19 March 2021
Microsoft is changing the way it releases new builds to all Windows Insiders. In a blog post, Microsoft has officially announced that it is making a transition from its current ring model to a new channel model. So instead of the Fast ring, Slow ring, and Preview ring models, users will choose from Dev channel, Beta channel, or Release Preview channel, and the roles of these new models are as obvious as their names.
Microsoft believes the new channel model will concentrate more on the quality of builds and help the existing and new insiders to choose the experience that is right for them.
To the uninitiated ones, compared to the new channel model, the previous ring model that was introduced over 5 years ago was based on the frequency of when new builds would be delivered to their device. For instance, Insiders who wanted faster updates and were comfortable with some rough edges joined Fast ring. Insiders who wished for more polished updates joined Slow and those who wanted to have stable releases would get it in the Release Preview ring.
But of late, Microsoft started releasing multiple releases at the same time. Later Microsoft realized that it is “outgrowing” the original concept of rings. So, fast forward to today, Microsoft is converting the rings model completely for a simple channel model which looks to be more aligned with other kinds of updates we receive from different OEMs for several applications on our devices. The new model is named Windows Insider Channels.
As Microsoft has explained, the Dev channel is ideal for highly technical users. Users joining this channel will receive unstable builds that would reflect the latest work-in-progress code from engineers.
The Beta channel is for early adopters who will be ready to update their systems for little polished upgrades over Dev channel. Here the beta users will give feedback to Microsoft so that it could fix the key issues and make it ready for a stable Preview release.
The transition will start showing up on the Windows Insider Program’s Settings page in builds later this month.
Microsoft has made a mention that it will automatically move the existing insiders from the previous Windows 10 Insider program to the new channel. Those in Fast ring will automatically be shifted to Dev channel and so on. However, insiders can still adjust their settings if they wish to change channels and try out new experiences. Just head over to Settings and go to Update & Security and choose Windows Insider Program and from here you can change your preferences. Microsoft recommends you must give a try if you are not an existing insider.