Microsoft Expands Windows Insider Program with New Release Preview Ring

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0 Comments

Microsoft Expands Windows Insider Program with New Release Preview Ring

Microsoft announced today that it is expanding the Windows Insider program with a third offering alongside the Fast and Slow rings. It’s called the Release Preview ring, and you’re never going to believe what Microsoft does next.

Just kidding.


With this new addition, Microsoft now offers Windows Insiders three different choices for receiving new features in Windows 10, for both PCs and for mobile. They are:

Fast ring. This one is aimed at those “who enjoy being the first to get access to builds and feature updates, with some risk to their devices in order to identify issues, and provide suggestions and ideas to make Windows software and devices great.” It is, in other words, truly the fastest way to get new stuff.

Slow ring. This one is for Insiders “who enjoy getting early access to builds and feature updates, with less risk to their devices, and still want to provide feedback to make Windows software and devices great.” Given recent changes to the Insider program, this one works more like Fast did originally.

Release Preview ring. This new offering is for those “who enjoy getting early access to updates for the Current Branch,” meaning the “retail” or “normal” branch, which is 1511. This one will provide “minimal risk to devices,” Microsoft says. “The Release Preview ring will focus on Insiders that want to stay on the Current Branch (currently builds based off of 10586), but continue to receive early access to updates, application updates, and driver updates,” Microsoft explains.

In a related post to the Insider Hub app in Windows 10—which nicely obfuscates it from the public—Microsoft further explains that this new ring the Release Preview ring “will only be visible when your Windows build version is the same as the Current Branch.” Again, the current branch is Windows 10 1511, for both PC and Mobile.

Oh, and Microsoft also released a new build of Windows 10 Mobile—10586.107—to Fast ring testers. There are no new features, but it fixes some bugs.


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