Often we are asked this question: When is the next Windows 10 build scheduled for release? When is Microsoft going to release the next Windows 10 Mobile build? And these are just questions hitting our inbox -- imagine how many questions Microsoft is receiving via social media.
While many of our readers are well versed on how Microsoft handles new build releases, there are still quite a few who are not familiar with the process. And that's ok because you may have just joined the Windows Insider program. So, let's get straight to the point -- Microsoft does not schedule new builds for release, rather, the builds work their way through "rings" and are rolled out once they reach a certain quality level.
As you can see in the image above, Windows 10 builds progress through what's called "flighting rings." If a particular build meets the necessary criteria to pass, it moves on, and the next ring will receive it. The "Canary" ring will see almost two to three times more builds than the OSG ring because problems are caught in Canary and are not pushed out to the OSG ring, which means it won't make it to the fast or slow rings -- the two options available to Windows Insiders. Fast ring will receive the build faster (obviously) while the slow ring will receive the build after some time as elapsed and sometimes may come with an update to fix any major issues.
[pullquote align="right" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]"It’s frustrating for you to hear a date and be let down if we miss it"[/pullquote]
So why doesn't Microsoft just shoot for a particular date to release a new build -- for example, this Friday at 2PM PST? Here's what Microsoft explained back in March of this year:
- "If we announce a date, we’ll want to have a very high confidence of hitting it. It’s frustrating for you to hear a date and be let down if we miss it, and it’s frustrating and distracting for us too. Not only that, but it slows down our engineering since many of the same people who are scrambling after a missed date would otherwise have been making more forward progress on the product."
- "Because we’d want that very high confidence we’d pick a date that was further out than if we were living on the edge. We’d give ourselves some time to deal with bugs and re-spin builds if we needed to."
- "If we have a great build in hand, as often happens, leading up to the date we would hold on that build rather than ship it. We call this putting the build in ‘escrow’. Why not just ship it early? Well, some people get upset about the surprise, but also it sets expectations that sometimes we really mean a date and sometimes we don’t. We want people to know that when we say a date they can count on that date."
- "In the worst case, if we’re chasing down a tough bug and run out of time, we may miss the date. This is of course way worse than being early. We’d have let down people who were counting on us to deliver on the date we said we would."
@d_ylmz06 No news to share yet. As a refresher though: builds work their way through rings, not scheduled. Will go when passes quality bar.
— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) August 19, 2015
It is hard for Microsoft to give an exact date for a new build because feature integrations or fixes come at different times. The whole process is so simple yet so complex. However, we are not there to see it happen in real-time, so it's easier for us to sit back and say "well, why hasn't it happened yet?" Sometimes we may receive a new build faster, and sometimes we may have to wait. Keep in mind that this is a new approach for the company, so there will be improvements that need to be made as time goes on.
So there you have it. When will the next Windows 10 Mobile build arrive? It'll arrive when it passes the quality bar! We just have to sit back and be patient.