Microsoft has announced an important change within the Windows Insider program that, in the medium term, will end up affecting the way in which users receive Windows 10. From a model based on rings that determined the update frequency, one moves to another where the priority is the quality of the software.
For years, the Windows Insider platform has been distributed in three rings to test the software: fast, slow, and launch preview. The fast ring scans for a new version every week and they are the most unstable, the slow ring greatly reduces the frequency, and therefore bugs and previews are for those who want the latest updates before they are released.
However, as we have seen in recent years, this model is not without problems. Microsoft wants to change the approach so that each type of user goes to the channel with which they are comfortable (from developers to system administrators who have to test before migrating thousands of computers) and that these are not ranked based on how often they release updates but with their quality and degree of optimization.
Microsoft’s goal is twofold: On the one hand, switch to a model that focuses on software quality and works best with parallel coding efforts, where final releases are released “when they’re ready.” On the other hand, that the Insider community (both veterans and new ones) is more comfortable and sees their effort more valued.
Thus, at the end of this month and as the graph above explains, the fast ring will become the development channel, the slow ring will be the beta channel and the preview ring will be the preview channel.
Development channel: intended for technical users, they will receive builds in their early stages of development with the latest code reviews from Microsoft engineers. They may contain errors that will be resolved in future iterations. In addition, they do not coincide with any specific version of Windows 10, but will be incorporated when they are ready.
Beta channel– Ideal for advanced users and IT professionals who want to see and try the latest in Windows 10, with relatively stable system updates. These versions will be tied to a specific release, which will help debug errors before release for end users.
Preview channel: It is Microsoft’s recommendation for system administrators who want to evaluate and validate the novelties of the new versions of the operating system.
Microsoft does not rule out expand the ring structure in the future and the change is not exclusive to Windows 10, but will apply to Office, Edge, Teams and other products of the company in the near future.
Finally, if you belong to the Windows Insider program you don’t have to do anything. The change will be made automatically before the end of the month and you can change it at any time, from the Settings> Update and security> Windows Insider program menu.
More information | Microsoft