Just over a week ago Microsoft surprised Windows Insiders with an option in the community testing program that would give a limited number of them access to the nextfeature update for Windows 10.
That feature update, which will follow the Fall Creators Update that is expected to be completed in September, will be the fifth one for Windows 10 and looks like it will be known as Redstone 4 (RS4) moving forward.
When this Skip Ahead option was announced prior to the release of Build 16251 last week, they were very clear that there would be a limited number of spots available for Fast Ring Windows Insiders to opt in to the early looks at RS4. In fact, it is in their best interest to limit the number of testers who jump into this early preview channel because they still need to close out the final weeks of testing the Fall Creators Update and it would not be beneficial for everyone to jump ahead.
This week, when Build 16257 was released to testers, it marked the second build that was released into the new pre-release channel for Redstone 4 to give Insiders an opportunity to jump ahead into that next feature update.
However, as discovered by Windows Central earlier today, it appears that opportunity is now closed.
I logged into my bare metal test device that was opted into the Skip Ahead option last week and can verify testers can not select it as an option anymore.
A few things you should know about this change:
-- If you were not originally opted into the Skip Ahead program this option is still going to be visible under the Windows Insider Program settings. If you select it from today onwards, it will simply revert your Windows Insider Program settings to what they were previously.
-- If you are opted into the Skip Ahead program and you change this setting to the Active Development of Windows option you could loose your spot in the Skip Ahead pool of testers.
-- The only option to go back into the normal Windows Insider fast Ring to test the final builds of Redstone 3 is to reinstall Windows 10 Redstone 3 using the latest ISO that has been made available. Right now that is Build 16232 until the ISOs are released for Build 16251 which was just moved to the Slow Ring this week.
However, if you missed this as an option I suspect you will be able to join the Redstone 4 prerelease channel a couple of weeks after the Fall Creators Update is made available via Windows Update. Although, now that I think about it, since the early work is being done now with Redstone 4 in the Skip Ahead channel we might see that first RS4 build much quicker following the Fall Creators Update release.
The next few weeks are going to be very busy in the world of Windows 10 testing.