The Windows Insider Page
What is the Windows Insider program?
The Windows Insider Program is a way for enthusiasts to gain early access to the latest changes to Microsoft Windows, and a way for Microsoft to test their software for bugs across a much wider range of devices than they could gather on their own, and also a way to gauge interest in potential new features.
How did the Windows Insider Program get Started?
Microsoft has offered “beta testing” programs for products like Windows and Office for years, back to the days of special Usenet channels, but the Windows Insider program started in 2014 with the upcoming launch of Windows 10. Initially expecting no more than 40,000 testers, the Windows Insider Program quickly grew to millions of testers, reaching some 18 million at one point.
How do i join the Windows Insider Program?
Potential testers can learn more about the Insider Program from Microsoft at the Windows Insider site, and register to try out the latest versions of Windows.
What are Windows insider channels?
Microsoft initially broke Insider builds into “Rings,” with a Fast Ring for the most cutting edge builds, the Slow Ring for more stable and closer to shipping releases, and the Release Preview Ring for versions of Windows just about to ship. This later changed into a series of Channels, to align better with Microsoft’s other Insider programs for Office, etc. Currently, there are four Channels: the Canary Channel, a potentially unstable release containing features that may or may not make it into shipping versions of Windows, the Dev Channel, for again long range feature testing, but not quite as cutting edge as Canary, the Beta Channel, and the Release Preview Channel.
WIndows “11” Insider Canary Channel
The Windows Insider program revised its channels program in 2023, creating a new Canary Channel. Although Microsoft refers to the Canary Channel as a new Windows 11 channel, it’s widely believed to be an early effort to test what will become Windows 12. In any event, it’s a “hot off the presses” release, so be careful if you decide to test it:
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. These builds could include major issues that could result in not being able to use your PC correctly or even in some rare cases require you to reinstall Windows. We will offer limited documentation for the Canary Channel, but we will not publish a blog post for every flight – only when new features are available in a build. We will continue to provide blog posts for Dev, Beta, and Release Preview releases like we do normally.
The Windows 11 Insider program followed up on the “no blog post” Canary Channel release from June 7th and a servicing pipeline build on June 6th with another one today, this one again “designed to test our servicing pipeline,” and … Read more
After yesterday’s servicing pipeline build for the Canary Channel, Microsoft is releasing both a new build for the Dev Channel at 23475, and another Canary Channel build, 25387, which has no associated blog post, so let’s get to what’s new in the Dev Channel with 23475: New WinUI powered File Explorer Home and Address Bar … Read more
Microsoft has released a new set of Windows 11 Insider builds for the Beta Channel, coming in at 22621.1835 (new features off by default) and 22631.1835 (new features rolling out). The channel includes one new feature (for 22631.1835), the addition of new natural voices in Chinese and Spanish (Spain and Mexico), and a change adding … Read more
It’s Windows Insider Release Preview Channel update day, as along with a new build for Windows 11, Windows 10 version 22H2 is also getting an RP Channel update, to 19045.3030. The new build contains a couple of new improvements: New! This update brings back an improved search box experience on the Windows 10 taskbar. If you … Read more