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April 6, 2020

So Long Skipahead Ring

In a Windows Insider blog post published on November 5, we read about the demise of the Skipahead Insider Preview release. The post is innocuously entitled “Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19018.” In that post, Brandon LeBlanc includes the following paragraph (quoted verbatim from the afore-linked item):

Starting today, Windows Insiders who have opted into Skip Ahead are being migrated back into the Fast ring. This means that Skip Ahead will no longer be reflected under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Going forward, we will not be offering Skip Ahead as an option for Insiders to sign-up for. Our goal is to provide everyone in the Fast ring the freshest builds at the same time.

I can only conclude that the Insider Team has decided to cut back on the number of simultaneous builds it must work on, maintain and support. Or could it be the idea that a major feature upgrade for the first half of any given calendar year (20H1 is the next such item), followed by a minor, Cumulative Update upgrade for the second half of that year (20H2, in other terms) makes the Skipahead ring unnecessary. My best guess is that both sets of reasons play a role in the decision. A little simplification will hopefully give the Insider Team more and better ability to keep up with a reduced set of builds. We’ll see.

Insider Rings, Before and Starting with Build 19018

A quick look at Windows Insider Program Insider settings from the before (captured from Build 19013.1102) and after (captured from Build 19018.1) versions immediately confirms the departure of “Skip” from the listing there. Users who’ve opted into the Skip setting will find themselves “migrated” to the Fast setting instead, starting with Build 19018 and going forward. And so it goes sometimes, when the Windows Developers decide to change the rules of the game. That said, I believe I understand and I definitely endorse the simplification that this move will bring. Heads-up Insiders: the times they are a-changing!So Long Skipahead Ring.old-v-new

The final item at lower left from Build 19013.1102 is absent from Build 19018.1 at right. Bye-bye Skip!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

2 Responses “So Long Skipahead Ring”

  1. Keith Donald
    November 6, 2019 at 16:47

    I hope they drop the A/B testing too. That really annoys me.

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