Microsoft kills off the Skip Ahead ring for Windows Insiders -- what does this mean for you?

Windows 10 boxes

For anyone looking to get a sneaky glimpse into the future of Windows 10, the Windows Insider Program has long-provided a way of trying out preview builds of the operating system. But it didn't take long for things to get confusing.

Microsoft introduced various "rings" that allowed users to jump on pre-release builds of varying quality and at different stages of development -- Slow, Fast, Release Preview and Skip Ahead. Now the company has decided to simplify things by killing off the Skip Ahead ring. Here's what this means for Insiders.

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Until now, the Skip Ahead ring gave people the chance to check out the next major release of Windows 10, but this often meant dealing with unstable code. This, coupled with Microsoft's recent run of problematic updates for Windows 10, is likely to have been factored into the company's decision to discontinue the Skip Ahead ring, and focus on the remainder. This means that anyone who had signed up for the Skip Ahead ring will be dropped back to the Fast ring.

Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager of the Windows Insider Program, announced the change in a blog post about the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19018:

Starting today, Windows Insiders who have opted into Skip Ahead are being migrated back into the Fast ring. This means that Skip Ahead will no longer be reflected under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Going forward, we will not be offering Skip Ahead as an option for Insiders to sign-up for. Our goal is to provide everyone in the Fast ring the freshest builds at the same time.

So now there are only three Insider rings to choose from: Slow, Fast and Release Preview. Which will you opt for?

Image credit: Friemann / Shutterstock

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