Microsoft splits Dev and Beta channels with two new Windows 11 builds

Microsoft has been promising to do this for a couple of weeks now, but moving forward, the Dev and Beta channels of the Windows Insider Program are going to get different builds. Today, the Redmond firm released Windows 11 build 25115 to the Dev channel and build 22621 to the Beta channel.

Why it matters to you

If you’re a Windows Insider, you have a choice between three channels: Dev, Beta, and Release Preview. Dev is the riskiest when it comes to stability, but it’s also where you get the cutting edge of new features. Eventually, builds from the Dev channel split off into the Beta channel, and for a brief period, both channels get the same build.

This is the only time that you can downshift from the Dev channel to the Beta channel without doing a clean installation of Windows 11. Once the Dev channel switches back to prerelease builds, you can’t seamlessly switch anymore. Today is the day that the Dev channel is getting a higher build, so once you install it, the magic window is closed for you.

You can still switch, and frankly, you probably should. Keep in mind that you can switch from the Beta channel to the Dev channel at any time. It makes sense to switch to Beta now, and then go back to Dev when there are features that you’re willing to risk stability in order to test.

What’s new in today’s builds

Windows 11 build 25115 in the Dev channel

This build actually has some minor new features. For one thing, you’ll get to test out the new Sound Recorder app that was recently announced. The other new feature is suggested actions.

Windows 11 suggested actionsWhen you go to copy a date, time, or phone number, it’s going to suggest you do something with it. If you copy a phone number, it will suggest to call the number using Teams or another app. If you copy a date, it will suggest making an event.

There are also a bunch of fixes:

Windows 11 build 25115 Fixes

[General]

  • Updated the underlying speech platform to improve voice activity detection for voice access, live captions, and voice typing, as well as address some issues with how punctuation is recognized.

[Taskbar]

  • Fixed an issue related to loading the system tray icons in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar which could cause Settings to crash when opening that page recently. This issue may have also led to some explorer.exe crashes for impacted Insiders.

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an issue leading to Insiders seeing error 0x800703E6 when copying files from Google Drive.
  • We made another change to help improve the performance of loading Home.
  • Fixed an issue where if you had ever opened the context menu, doing CTRL + ALT + DEL and cancelling would lead to explorer.exe crashing.
  • Fixed a sporadic explorer.exe crash when closing File Explorer windows.

[Settings]

  • Fixed an issue where if Settings suspended, it could lock up explorer.exe in certain cases.
  • Improved how Narrator reads out remaining space available in System > Storage.

[Task Manager]

  • Fixed some issues related to access key use in Task Manager, including that you weren’t able to directly press ALT + without first releasing the ALT key, and that displaying the access keys wouldn’t work after having used and dismissed them.
  • If the CPU reaches 100%, the CPU column header should no longer unexpectedly become unreadable in dark mode.

[Windows Security]

  • Fixed an issue which could result in Smart App Control unexpectedly blocking correctly signed applications.

[Other]

  • Addressed an issue which was leading to Memory Integrity unexpectedly getting turned off in some cases after rebooting.
  • Fixed an issue causing the Update Stack Package to show install error 0xc4800010.

There are some known issues too, which you should be aware of if you’re sticking with the Dev channel.

Windows 11 build 25115 Known Issues

[General]

  • [NEW] Some games that use Easy Anti-Cheat may crash or cause your PC to bugcheck.

[Live captions]

  • Certain apps in full screen (e.g., video players) prevent live captions from being visible.
  • Certain apps positioned near the top of the screen and closed before live captions is run will re-launch behind the live captions window positioned at top. Use the system menu (ALT + Spacebar) while the app has focus to move the app’s window further down.

It’s also worth noting that this build is not being offered to ARM64 PCs, so if you’re on one of those, you have another week of the so-called ‘magic window’, where you can seamlessly switch to the Beta channel.

Windows 11 build 22621 in the Beta channel

Interestingly, Microsoft isn’t doing cumulative updates for the Beta channel just yet. For now, it’s still getting full builds, although it did release ISOs for the build, indicating that it might be serviced going forward. Unsurprisingly, however, there are no new features in the build. It’s just about fixes.

Windows 11 build 22621 Fixes

[General]

  • Updated the underlying speech platform to improve voice activity detection for voice access, live captions, and voice typing, as well as address some issues with how punctuation is recognized.

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an issue leading to Insiders seeing error 0x800703E6 when copying files from Google Drive.
  • Fixed an issue where if you had ever opened the context menu, doing CTRL + ALT + DEL and cancelling would lead to explorer.exe crashing.

[Taskbar]

  • Fixed an issue related to loading the system tray icons in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar which could cause Settings to crash when opening that page recently. This issue may have also led to some explorer.exe crashes for impacted Insiders.

[Windows Security]

  • Fixed an issue which could result in Smart App Control unexpectedly blocking correctly signed applications.

There are also some known issues to be aware of:

Windows 11 build 22621 Known Issues

[Live captions]

  • Certain apps in full screen (e.g., video players) prevent live captions from being visible.
  • Certain apps positioned near the top of the screen and closed before live captions is run will re-launch behind the live captions window positioned at top. Use the system menu (ALT + Spacebar) while the app has focus to move the app’s window further down.

To set your channel, you can go to Settings -> Windows Update -> Windows Insider Program.

The post Microsoft splits Dev and Beta channels with two new Windows 11 builds appeared first on XDA.

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