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February 19, 2020

Windows Insider Build Upgrades – Too little, too often?

On Friday, November 15, Fast Ring Insiders got build 19025. Just four days later, Tuesday, November 19, build 19028 was released. It only contains fixes for a few unimportant bugs:

– We fixed a recent issue that could result in Settings crashing when docking/undocking your device. This issue may have also impacted Action Center launch performance.
– We fixed an issue impacting the performance of the Printers & Scanners section of Settings loading.
– We fixed an issue resulting in the Other People section under Storage Settings not displaying the correct size used.
– We fixed an issue that could result in Windows Update history in Settings saying a Cumulative Update required a reboot, despite it already being installed. This occurred when a Feature on Demand had installed while the cumulative update was originally pending reboot.
– We fixed an issue that could result in the Photos app crashing when interacting with HEVC images.

Source: Windows Insider Blog.

Fast Ring Insider builds are previews for version 20H1, which will be released in about half a year, in Spring 2020. Thinking about how long the intervening test / preview period we still have before general availability occurs, is it really the right decision to release some simple bug fixes as a full feature upgrade, putting Insiders through an hour or two long upgrade process every few days? In my case, on a relatively fast HP laptop, the 19028 upgrade last night took almost three hours.

The Windows Insider team has already successfully tested build upgrades as cumulative updates. Slow Ring Insiders got their 19H2 build upgrades as cumulative updates, which are relatively fast and painless. Why can’t the same CU method be used in Fast Ring upgrades, when the new build really contains no new features, just a few simple bug fixes?

In my, of course strictly personal opinion, releasing a new build every few days just to deliver a few bug fixes is not a good idea, not correct policy. IMO, a full feature upgrade should only be used to deliver new features.

I implore the Insider Team to exercise some common sense (and some sense of scale, scope and installation effort), when delivering new builds and bug fixes.


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

2 Responses “Windows Insider Build Upgrades – Too little, too often?”

  1. Toni Fasth
    November 22, 2019 at 20:01

    I fully agree! This is why I only test new builds about 1 month before official release or so these days. I don’t have time to upgrade VMs every other day for hours when there are only a few tiny bug fix that doesn’t change anything for me. Most “known issues” bugs I haven’t even noticed on my system, while other nasty ones can persist for tens of builds and aren’t even on the known issues list. Doesn’t even matter if I test on an AMD, Intel, Hyper-V on AMD or Intel system. The bugs are the same on all platforms for me.

    I’m currently very disappointed in the Insider Program and hope it will change soon for the better.

    • November 23, 2019 at 00:52

      Again today, three days after the last build, a new one (19030) was released. No new features, a few bug fixes. Totally unnecessary feature upgrade, a CU had been enough.

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