Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 10 to Insiders on the ‘Skip Ahead’ ring but this one is a bit different. This release has the build number of 18836 and you can download the update now from Windows Update.
Unlike previous releases, this build is from the 2020 release, not the one for the second half of 2019; it is being called 20H1. Being that this release is out of order, it does raise a few questions about why Microsoft is doing this.
Officially, Microsoft says that they are doing this because some features planned for 20H1 “require a longer lead time” but there may be other motives as well. For one, they say that they will begin releasing 19H2 bits later this spring, which means we won’t see 19H2 builds until March 20th, at the earliest.
Part of me wonders if this is Microsoft hiding features that are being worked on for 19H2 that will be announced at Build or another time this year. While this very well could be to test new features with a longer runway than typical, the release notes do not point out any substantial changes to Windows either.
Keep in mind, that if you do take this release, you will not be able to switch back to the Fast or Slow rings without doing a clean install.
While we poke around to see if there is more to the story about this peculiar build release, let us know if you find anything hidden once the bits finish downloading.