Microsoft is today shipping the first Windows 10 Redstone 5 to a small group of Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. The company is nearing the release of Redstone 4, which is yet to have an official name, and plans to ship the update to the public sometime in March or April of this year. Although Redstone 4 includes a handful of new features and improvements to Windows 10, Redstone 5 is expected to be the bigger update of this year.
With the release of Windows 10 build 17604, Microsoft is officially kicking off the testing of Redstone 5 with Windows Insiders. At this time, the first Redstone 5 build is only available to Windows Insiders part of Skip Ahead, which was originally available to a small group of users and isn’t open to any new Insiders at the moment. So if you were part of Skip Ahead before, you will be able to get the new Redstone 5 build without having to do anything. And if you weren’t as lucky, you’ll just have to wait for Microsoft to open up registrations again. No words on when exactly that’s happening, though.
“Starting today – Windows Insiders who opted into Skip Ahead will now start receiving new builds for RS5 which is our next Windows 10 release. These builds will come from the RS_PRERELEASE branch,” Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar said in a blog post.
Microsoft is also launching Windows App Previews today, a new testing program for some stock Windows 10 apps. As I reported earlier, Windows App Previews is a way for Insiders to test the latest app updates without having to be part of something like the Fast Ring where builds are usually quite buggy. Right off the bat, Windows App Previews supports Feedback Hub, Microsoft Photos, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Microsoft Tips, Paint 3D, Windows Alarms & Clock, Windows Calculator, Windows Camera, Windows Mixed Reality Viewer, and Windows Voice Recorder apps in Windows 10.
Along with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 5 build 17604, Microsoft is also releasing build 17101 to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. Both the builds include improvements to emoji design, emoji picker’s search feature for more regions, a new Ultimate Performance mode for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, and more. Make sure to checkout the full changelog here.