Microsoft ends Skip Ahead Windows Insiders ring

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 6, 2019
Updated • Nov 6, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build yesterday to the Fast Ring that brings the build number to 19018. Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager of the Windows Insider Program, revealed on the Windows Experience blog that Microsoft made the decision to discontinue the Skip Ahead Windows Insider Program ring.

Windows Insiders have had several options until now in regards to new builds called Release Preview, Slow, Fast and Skip Ahead. The main idea with these different rings was to provide organizations and technically interested users with options to test different development versions of the operating system.

  • Release Preview is closest to Stable versions of Windows 10.
  • Slow and Fast builds usually let users test the next feature update versions.
  • Skip Ahead was designed to provide a glimpse at a future feature update version.

Things got complicated in 2019 when Microsoft mixed and matched rings and builds which at least partially was caused by the "not really a feature update" release that Microsoft plans to release in November 2019.

windows 10 insider rings

Starting with the release of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19018, Skip Ahead configurations will be migrated to the Fast Ring automatically. Skip Ahead will be removed from the Insider settings of the Windows 10 operating system and the ring won't be offered anymore to Insiders to sign-up for.

Starting today, Windows Insiders who have opted into Skip Ahead are being migrated back into the Fast ring. This means that Skip Ahead will no longer be reflected under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Going forward, we will not be offering Skip Ahead as an option for Insiders to sign-up for. Our goal is to provide everyone in the Fast ring the freshest builds at the same time.

Going forward, the newest builds will be released to the Fast Ring. It is unclear at this point whether that could mean that Fast Ring builds may skip ahead as well.

Microsoft provides no reason for making the change. Maybe it has been done to reduce the number of future feature leaks (and the disappointment that goes along when these don't make it into a new version of Windows 10), or to improve the manageability of public builds.

Now You: What is your take on the decision?

Microsoft ends Skip Ahead Windows Insiders ring
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Microsoft ends Skip Ahead Windows Insiders ring
Brandon LeBlanc revealed yesterday that Microsoft made the decision to discontinue the Skip Ahead Windows Insider Program ring.
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  1. 19033.1 said on December 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    y dont push 21h1 to fast?

  2. EP said on November 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    real good for MS to end the skip ahead ring as that is one less ring to worry about

  3. Yuliya said on November 6, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    End all channels and keep LTS (client/server) <- how to make a good OS in one step

  4. John Fenderson said on November 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    This seems like a good move to me. Microsoft has a real penchant for making things as complicated as possible, and their preview rings reflected that. Removing a ring can only be for the better.

    It’s not as good as actually having an effective in-house QA program, of course.

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