Microsoft quietly revealed last night that it is pausing the delivery of Windows 10 Insider Preview builds for PCs so that it can transition to the new Unified Update Platform delivery system.
“We are getting ready to start releasing PC builds to Insiders using UUP,” a short update from Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar reads. “To prepare for this, we are going to pause all PC builds for both the Fast and Slow rings starting [last night, Friday December 2]. We will begin flighting the latest builds via UUP starting with our internal rings first then to Insiders based on each ring’s promotion criteria. We’re excited to be able to release builds for PC to Insiders using UUP.”
As you may recall, Microsoft announced its Unified Update Platform (UUP) technologies about a month ago with the of making the delivery of Windows updates more efficient, a key need in this age of Windows as a service. As described by Microsoft, UUP has three key benefits:
Reduction of update download size. Using differential technologies, Microsoft will be able to deliver only the changes needed on a device-by-device basis, rather than require a full build download. The firm estimates that users will see update download size reduced by 35 percent on major Windows updates, though the real impact won’t be felt until after the Creators Update ships in Spring 2017.
More efficient method for checking for new updates. Microsoft is also revamping how Windows 10 checks for updates. “We are reducing the update data sent to client devices as well as the amount of processing we are doing on devices,” Microsoft Director Bill Karagounis explained in November. Basically, the check will now occur in the cloud, not on the device, a change that will lead to faster checks for updates. Karagounis noted that Mobile will see a more dramatic performance benefit than PC.
Bring the best of PC to Mobile. With UUP, Mobile will be able to jump to the latest build in one “hop” just like PC does today. That is, Mobile users will no longer need to sometimes install prerequisite builds before they can move forward to the most recent build.
UUP flighting of builds rolled out to Mobile devices in the Insider program starting in November, and at that time Microsoft said it would rollout UUP in stages. So this pause represents the beginning of the second phase, where PC-based Insiders builds will also start to be delivered via UUP. Later, Windows 10 for IoT and HoloLens will be brought on board as well. And then the public shipping builds of Windows 10 will be transitioned to this new system later in 2017.