Windows 11: Dev Channel moves to the ‘bleeding edge’ once again


(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Tired of stable Dev Channel preview builds? Microsoft will soon put you on the bleeding edge again — but don’t expect to see features that are coming to Windows 11 later this year.

Microsoft has flagged an upcoming change to Windows Insider testers on the Dev Channel. The company rolled out its first Dev Channel preview in late June with a new set-up experience, the ability to rearrange ‘pinned’ apps, a new Notifications Center and Quick Settings experience, a refreshed File Explorer, and extra Widgets from the Taskbar.

At the end of July Windows 11 preview builds reached the Beta Channel too, and Microsoft forewarned back then that people on the Dev Channel who wanted more stable builds of Windows 11 should move to the Beta channel.

Neither Dev Channel nor Beta Channel builds contained the new Teams Chat button that will eventually be integrated into the taskbar. This should be in Windows 11 Beta Channel builds soon.

Microsoft has now advised Windows 11 Insiders in the Dev Channel that builds are about to become more unstable. Notably, builds in this channel will not be aligned with the version of Windows 11 that will be released later this year, probably around October.

“We will soon be flighting early development builds in the Dev Channel. These builds may be less stable and won’t align with the version of Windows 11 expected to be available to the general public later this year,” the company said.

Windows 11 fans who want a taste of what actually will be released as Windows 11 should move to the Beta Channel, where Microsoft will be testing these features ahead of its official release.

Otherwise, Microsoft’s email to Dev Channel users, posted by MSPoweruser and Italian site HTNovo, doesn’t provide any ground-breaking details.

Microsoft announced Windows 11 in June, shortly after officials admitted that Windows 10X, its answer to Chrome OS, would not be delivered. Windows 10X features would be integrated into other versions of Windows, Microsoft said.

Windows 10X was originally supposed to be for dual-screen PCs, such as the Surface Neo, which has been shelved. The company was also due to debut Windows 10X on single-screen PCs, such as laptops and 2-in-1s — new ones only, not existing devices.

With Windows 11, Microsoft will only release one update per year, rather than the two it has released for Windows 10. The Home and Pro editions get 24 months of support, while Enterprise and Education get 36 months.

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