Microsoft switches Windows Insider rings to channels to focus on quality
Microsoft Principal Program Manager Lead Amanda Langowski announced a change in the structuring of Windows Insider releases on the official Windows Experience blog yesterday.
Microsoft introduced a ring model for Windows Insiders when it released the Windows 10 operating system. The Windows Insider system can best be compared to beta and development channels of web browsers. Most users run stable version of the operating system but those who are interested in upcoming changes may join the Insider program and pick one of the available rings for that.
Initially, users could choose between the Fast and Slow ring. The Release Preview ring was introduced a year later to provide users with early access to servicing updates.
In the early years of development, builds for all channels came from a single product release. Recently, teams at Microsoft began to work on builds from different releases.
The decision was born to switch from the ring model, which outlived its usefulness according to Microsoft, to a channels model.
Each ring is moved to a channel of its own, and nothing will change on devices that run one of the rings/channels.
Here is the list of rings and the corresponding channels that the rings do get migrated to:
- Fast Ring (cutting edge) -- Dev Channel
- Slow Ring -- Beta Channel
- Release Preview -- Release Preview Channel
And here is Microsoft's description for each of the channels:
Dev Channel: Right for highly technical users. Be the first to access the latest builds earliest in the development cycle with the newest code. There will be rough edges and some instability.
These builds are not matched to a particular Windows release. New features and changes may be released to a Windows 10 version when they are ready.
Beta Channel: Right for early adopters. Get builds tied to a specific upcoming release. Your feedback has the greatest impact here. These will be reliable with updates validated by Microsoft.
Release Preview Channel: Right for those who want stability and release validation. Have access to the upcoming release of Windows 10 prior to it being released to the world, with advanced quality updates and certain features. These builds are supported.
Microsoft will align Windows Insider Channels with Office, and plans to introduce similar models for Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Teams.
Why is Microsoft making the change? One of the core reasons for making the change is to focus on the quality of experience as Microsoft puts it and no longer on the frequency of release as it is currently the case. All channels will be updated frequently according to Microsoft.
Now You: What is your take on the change?Advertisement