Last week, Microsoft shared with us their plan for moving forward with the Windows as a Service (WaaS) process for Windows 10 as they prepare to finalize their testing for the Windows 10 (19H1) feature update

In addition, they also explained how they are going to move the testing and development for the 20H1 feature update into the Fast Ring only. At the same time, I shared that it was time to sort out what rings you wanted your various devices in as everything is shifting.

Well that Magic Window of time to make those decisions came to a close yesterday when Microsoft released Windows 10 (20H1) Build 18875 to the Windows Insiders Fast Ring. At the same time, they also merged everyone who had previously been in the 20H1 Skip Ahead ring down to the Fast Ring as they told us last week

Hopefully, all of you made those decisions and are sitting in a good spot for your new testing configuration for the upcoming 19H2 and 20H1 updates for Windows 10.

For myself, I have decided to move forward with my devices as follows:

Production Devices

  • Main Desktop – Running Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18362.XX in Release Preview waiting for final release of Windows 10 Version 1903.
  • Podcaster – Running Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18362.XX in Release Preview waiting for final release of Windows 10 Version 1903.
  • Surface Laptop – Running Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18362.XX in Release Preview waiting for final release of Windows 10 Version 1903.
  • Surface Book 2 – Running Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18362.XX in Release Preview waiting for final release of Windows 10 Version 1903.
  • Surface Pro (2017) – Running Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18362.XX in Release Preview waiting for final release of Windows 10 Version 1903.

Testing Devices

  • Surface Book – Windows 10 (19H1) Slow Ring running 18362.XX.
  • EliteOne 1K – Windows 10 (19H1) Slow Ring running 18362.XX.
  • Spectre x360 (15) – Windows 10 (20H1) Fast Ring.
  • X1 Yoga (OLED) – Windows 10 (20H1) Fast Ring.

A couple of clarifying notes:

  • No virtual machines this cycle unless I determine they are needed for some reason.
  • As I wrote last week, I expect the 19H1 Slow Ring devices to eventually convert over to testing 19H2 updates while the Fast Ring remains 20H1.
  • In order to prevent synching conflicts with my productions devices, I decided to use my testing account to set up the test devices. I have still logged into the Feedback Hub on all of the devices using my main Microsoft Account to keep everything centralized under that account. It is handy that you can use two separate accounts in this process.
  • These installs are plain as they can be – leaving all defaults in place with the exception of uninstalling all of the games that get installed by default.
  • I did however, choose to install the new Edge Developer and Canary browser releases on each device.

I also flipped the toggle to allow Remote Desktop access to these machines so I can easily access those devices from my main desktop for quick updates, checks, etc. I am actually using the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for this out of the Microsoft Store. I was previously using TeamViewer but the overhead of that software is unnecessary for my purposes.

Since these were clean resets across the board, I can verify that Reserved Storage is activated on all of them. In addition, it looks like even with a clean install/reset, the number of days available for pausing updates is still just seven at a time. Of course, that can be repeated five times for a total of 35 days once the May 2019 Update is released. Some thought a clean install/reset would allow you to pause for the maximum total number of 35 days without having to renew the pause every seven days. 

Of course, it is possible that the final build of the May 2019 Update could add that capability as things close out. So that means we will keep an eye out for this in the final build of Windows 10 Version 1903.

So what are your Windows Insider Progam testing plans for 19H2/20H1?

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