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Microsoft restarts Windows 10 Insider delivery with new beta build

Gregg Keizer | Dec. 17, 2015
Releases build 11082, the first since November's upgrade; exec again promises to pick up the pace

windows 10
Credit: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Microsoft yesterday restarted distribution of Windows 10 previews by delivering the first new build since the November upgrade of five weeks ago.

The new version, identified as build 11082, was offered to Windows Insider participants who have selected the "Fast" ring, or delivery track.

According to Gabriel Aul, engineering general manager for Microsoft's operating systems group, build 11082 has few visible changes from the upgrade issued Nov. 11. "You won't see big noticeable changes or new features just yet," Aul cautioned in a post to a Microsoft blog that announced 11082's release.

Instead, Aul continued, engineers were doing some housekeeping to prep for more changes and new features in early 2016. "We're doing some code refactoring and other engineering work to make sure OneCore is optimally structured for teams to start checking in new features and improvements in the new year," Aul said.

"OneCore" is Microsoft's label for the single kernel -- along with associated dynamic link libraries (DLLs) and other bits of the OS code -- that Microsoft uses as the foundation of Windows 10 across multiple platforms, ranging from PCs and tablets to smartphones, the Xbox console, Internet-of-things (IoT) devices and even the pending, futuristic Hololens. Aul called OneCore "the heart of Windows."

Yesterday's Insider release resumption came five weeks after Microsoft shipped the first upgrade to Windows 10 -- tagged both as build 10586 and as 1511, the latter a designation in yymm format that future upgrades will follow -- last month. The no-new-builds interval was two weeks longer than the one in August, when Microsoft resumed Insider releases after the OS's July 29 launch.

Aul also promised that Microsoft would accelerate the release tempo to Insider testers next month. "We are re-evaluating the ring promotion criteria to allow more builds to reach Windows Insiders," Aul wrote. "The new criteria will be much closer to our criteria for flighting to our internal rings, which means more builds will pass it and be released externally to the Fast ring."

He cautioned that with the faster cadence, Insiders should expect more bugs and problems than in the past. "It's a tradeoff -- as the thing that throttles the rate of builds is the promotion criteria," Aul pointed out.

It wasn't the first time that Aul had pledged to quicken the rate at which new Insider builds appear. In March, Aul said much the same after Microsoft went almost eight weeks between new code. "We're debating right now about whether we should simply adjust the speed/risk balance of the Fast ring or whether we should create a new ring for people who really want the fastest pace possible," Aul said then.

 

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