As Microsoft flagged last week, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, aka 19H1 and 1903, is nearing a mainstream release. But before then it is undergoing one more round of testing in the Release Preview ring to avoid missing the data-destroying bug that tripped up the Windows 10 October 2018 Update 1809 release.
Microsoft offered the Windows 10 version 1903 to Release Preview ring testers on Monday in the form of build 18362.30, which it released to Windows Insiders in the Fast and Slow rings last Thursday.
The build is available to 'seekers', meaning those in the Release Preview ring will need to manually initiate the update.
"The May 2019 Update will remain in the Release Preview ring for an increased amount of time to give us additional time and signals to detect any issues before broader deployment," said Brandon LeBlanc, a senior program manager for the Windows Insiders program.
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It's not clear exactly how long an "increased amount of time" is, given that previous Windows 10 feature updates haven't spent any time in the Release Preview ring before being unleashed on the public.
Missed insider reports about data loss bugs in the October 2018 Update serve as a reminder why a rapid release might not be such a good idea.
To avoid missing those reports, Microsoft said last week it is building the capability to detect "all types of low-volume, high-severity issues, and have specifically advanced our capability in the area of data loss".
Windows 10 users not already in the Windows Insider Program can get the May 2019 Update by joining the program. Microsoft has provided detailed instructions explaining how to join it.
Also, as of today, Windows Insiders currently in the Fast ring are being bumped ahead to 20H1, the Windows 10 preview branch that will come after the second Windows 10 feature release of 2019, currently known as 19H2. Microsoft is also merging Insiders in Skip Ahead back into the Fast ring, as the company discussed last week.
Moving straight to 20H1 at this point is unusual. As ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley noted last week, in the past, once a Windows 10 feature release rolls out, Fast Ring testers start testing the follow-on release, which would be 19H2 right now. LeBlanc at the time said Microsoft would discuss how it plans to release 19H2 in the coming weeks.
LeBlanc today offered a little more detail about the timing of 19H2 testing.
"We will begin releasing 19H2 bits to Insiders later this spring and will talk more about what that will look like in the near future," he noted.
LeBlanc also urged Windows Insiders to check their settings to ensure users are on the right ring before the company merges the Fast and Skip Ahead tracks. Users who wish to remain on the May 2019 Update should now switch to the Slow or Release Preview rings, according to LeBlanc.
Testers in the Fast ring who don't want to deal with "painful" bugs should definitely move to the Slow ring now to minimize hassles later.
"If you are in the Fast ring and your PC gets updated to 20H1, you won't be able to switch your ring to the Slow or Release Preview rings without doing a clean-install on your PC and starting over," he warned.
More on Microsoft Windows 10 updates
- Windows 10 1809's second update finally arrives, trailing 1803's patch by 2 weeks
- Microsoft is ready to move Windows 10 Fast Ring testers to build 20H1
- Microsoft is making big Windows 10 update changes starting with the May 2019 release
- Windows 10 1903 update nears: Microsoft removes another barrier to its release
- Microsoft to Windows 10 users: Are we doing a good job warning you on update bugs?
- Windows 10 1809, 1803: Microsoft confirms new bug in cumulative update
- Microsoft: You really should bookmark this Windows 10 update history page
- Microsoft: To ensure Windows 10 update quality, these are the tools we use
- Microsoft: Windows 10 can now automatically uninstall buggy updates
- Windows Update problems: Fixed now but here's what went wrong, says Microsoft
- Windows 10 bugs: Microsoft reveals more on automatic removal of broken updates
- How to turn features on and off in Microsoft Windows 10 from the Control Panel TechRepublic
- How to reinstall updates that Windows 10 automatically uninstalled CNET