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Windows 11 is about to get a little more experimental

Microsoft is planning to try out a host of experimental features for Windows 11 in the wild, giving Insiders the opportunity to try out features that may never ship to the larger public.

Throughout 2022, the company will launch a series of Insider builds containing new ideas and work-in-progress on longer-term ambitions, within the operating system for laptop, desktop and tablets.

That’s according to Amanda Langowski, who is the head of the Windows Insider Program. She said some of the concept features won’t make it into the final releases, but it’s great news for Windows enthusiasts who like to be at the bleeding edge of the company’s development cycles.

In a blog post, Langowski writes: “…we have been evolving the way we develop and release to Insiders with more emphasis on trying out different concepts with our features and services.

“As part of this ongoing evolution, Insiders will see us lean more heavily on the Dev Channel as a place to incubate new ideas, work on long lead items, and control the states of individual features. In some cases, these concepts will never ship, but by experimenting more, we can better refine experiences, and deliver solutions in Windows that truly empower our customers to achieve more.”

Microsoft says this represents a good time for Insiders to choose which channel they want to use, and is giving people the chance to switch from Dev to Beta in the coming weeks. If you want less of the experimental features, you’re probably better off on the Beta side of things.

Beyond the concepts, Microsoft has some tangible updates coming to Windows 11 users soon. The long-awaited addition of Android apps will be available as a public preview for the first time and it seems they will be part of the the first major Windows 11 update.

They’ll be joined by new versions of the Media Player and Notepad. Taskbar improvements are on the way too, including the ability to mute and unmute calls, while weather is also coming to the taskbar. Microsoft is also working on bringing its beautiful 3D emoji to Windows 11, which were flattened for the original release.

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