I think most active Windows Insiders have been hoping for a new build of Windows 10 today since it has been three weeks since build 10130 was released but unfortunately that build is not coming.
We did however learn quite a bit about the last stages of the Windows Insider Program in these last 40 days or so before the release of Windows 10.
In a blog post over at the Blogging Windows website, Gabe Aul our intrepid Ring Master, has provided information on key changes to the Windows 10 Insider Program related to the final builds before Windows 10 is made available to everyone on 29 July 2015.
It all boils down to this – in order to get Windows 10 RTM (Home or Pro) on 29 July 2015 you need to take the following steps:
- Be a registered member of the Windows Insider Program.
- Install build 10130 of the Windows 10 Insider Preview.
- Set up Windows 10 build 10130 using your Microsoft Account. The next build released to Windows Insiders will ask you to connect your Microsoft Account if not in order to validate that system for downloading of future builds. No Microsoft Account – no Fast or Slow Ring build after the next build is released. If you are an Insider and forget to connect your Microsoft Account there will be reminders beginning in the next Windows Insider Preview release which could come at any time.
After following the above steps you will have any other pre-release builds delivered to your system and then the final version of Windows 10 will arrive for your Insider Preview based system on 29 July 2015. Through that upgrade process it will be properly activated for the life of that device. That build will be delivered via Windows Update just like all the others in the Insider Program.
As Rod reported earlier today, which was confirmed by Gabe in this blog post, you can then perform a clean install for a fresh start.
By the way, this all works whether you reserved Windows 10 or not.
Connecting the Microsoft Account to a Windows 10 install is a change only for Windows Insiders. After the final build is delivered on 29 July no Microsoft account is needed to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1 although that still doesn’t mean your Microsoft account might store your activation code for later use.
These changes are being implemented now to wring out some of the infrastructure that will be used to continue a Windows Insider program after the release of Windows 10.
Microsoft plans to ask Insiders to continue receiving updated builds of Windows 10 so new features, fixes and updates can be tested and of course they will continue looking for feedback before those changes are promulgated to the final build.
If you have no interest in continuing to be an Insider there will of course be an option to leave the program.
However, if you remain in the program the Insider Hub will no longer be installed by default so in the next build you will need to follow these steps to get that on your system:
- Go to Settings, System, Apps & features
- Click Manage optional features then Add a feature
- Select the Insider Hub entry (the list is in alphabetical order) and click Install.
This will have to be repeated on any subsequent release of Windows 10 before 29 July 2015 however, if you choose to continue in the Insider Program after that date, then those new builds will have the app pre-installed once again.
So you have your marching orders – if you want that final version of Windows 10 for the life of a device then get on the latest build of Windows 10 (10130) and use your Microsoft Account on that device. Then keep installing the builds leading up to and including the final RTM version of Windows 10 on 29 July 2015.
Alakazam and Presto Chango - your activated and functional copy of Windows 10.