With the release of 1903, aka Windows 10 May 2019 Update, coming soon the Insider Preview program is going through some changes. A bit of “special maneuvering” lies ahead. That is, upcoming Insider Preview changes 2020 release access methods . Those who want to stick with a true Fast Ring release — which becomes 19H2 as soon as the Windows 10 May 2019 Update arrrives — should switch to the Slow ring this week. (That means sometime between today, April 8, and Friday, April 12.) Those who want to stay one additional increment in the release cycle — namely, 20H1 — should stay in the Fast or Skipahead rings. These will merge into a single group once the next feature update becomes available.
For the next couple of weeks, and possibly longer, the Slow Ring is for checking the Release Preview, and the Fast and Skip ahead Rings are for target 20H1 builds.
Why Make Upcoming Insider Preview Changes 2020 Release Access Anyway?
I guess this is how Microsoft is reintroducing a meaningful Release Preview mechanism just before the May 2019 Update builds a full head of steam. This strategy does seem to ensure that lots of Insiders will be giving that release a serious once-over before it starts trickling into wider distribution. Given the results of skipping this phase for 1809 and the troubles that followed, I’d say MS is working diligently to implement hard lessons learned. They’re definitely NOT skipping Release Preview for this next Feature Upgrade, and this temporary changeover appears designed to make sure that the near-final bits get a maximum once-over.
FWIW, I’ve set those test machines I want to keep on leading/bleeding edge builds to Skip, and those on which I want to check the Release Preview and then go back to Fast Ring later, to Slow. You can do as you please, but hopefully, you now have some idea what that might be!
Those who want to see what Brandon LeBlanc had to say on this topic last Friday (April 5) should check out this Windows Insider blog post. According to that same post, MS “will begin releasing 19H2 bits to Insiders later this spring.” That means the Fast Ring is taking a bit of a break for a while, and will probably start back up sometime after the May 2019 Update gets going. That’s my best guess right now anyway. So, for the time being, staying Fast means going slow. And staying Fast, really means Skipahead. But this is just temporary until the dust settles from the upcoming Feature upgrade. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you when Fast really means Fast, Slow means Slow, and a difference between Fast and Skipahead is re-established. Got that? I sure hope so!