Microsoft has today announced the merger of the Windows Insider Fast Ring and the Skip Ahead Ring of the Windows Insider Program. It was a situation many predicted would happen following the development of version 19H1 (Windows 10 May 2019 Update).
Now that version 19H1 has left the Fast Ring for the release channel, Microsoft can merge branches. The company has been using Skip Ahead in recent months to preview Windows 10 20H1, which will launch next year.
“Hello Windows Insiders, today we are moving the Fast ring forward to 20H1 and merging the small group of Insiders who opted-in to Skip Ahead back into the Fast ring with the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20H1 Build 18875. That means Insiders in the Fast ring and those who opted-in to Skip Ahead will receive the same builds going forward.”
The means all Windows 10 20H1 development will be on the Fast Ring moving forward. It seems the Skip Ahead branch will simply receive the same updates simultaneously with the Fast Ring.
However, there is one gaping hole in Microsoft's Insider program, Windows 10 19H2. For some reason, Microsoft has started testing 2020's first Windows release ahead of 2019's second. Now that the Skip Ahead and Fast Ring branches are consumed by 20H1, what is going on with Windows 10 19H2?
Well, Microsoft insists it will be developing and launching a second Windows 10 update before then end of the year. Despite that, the company has not expanded on where it will be tested or why it has been skipped in terms of the preview schedule.
We guess we will have a scenario where two Windows 10 versions are being tested at the same time. Alternatively, Microsoft may create a new Insider branch for the next Windows update.