I've faced a bit of criticism for claiming the Windows Insiders program was getting confusing and convoluted. Yeah, for some of you, the program is totally clear -- I get it. Please understand, however, that not all Insiders have their lives revolving around Windows 10 like maybe you do. And that's a good thing. When collecting data, you want to have varying degrees of knowledge and understanding, as that provides more diverse feedback.
Today, Dona Sarkar legitimizes my concerns by acknowledging that things are getting a tad confusing. While announcing a new RS4 build for the "Skip Ahead" folks -- Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16353 for PC -- Sarkar clarified some aspects of the Insiders program; she also included a helpful graphic. This is a good sign for the Insiders program, as it reaffirms the company is willing to listen and improve.
"Today we are releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16353 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring who have opted in to Skip Ahead only. As we mentioned in last week, Insiders who joined Skip Ahead will continue to receive builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch which has transitioned to RS4 which is the release that will come after the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (RS3). Insiders will notice that the build numbers have jumped ahead to 1635x. Previously, we jumped ahead with build numbers at the beginning of development for RS3. Because we are just beginning development for RS4, Insiders shouldn’t expect to see a lot of big changes or new features just yet. Our focus remains getting the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update ready for release," says Dona Sarkar, Windows Insiders Program, Microsoft.
Sarkar also says, "We have had some Insiders ask us some questions about Skip Ahead and to clarify what it is. Back in July, we announced Windows Insiders in the Fast ring could opt-in and 'skip ahead' to builds that would be part of the next feature update for Windows 10. There was a limit on how many Insiders in the Fast ring we would allow to skip ahead and that limit had been reached several weeks ago. Insiders can no longer opt-in their PCs to Skip Ahead. Up until last week, we had been releasing identical builds to Insiders who didn’t opt in to Skip Ahead and to those who did. As of today, the builds are no longer the same as mentioned above."
Sarkar shares the following "General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC."