Microsoft just can’t stop screwing with the Windows Insider Program. But at least this latest change isn’t as horrible as similar previous changes.
“Starting today, we are releasing updates to the Beta Channel that put Windows Insiders into one of two groups similar to what we did back in 2019,” the announcement post explains. “A group of Insiders in the Beta Channel will receive Build 22622.xxx updates that will have new features getting rolled out or turned on via an enablement package like how we release updates for Windows 10 today. A[nother] group of Insiders in the Beta Channel will receive Build 22621.xxx updates that will have new features turned off by default.”
If you know the Insider program, you know the drill: this is A/B testing on a massive scale, and those testers who are placed in Group A (22622.xxx) will get new features, while those in Group B (22621.xxx) will not. But there are some interesting nuances this time around, and it’s not all bad.
First, Microsoft says that “the majority of Insiders in the Beta Channel will automatically get the update (Build 22622.xxx),” meaning that they will be in Group A. And second, those unlucky souls who end up in Group B can “check for updates and choose to install the update that will have features rolling out (Build 22622.xxx).” So there is at least an out.
“This approach is being used for the Beta Channel only and is not indicative of any changes or plans for final feature rollouts,” Microsoft adds. “The enablement package artificially increments the build number for the update with new features getting rolled out and turned on to make it easier to differentiate from devices with the update with features off by default. As a reminder, features we try out with Windows Insiders will ship when they are ready and not every feature that we try out in the Beta Channel will ship to general customers.”
And on that note, Microsoft today is releasing two builds to the Beta channel of the Insider Program, build 22622.290 with new features and build 22621.290 with no new features. New features include:
Suggested actions. “When you copy a date, time, or phone number, Windows will suggest actions relevant to you such as creating calendar events or making phone calls with your favorite apps,” the post explains. “This feature is currently only available to Windows Insiders in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.”
OneDrive storage alert and subscription management in Settings. The Settings app will now display OneDrive information on the Accounts page in Settings just as it does already for Microsoft 365. Right now, this only works for those who pay for 100 GB storage upgrades.