Microsoft pledges to pick up the Windows 10 update pace

A Microsoft official yesterday said the company would pick up the pace of updates to Windows 10 Technical Preview, which has not been refreshed since Jan 23.

The tempo since Windows 10's debut last October has been slower than some expected. On Thursday, Gabriel Aul, engineering general manager for Microsoft's operating system group, reacted.

"Still considering new rings, but for now we've decided to try to increase pace of Fast, and that means letting people know first," said Aul in a tweet. The same day, he recommended that the most bug-leery testers should switch to the 'Slow' ring.

By "rings" Aul meant the update cadences Microsoft maintains for Windows 10's preview, currently either "Fast" or "Slow." The former, updated more frequently, is less polished, while the latter should contain fewer new features and fewer bugs.

Aul's tweet was a follow-up to a blog he authored Monday, when he acknowledged the questions from users about the lag since the last update and explained why Microsoft does not reveal release dates.

"We're debating right now about whether we should simply adjust the speed/risk balance of the Fast ring or whether we should create a new ring for people who really want the fastest pace possible," Aul wrote.

His subsequent tweet yesterday settled that choice, at least for the moment, on the former.

Microsoft's ability to push updates to the preview is more than theoretical and of interest to more than Insiders, those running the Windows 10 beta: If the company intends to follow through on its promise to regularly refresh the OS after it's released -- as often as monthly -- it must prove that it can deliver.

In fact, the Windows 10 Technical Preview has been viewed by some as much a rehearsal for its faster update practice as a sneak peak of new features and functionality.

Testers, not surprisingly, have urged Microsoft to speed up the release frequency. Of those who commented on Aul's March 9 blog and opined about the tempo, the majority wanted a ring faster than the current Fast.

Others blasted the company for not sufficiently differentiating Fast and Slow. "The Fast and Slow Ring came as great concepts, but the execution was just worthless," argued one of those commenters, Yannick Franssen. "In the end, there wasn't much difference.... The 'Fast' ring didn't receive new builds faster than the 'Slow' ring, they got the same builds, just a couple of days later."

On Monday, Aul said that a new build would be released late this week or early in the following week. The first likely date: Tuesday, March 17, as Aul noted that Microsoft avoids Fridays and Mondays.


Gregg Keizer

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