Windows 10 Fast ring now brings to life dev’s latest ideas

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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The Fast ring is a category of Windows Insider testers who receive build preview updates before those in the Slow ring. Until now, Microsoft matched the Fast ring preview builds to specific Windows 10 build versions.

However, the big M has just announced that it will be making changes to the Fast ring along with Windows 10 build 19536.

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Fast ring receives builds directly from the active development branch

Microsoft’s Mr. LeBlanc, the Windows Insider Program manager, announced the latest 19536 preview build on Windows Blogs. However, the biggest part of the announcement was that Fast ring insiders will now get previews from the big M’s active development branch (otherwise RS_PRERELEASE).

Therefore, the Fast ring preview builds will showcase new features that are not matched with any specific version update (such as the Windows 10 20H2 Update). Mr. Le Blanc explained the changes as follows:

The active development branch (called “RS_PRERELEASE”) is where the teams check in all their latest code changes into the OS. Moving forward, the Fast ring will receive builds directly from this active development branch and new features will show up in these builds first. While features in the active development branch may be slated for a future Windows 10 release, they are no longer matched to a specific Windows 10 release.

Consequently, Microsoft’s 19536 preview build blog post does make it clear what update the new features are for. The new features announced on that page may, or may not be, for the Windows 10 20H2 Update.

They are certainly not for the Windows 10 20H1 Update, which is now feature ready. For the first time, the company is not revealing exactly what Windows 10 version update a preview build is for.

Windows 10 build 19536 gets a bunch of new features

With regard to the new features showcased in preview build 19536, Microsoft announced a new family group setup. That enables users to select a People in my family setup option.

The big M confirmed that the Phone screen will now support digital pen input. In addition, the preview build includes an enhanced Your Phone app with which users can access their most recent 2,000 photos instead of just 25.

So now, Fast ring insiders will get updates that show off the very latest features from Microsoft’s active development branch. That will ensure Fast ring insiders always get the latest preview builds without needing to opt-in for them before they branch off for a more specific release version.

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