Ever since Windows 10 was widely released to testers early last year, the company has provided Windows Insiders with two “rings” in which to test the operating system. The Fast ring has essentially been for testers that like to be on the bleeding edge and don’t mind putting up with some glaring bugs that may crop up from time to time. The Slow ring, on the other hand, typically features more stable builds while still giving testers the ability to preview new updates and features.
Today, Microsoft is announcing a third ring, the Release Preview, which allows users to stay on their current Windows 10 branch (in this case, 10586) while still “[Receiving] early access to updates, application updates, and driver updates,” according to Gabe Aul.
Aul describes the difference between the three rings thusly:
Fast – Best for Insiders who enjoy being the first to get access to builds and feature updates, with some risk to their devices in order to identify issues, and provide suggestions and ideas to make Windows software and devices great.
Slow – Best for Insiders who enjoy getting early access to builds and feature updates, with less risk to their devices, and still want to provide feedback to make Windows software and devices great.
Release Preview – Best for Insiders who enjoy getting early access to updates for the Current Branch, Microsoft applications, and drivers, with minimal risk to their devices, and still want to provide feedback to make Windows devices great.
The Release Preview ring seems like a pretty low-impact way for you to dip your feet in the waters, so to speak, with testing out updates to Windows 10 with minimal risk. The audience for the Release Preview may be somewhat limited, but we’re glad to see that Microsoft is offering customers the option.
In other Windows 10 news, Microsoft has also released Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.107 to testers. This latest build just hit the Fast ring, and includes three major fixes/updates. First, it corrects an issue with missing tiles on the Start screen. Secondly, Narrator now includes improved support for foreign languages, and finally, Device Encryption via BitLocker has been improved for those that use an enterprise policy.