Microsoft today revealed that Windows Insiders in the Fast ring will soon be testing a new version of Windows 10. The issue? It’s not the next version of Windows 10, called 19H2. It’s the one after that. Called 20H1.
Windows Insider says whaaaat?
“With the Windows 10 May 2019 Update being shared to the Release Preview ring soon, we’re planning to move Windows Insiders in the Fast ring forward to 20H1,” a Microsoft post to Insiders reads. “We will also be merging the small group of Insiders who opted-in to Skip Ahead back into the Fast ring. We are looking to make this change in the coming weeks.”
What this means is unclear.
For one thing, the end of the Magic Window, that time period during which Insiders can safely un-enroll PCs from the program and resume normal updating along with the rest of humanity, is coming soon. So if you want to do that, now is the time.
But pushing Fast ring testers forward two versions of Windows is a first. Microsoft previously did this, and only once, with those in Skip Ahead.
So let’s speculate.
We know that 19H2 is still happening. So Microsoft must have some plan for testing it. Mary Jo believes this change means that 19H2 will be a minor update, and I think she’s right. I’ll further guess that 19H2 will only be tested in the Slow ring, which is interesting on a few levels. Most notably that Microsoft forgets that the Slow ring even exits for months at a time. I guess that will have to change.
When you combine this news with this week’s cataclysmic retreat on Windows as a Service, it seems that Microsoft is serious, finally, about making Windows 10 servicing less intrusive for all of its customers, individuals and businesses alike. I had always believed such a thing was inevitable, but watching it happen this suddenly and quickly is almost breathtaking. It’s like watching the Berlin Wall come down.