For Windows enthusiasts, Microsoft has provided the ability to opt in to early release rings. These rings came in three different options – fast, slow, and stable.
Microsoft has now decided to change things up a bit and change their program from rings over to release channels.
Principal Program Manager Lead Amanda Langowski made a statement about the change online: “We are transitioning and converting our current ring model, based on the frequency of builds, to a new channel model that pivots on the quality of builds and better supports parallel coding efforts.”
She goes on to note that due to the structure of the program, Microsoft found that Windows Insiders were running builds from three different releases, depending on which ring they chose.
In the end, tailoring the options to the needs of the program users, as well as shifting focus from frequency to quality, were the driving forces of the adoption of these new channels.
With this transition, the fast ring will become the Dev Channel, the slow ring will turn into the Beta Channel and the release preview will become the Release Preview Channel.
The Dev Channel is meant for highly technical users who want to have early access to new features once those new releases are ready. The new features may or may not be part of a major update or a servicing release. This channel may be unstable and will have some rough edges.
The Beta Channel is meant for early adopters of specific upcoming releases. A great channel for giving specific feedback, this channel is reliable and will come with updates validated by Microsoft.
Last but not least is the Release Preview Channel. This channel is meant to test relatively stable builds before they become available to the wider Windows 10 users base. This build is great for IT admins to test the upcoming build on their company’s systems prior to launch.
The changes to this Microsoft system are set to launch later this month.
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