Microsoft will now preview the future of Windows with new Canary channel

Microsoft is preparing to publicly test key new Windows features even earlier. While the software giant has been previewing changes to Windows for nearly a decade, a new Canary channel for Windows Insiders will allow anyone to try out Windows builds that include big changes to the kernel, APIs, and other big features. Parts of Windows. This new Canary channel appears to be preparing for Windows 12, which both Intel and Microsoft have pointed out recently.

“The new Canary channel will be the place to preview platform changes that require more time before they are released to customers,” Amanda Langowski, head of the Microsoft Windows Insider Program, says in a blog post today. Some examples of this include major changes in the Windows kernel, new APIs, etc.

We’ve seen Microsoft test key platform changes on Windows before eventually shipping it in a future version of Windows. Microsoft tested some display changes on preview builds of Windows 10 before announcing Windows 11, and ended up shipping the changes only in what is now Windows 11. Likewise, x64 emulation of Windows 10 on Arm was tested early on and only shipped in Windows 11.

The new Canary channel is designed to preview versions of Windows that have just been built in the Microsoft labs, and the releases will be more frequent than the current Dev channel but also less stable as a result. Microsoft only recommends this channel for high-tech users as new features will be early in the Windows development cycle.

“The builds that will be flown to Canary Canal will be ‘hot off the presses,’ flying very shortly after they are built, which means very little verification and documentation will be done before they are shown to Insiders,” says Langowski. These releases can include major issues that may cause you to not be able to use your computer properly or even in some rare cases require you to reinstall Windows.

While there will be limited documentation, Microsoft will provide blog posts for Canary Channel releases only when new features become available in the release. Microsoft won’t release daily versions of Windows like it does internally, but the Windows team “may ramp up releasing versions more frequently in the future,” according to Langowski.

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Microsoft would normally test some of these major Windows changes in its existing Dev Channel for Windows Insiders, but now that channel is being restarted. The Dev channel will be used to preview the latest Windows 11 builds with new features instead. Existing developer channel testers will be automatically migrated to the Canary channel to ensure they continue to get updates for the 25000 series of releases (current build is 25309) already released over the past year.

There are now four Insider Test rings that Microsoft will use to preview future changes to Windows:

  • Canary channel – Includes the latest platform changes early in the development cycle. Builds can be unstable and designed for high-tech users.
  • dev channel – Includes the latest Windows 11 preview builds with new features. Buildings can be low-slung, jagged-edged, and built for enthusiasts.
  • beta channel – Includes the most stable Windows 11 builds from the Dev Channel. Releases contain updates validated by Microsoft and are designed for early adopters.
  • Release the preview channel – Includes a preview of fixes and new features that are about to be released to the public. The builds are highly stable and are designed for commercial users to preview changes that will roll out or access a new version of Windows before it is publicly available.

If you are currently in the Dev Channel and automatically moved to the new Canary Channel, you will need to do a clean install of Windows 11 to get back into the Dev Channel. Microsoft is now recommending that users of the current Beta channel switch to the Dev channel if they want to preview the latest Windows 11 features early.

This new Canary channel looks like preparation for future versions of Windows. “Some of the changes we’re experimenting with in the Canary channel will never ship, and others could appear in future Windows versions when they’re ready,” says Langowski.

Microsoft reportedly went back to a three-year release cycle for major versions of Windows last year. This means that the next major version of Windows could be due in 2024. Microsoft has not publicly acknowledged the Windows development changes, but reports of the new schedule surfaced just weeks after Microsoft began shipping the 25,000 series of Windows builds that are now the basis for The New Canary Channel. This is amazing.

It appears that both Intel and Microsoft are now preparing for the yet-to-be-announced Windows 12, and Intel is said to have mentioned Windows 12 internally for next-gen CPUs likely to launch in 2024. Microsoft hasn’t announced any No plans for Windows 12, but the company has been hinting that future versions of Windows will focus on AI improvements.

Youssef Mahdi, Head of Consumer Marketing at Microsoft, said in an interview with the edge last week. Windows president Panos Panay also claimed at CES earlier this year that “artificial intelligence will reinvent how you do everything on Windows.”

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