Microsoft is giving free USB drives to Windows Insiders, here’s why

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At the beginning of this month, Microsoft made significant changes to its Windows Insiders program, which saw the birth of a new channel, the Canary Channel.

However, the new channel shipped with a not-so-welcome change that affected Dev Channel Insiders on 25000+ series builds. Aside from transitioning them to the new Canary Channel automatically, Microsoft didn’t provide an easy route that they could use if they wanted to go back to the Dev Channel. At least some Insiders weren’t happy:

If you want to move back to the Dev Channel, you’ll need to perform a clean install on your device and sign up to your preferred channel once again. In a bid to “mitigate the cost implication” users might incur when performing the clean install on their devices, Microsoft is currently giving away free USB drives to Windows Insiders.

The company has already sent out emails to Windows Insiders with a link to a page where they can make requests and get their USB drives. It should be noted that this giveaway is limited to Windows Insiders. Microsoft’s email comes with a special code that is required when claiming the free storage device.

This giveaway is only valid while the gadgets last. Microsoft hasn’t indicated how many USB drives it intends to give away, only that it’s a “first come-first serve” kind of arrangement. The company has also indicated that it won’t be able to send the drives to some countries due to mailing regulations.

There have been speculations, that Microsoft could be getting to launch Windows 12 in 2024, and that the Canary Channel is the company’s hidden way of testing the OS.

Have you been bumped to the Canary Channel? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.