Microsoft is bringing a few changes to its Windows Insiders Program. The company is changing the way it releases new builds to Windows Insiders. What’s more, Microsoft is also replacing its existing Ring model to a new Channel model to deliver updates to Windows Insiders.
Microsoft introduces Windows Insider Channels
First things first, the Windows Insiders Program will remodel its current ‘Ring’ system, which is based on the frequency of builds. According to Microsoft, ‘Channels’ will help the company ensure the quality of builds and better support parallel coding efforts.
“Our goal is to not only make it clearer for existing Insiders to choose the experience that’s right for them, but also for new Insiders to pick the right channel as they join,” Microsoft said in its blog post. The Insider community is very important to us all and we’re working to align how all our Insider programs work better together across Microsoft.”
When Microsoft initially started flighting Windows 10 Insider Builds in 2014, the company asked Windows Insiders to join on the two rings — ‘Fast’ or ‘Slow’ — based on the frequency of respective builds.
In a nutshell, the ‘Ring’ model is essentially providing Windows Insiders with preference over the frequency of new builds for their devices. Of course, ‘Fast Ring’ builds are more unstable than ‘Slow Ring’ due to the frequency of updates in a short time span. But similar is the case with Dev/Canary and Beta releases on web browser applications such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.
In 2016, Microsoft announced the launch of Release Preview ring for Insiders who may be looking forward to early access to servicing updates on released versions of Windows 10.
Over the years, obviously, Microsoft has realized the importance and urgency of shifting its focus from frequency to quality of builds. Windows Insiders Program is a goldmine for Windows enthusiasts, who always want to be ahead of time when it comes to gaining access to new, upcoming Windows 10 features. But during this process, Microsoft has to deal with a series of security and stability concerns all the time.
Windows Insider Channels may be helpful in those regards. Microsoft is bringing changes to the naming convention of Windows Insider Builds later this month.
While the Fast ring will become the Dev Channel, the Slow ring will become the Beta Channel. Similarly, the Release Preview ring will become the Release Preview Channel.
- Fast ring = Dev Channel
- Slow ring = Beta Channel
- Release Preview ring = Release Preview Channel
In addition to Windows, Microsoft is streamlining similar classifications across Office programs, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Teams in the coming days.