Microsoft took to the Feedback Hub today to announce changes to the Windows Insider Program. It now allows Insiders to move forward a branch without the need to have a feature update. Called ‘Skip Ahead,' the feature allows Fast Ring members to jump forward to what will eventually become Redstone 4.
Sure, Redstone 4 is not out yet, not even as an introduced concept by Microsoft. We are awaiting Redstone 3, which is also known as the Fall Creators Update (FCU). The new release full Windows 10 version users are on is the Creators Update (Redstone 2).
Windows Insider Program members are already running the Fall Creators Update. Under the new Skip Ahead feature, those Fast Ring users can move to what will eventually become Redstone 4.
Until now, this has not been possible. Insiders have had to wait for a feature update to be released before moving to the next preview branch. For example, it was not possible to start on the Redstone 3 (FCU) branch until Redstone 2 (Creators Update) was released to all users.
Microsoft says the change is live from today. Needless to say, skipping ahead to a branch as distant as Redstone 4 will come with its share of dangers. Indeed, it would be a very buggy experience.
By skipping ahead, Fast Ring users will be on the RS-PRERELEASE branch. Windows Insider Program chief Dona Sarkar warns that once on this branch members will need reinstall Windows to return to the previous branch (RS3_RELEASE).
Skipping ahead will take users from the Redstone 3 (FCU) branch. Microsoft has been making updates to the preview platform in recent weeks.
The company rolled out preview build 16327 to the Fast Ring, giving Insiders the latest Fall Creators Update features.
Preview Build 16232 also made it to ISO images and the SDK was released. This Windows 10 build was the most expansive of the FCU roll out so far, as it was the first to make it to the Slow Ring branch.
The company has also recently put app updates on hold through the Fast Ring.