Windows 12 builds could soon be tested on a new Canary Channel for insiders
Last year, industry insiders revealed that Microsoft could return to a faster release schedule for future major Windows OS versions. Thus, Windows 12 could launch some time in 2024, and successive major versions may release every three years. This rumor seems to be supported by a recent leak claiming that Intel’s Meteor Lake processors include optimizations for Windows 12. Another hint comes directly from Microsoft with the announcement of the new Canary Channel, which will allow insiders to test “platform changes that require longer-lead time before getting released.”
With the introduction of the Canary Channel, Microsoft is also restructuring its insider program. The Dev Channel will thus be restricted to Windows 11 builds from the 23000-series, while the Beta Channel and the Release Preview Channel will remain unchanged. On the other hand, the Canary Channel will focus on 25000-series builds that include major changes to the Windows kernel, new APIs and similar experimental code. Microsoft specifies that some features presented in the new Canary Channel might never make it into public releases, while others “could show up in future Windows releases when they are ready.”
In addition to the experimental nature of the builds releasing on the Canary Channel, Microsoft also warns about the high instability of the code that could result in system crashes and even OS reinstalls. Insiders are strongly advised to use a separate testing system for the experimental builds.