Compare Microsoft 365 Insider channels

The Microsoft 365 Insider program provides early access to Microsoft 365 Apps features through two channels:

  • Beta Channel
  • Current Channel (Preview)

These channels are available for both Windows and Mac devices.

You can have different users in your organization on different channels. For example, you might put IT admins and application developers on Beta Channel, and your support desk or training staff on Current Channel (Preview).

The following table compares the channels and provides scenarios for business use.

Note

After you review this information, your next step is to determine which deployment option, or options, works best for your organization. For more information, see Options for deploying Microsoft 365 Insider.

Category Beta Channel Current Channel (Preview)
Description Includes features that are still in development. Includes features that are in their final stages of development, so they're less likely to change.
Recommended use May be appropriate for a set of early adopters so that they can provide feedback on features that are under development.

Beta Channel provides access to new features even before they're available in Current Channel (Preview).

Note: Beta Channel isn't supported. It should be used only in test environments and by a small group of select users, such as IT staff or application developers.
Your organization gets updates to Microsoft 365 Apps from Current Channel, and you want to preview upcoming features on a subset of devices.

This preview can help you identify any possible issues for your organization and provide feedback to us before the new features are released to users on Current Channel.
Release frequency Weekly A few times per month.

There isn’t a set release schedule for Current Channel (Preview). In general, a new version of Current Channel (Preview) with new features is released at least a week or more before that new version is released to Current Channel.
Feature and non-security updates Weekly

Note: Not all users receive new features at the same time.
A few times per month.

There may be several releases of Current Channel (Preview) before that version is released to Current Channel.
Security updates
(if needed)
Monthly Monthly
Support duration Not supported

Should be used only in test environments.
Supported until the next version is released.

For example, Version 2204 is supported until Version 2205 is released.

Tip

For information about other channels that are available for Windows devices, see Overview of update channels for Microsoft 365 Apps.

Beta Channel

Current Channel (Preview)