Windows Insider Program channel programming update
Microsoft announced changes to its Windows Insider channel line-up today. That is, the program added a Canary channel to deliver Windows builds for folks to "preview platform changes that require longer-lead time before getting released to customers". And the Dev channel, which previously held that responsibility, has been "rebooted" to instead deliver "new long-lead features and experiences in development"...
Confused and unimpressed with the blog post, I asked some Microsoft folks to clarify the situation. Here's the outcome of those discussions--a summary of what to expect, per channel:
Canary channel - This is where deep or high-risk Windows changes may be made (e.g. kernel changes). These changes need a lot of iteration and test time and are not guaranteed to ship in any version of Windows.
Dev channel - This is where shallow or lower-risk Windows changes may be made. These changes also need some iteration and test time and are not guaranteed to ship in any version of Windows.
Beta channel - This is where changes shipping with the next release of Windows are tested.
Release Preview - This is where changes shipping with the next release of Windows are tested very broadly and are scheduled to become generally available very soon.
Hope that helps.