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Microsoft's rebranded Windows Insider channel names start rolling out

Windows Insider program settings
Windows Insider program settings (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's new names for the different Windows Insider branches are now going live.
  • The move rebrands the branches as the Dev channel, Beta channel, and Release Preview channel.
  • Insiders will automatically see their Insider settings move to the appropriate channels.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it was gearing up to rename its various Windows Insider rings, and today those changes are starting to roll out. Gone are the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview rings. In their places are Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels.

In actual execution, Windows Insiders won't notice any changes outside of the new names. Functionally, each channel will continue to operate as its corresponding ring did previously. However, Microsoft opted to make this shift to better realign its Windows Insider testing channels with its other products.

From Microsoft's original blog post explaining the changes:

We are transitioning and converting our current ring model, based on the frequency of builds, to a new channel model that pivots on the quality of builds and better supports parallel coding efforts. In addition to this change, Insiders will also find similar offering names and expectations across Windows and Office programs and soon Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Teams.

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In addition to the name changes, Microsoft stated that the new Insider channels will get new builds and updates frequently. That should come as good news for people enrolled in the Slow ring, which could go months between updates. This hints that Beta channel testers will get updates more frequently.

The new channel names are rolling out starting today, so you may not see them update right away. Whichever ring you were already enrolled in will automatically switch over to the new, corresponding channel.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • I don't understand how the Dev channel works. Builds are not attached to the next big release, so that means that the fixes there could go directly to the current consumer release, jumping over the Beta channel?
  • No all the official changes and fixes for say 21H1 will be tested with the beta channel.