Microsoft announced this morning several significant changes to the Windows preview program, with the most important being the introduction of a new Canary preview channel for Windows 11.
According to reports, the latest “Canary Channel” has already appeared in the Windows 11 Preview Experience Channel Selection interface, suitable for highly technical users. The preview allows access to the latest platform changes in the early stages of development. These internal versions are released in limited documentation, unverified and may be unstable.
Therefore, the Windows 11 Preview Experience Program currently has four preview channels:
- Canary Channel: Build 25000 series version
- Dev Channel: Build 23000 series version
- Beta Channel: Build 22000 series version
- Release Preview Channel: Windows 11 version to be released soon
Microsoft stated that Canary channel versions will not be released every day, but they will become “hot news.” Before being provided to Insider users, they will have “almost no verification and documentation” and may “contain significant issues” that may prevent users from properly using their PCs and even require them to reinstall Windows. However, Microsoft said that the latter should be a rare occurrence. After the Windows 11 Canary release, Microsoft may not issue update announcements.
It is apparent that the Canary channel’s version will be earlier and more feature-packed than the Dev channel, but also the most unstable.
Microsoft also stated that starting today, users on the original Windows Dev channel will be migrated to the new Canary channel, including business devices configured for the Dev channel. Microsoft will send emails and system notifications to insider users to notify them of this change.
Since the Windows 11 Preview Experience Program does not support downgrades, devices on the Canary channel cannot be downgraded to other lower channels and can only be installed with Windows 11 from scratch.