As promised, Microsoft has moved the Windows 10 May 2019 Update into the Release Preview Ring, where it will fester for weeks so the firm can ensure there are no quality or reliability issues.
“The May 2019 Update (Build 18362.30) is being rolled out to the Release Preview ring starting with seekers,” a new post to the Windows Experience blog announces. “The May 2019 Update will remain in the Release Preview ring for an increased amount of time in order give us additional time and signals to detect any issues before broader deployment.”
Honestly, any amount of time in the Release Preview ring will be an improvement over the October 2018 Update, which spent exactly 0 days there; as you may recall, Microsoft jump-started the release weeks early and then had to pull it and spend an additional 6 weeks fixing the problems it created.
But this time will be different: As Microsoft revealed a week ago, it plans to let feature updates sit in Release Preview for at least a month now in order to prevent the problems that dogged the October 2018 Update.
“During this period, we are significantly expanding interaction with our ecosystem partners, including original equipment makers (OEMs) [PC makers] and independent software vendors (ISVs), which should help improve initial quality across a variety of devices, hardware and software configurations,” Microsoft’s Mike Fortin wrote at the time. “OEMs will begin manufacturing new PCs and devices with this same build, and both OEMs and ISVs will begin deployment of the May 2019 Update internally with their employees. Additionally, Microsoft will aggressively internally deploy the May 2019 Update during the Release Preview period and encourage employees to do the same on their personal devices. By carefully studying data from this expanded population and for this additional time, we will gain increased confidence in Windows quality before offering it to a broader audience later in May.”
This change also impacts any Insiders who wish to take advantage of the “magic window” and un-enroll PCs from the Windows Insider Fast ring and move them onto the shipping support train. It looks like you’ll have a few weeks before it’s too late, but if you want to do this, I recommend doing so now. Otherwise, you’ll be pushed into 20H1 development.
Windows Insiders in the Release Preview ring—I assume there are at least 3 or 4 of you—can get the May 2019 Update now by navigating to Settings (WINKEY + I) > Update & Security and selecting the “Check for updates” button. Microsoft promises to release future cumulative updates that service the resulting version of Windows 10, called 1903, and I expect that to include some updates that arrive before the public release in May.