The road to Windows 10 Redstone 5 finally has a slow lane.

Late last night, Microsoft pushed out a slow ring build for Windows 10 Redstone 5 to Windows Insiders enrolled in the programs slower paced development ring.

After almost five months and 17 builds released in the fast ring, this release is the first slow ring build to be made available to testers outside of Microsoft.

This is a critical and important step in the development of Redstone 5, the sixth overall feature update for Windows 10, because it expands the number of testers from just 25% of registered Windows Insiders to 60%. That means a broader range of devices/hardware will be running the development build. In turn, that will boost the amount of telemetry results for Microsoft and make for a more robust feature update release when it arrives in the September/October time frame. More devices means more compatibility verification/testing – a very important step in the development of a feature update.

However, this slow ring build comes very late in the Redstone 5 development process and I discussed this in last week’s episode of Observed Tech. It is already July, testing began back in February, and we are likely about two months until Microsoft will be looking to finalize the Redstone 5 updates code as they prepare for its public release.

Prior to releasing this build, Microsoft did service it to address some known issues with the build from when it was released to fast ring testers in mid June. Build 17692 is also the last fast ring build released to testers prior to last weeks release of build 17704.

Here is what has been addressed in this slow ring build release:

  • Fixed the issue where the login screen would crash in a loop when the active sign-in method is set to Picture Password.
  • Fixed the issue where DRM video playback in Microsoft Edge from websites such as Netflix was broken.
  • Fixed the issue where Keyboard Settings found under Ease of Access were missing text as well as visible values in the two combo boxes.
  • Improved reliability and performance for launching Start.

Microsoft discussed servicing and releasing more slow ring builds as part of Redstone 5 during Build 2018. If they want to get more builds in front of the largest segment of testers in the program, they need to be pushing a slow ring build once every 2 to 3 weeks at this point.

I am quite confident that more slow ring builds will mean better stability for the feature update when it is released this fall.

Are you in the fast or slow ring as a Windows Insider?

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