New Windows ‘Canary Channel’ makes huge changes to Insiders in Dev Channel

March 7, 2023

Windows Insiders are getting a new Canary Channel and a rebooted Dev Channel. Alongside this announcement, Microsoft said some adjustments would be made: moving the current Dev Channel Insiders to the new Canary Channel and changing the build series of channels.

Microsoft made a big announcement to its Windows Insiders today, although it will mainly affect those in the Dev Channel. To start, the software company is introducing a new Canary Channel for Windows Insiders, which is an interesting place to join as it will include major Windows kernel changes and new APIs.

“…Like the Dev Channel, some of the changes we try out in the Canary Channel will never ship, and others could show up in future Windows releases when they’re ready,” said Amanda Langowski, Windows Insider program head. “The builds released to the Canary Channel will have higher build numbers than the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview Channels – starting with 25000 series builds.”

Looking deeper at Langowski’s statement, the new Canary Channel might be the place where Microsoft would test the features for the rumored Windows 12. However, The Insider program head stressed that the features that will be tested in the channel would have “very little validation and documentation” () in addition to limited blog posts) since they will be released as soon as they are built. This means frequent issues that Insiders could face in the future every time a build is available, which should be expected to be unstable most of the time.

This news has huge effects on Insiders in the Dev Channel. As Langowski pointed out, current Insiders in the channel will be transferred to the new Canary Channel. However, there is a way for these Insiders to remain in the Dev Channel (or choose a different channel), although the solution can be a bit inconvenient as it involves Windows 11 clean installation.

Also, the Dev Channel itself will be rebooted, but Langowski said that most of the things outlined in the 2022 Windows Insider Program announcements would stay the same. And given that there is the new Canary Channel, there is a possibility that some of the features will arrive there first instead of the Dev Channel. On a positive note, releases in the Dev Channel are more stable, making it ideal for many.

In the end, these huge changes in the Insider program of Windows will also result in some adjustments to the build series for the channels. According to Microsoft, Canary Channel will have the 25000 series, while Dev Channel will now take the 23000 series. Meanwhile, Beta Channel Insiders will start receiving 22000 series for builds.

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