ‘Canary Channel’ Hints at Testing for Windows 12 and Major Changes to Windows OS Builds for Insiders

Microsoft’s New ‘Canary Channel’ Hints at Testing for Windows 12 and Major Changes to Windows OS Builds for Insiders

Table of Content

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest developments in the Windows Insider Preview Program by Microsoft. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft has introduced a new “Canary Channel” to test out experimental and unstable builds of the Windows OS.
  • The purpose of the Canary Channel is to lay the groundwork for the next major version of the Windows platform, possibly Windows 12.
  • The Canary Channel will focus on platform changes that require a longer-lead time, including major changes to the Windows kernel and new APIs.
  • All people who were previously in the Dev Channel for testing Windows OS will be moved to the new Canary Channel as the Dev Channel is being changed to use a new range of builds. 
  • Microsoft is changing its engineering schedule for Windows development to release major versions of the Windows platform every three years, with additional features released via “Moment” updates. 
  • Those who want to try out the early stages of the upcoming major version of Windows, possibly Windows 12, should join the Canary Channel, while those who want to test upcoming features for Windows 11 should join the Beta or Release Preview Channel.

Microsoft Introduces “Canary Channel” to Test Experimental Builds

Microsoft has made significant moves in its Windows Insider Preview Program, introducing a “Canary Channel” to test experimental and unstable builds of the Windows OS. 

The purpose of this new channel is to lay the groundwork for the next major version of the Windows platform, possibly Windows 12.

Canary Channel to Focus on Platform Changes

The Canary Channel will receive builds that focus on platform changes requiring a longer-lead time, including major changes to the Windows kernel and new APIs. 

Microsoft warns that these builds are likely to contain major bugs and may not receive much documentation detailing new additions.

Dev Channel Users Being Moved

All insiders who previously participated in the Dev Channel for Windows testing will be transferred to the new Canary Channel. 

The Dev Channel will use a new range of builds in the 23000 series, while the Canary Channel will continue to use the 25000 series builds for receiving new Windows builds.

Microsoft’s New Engineering Schedule

Microsoft revealed a new engineering schedule for Windows development last year. 

The schedule involves returning to a three-year release cycle for major Windows platform versions, which is more conventional. 

Additionally, Microsoft will increase the number of new features added to the in-market version of Windows using “Moment” updates.

Two Tracks of Windows Development

The recent updates announced for the Insider Program appear to align with Microsoft’s new approach to developing Windows. 

According to sources close to Microsoft, this new engineering schedule involves running two tracks of Windows development at the same time. 

One track focuses on updates for Windows 11, while the other targets the upcoming version of Windows, referred to as Windows vNext, which is set for release in 2024.

Forward and Reverse Integration

As the Dev Channel transitions to using builds in the 23000 range, features will move from Dev to Beta to Release Preview more seamlessly. 

For builds in the 25000 range, Microsoft follows a process called “forward integration” to integrate in-progress features for Windows 11 into Windows vNext builds.

Choosing the Right Channel

For those who want to test early platform code for the next major version of the Windows platform set to release in 2024, joining the Canary Channel is recommended. 

To test in-development features for Windows 11, joining the Dev Channel is ideal. For those who want to test upcoming Windows 11 features that are almost finalized, joining the Beta Channel is the way to go. 

Finally, to test the next Windows 11 feature update, joining the Release Preview Channel is advised.

Conclusion

The Windows development tree is messy and complicated, and not everything is clear-cut. 

However, these latest developments in the Windows Insider Preview Program give us a glimpse of what’s to come in the future of Windows OS. 

By introducing the Canary Channel, Microsoft is taking steps to ensure that the next major version of the Windows platform is stable and reliable.

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Written by

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling is a renowned financial writer with over 10 years in the finance sector. With a strong economics background, he simplifies complex financial topics for a wide audience. Alexander contributes to top financial platforms and is working on his first book to promote financial independence.

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Judith

Judith

Judith Harvey is a seasoned finance editor with over two decades of experience in the financial journalism industry. Her analytical skills and keen insight into market trends quickly made her a sought-after expert in financial reporting.