My Windows Insider Setup 2024

a cat that looks likes a ninja wearing a windows logo bandana

I have been a member of the Windows Insider Program since the beginning of the program. I was so excited to begin testing and exploring Windows 10. I have always enjoyed tinkering with and testing the newest, yet-to-be-released Windows. Microsoft made it official several years ago and created the Windows Insider Program. Over these years I have had many different devices and virtual machines to help test the various Windows builds.

As I wrote last year Microsoft changed the various channels to create a new way to test some “internal plumbing” features. My goal is to have at least one device in each channel to follow along with features, and to see how all of the channels come together. My current setup looks a little something like this:

  • Personal laptop in Canary with a personal desktop in Beta
  • Work desktop in Dev Channel and work laptop in Dev.
  • Home Virtual Machine in Dev
  • Work Virtual Machines in Dev, Canary, Release Preview
  • Experimenting with Windows 365 in Dev Channel
  • Older Work equipment in Windows 10 Release Preview

I don’t use each of these devices every day but I have them available to test different scenarios. The Windows team has released different features to different channels and as such it is not a linear progression of features from Canary to Dev, to Beta, and then Release Preview. I must admit that is my favorite way for features and fixes to progress. In my opinion, it makes it easier to keep track of features and would naturally increase the number of devices as the channels roll out. I also understand the need to focus a channel on a particular release or create an area to experiment with stable code and new concepts or ideas.

If you just have one device and want to dip your toes into the Windows Insider Program start small with Release Preview and see where it takes you. That is the most stable channel and a good first step!

Chris Gahlsdorf

I have been a System Administrator for 15 years now. I have been an avid Microsoft fan for over 20. From my first 486 with Windows 3.0 to my latest custom rig with Windows 11. I have gone from tinkering, to programming, to managing servers, and virtualization. I am a Windows Insider MVP as part of the Windows Insider Program.

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