Windows 10 is just 15 days away and counting.
Yesterday during the Day 1 Vision Keynote at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida Microsoft revealed their ambitious plans to Upgrade the World to Windows 10 among several big product and services announcements.
Microsoft has set a goal of seeing Windows 10 installed on over 1 billion devices in the first 2-3 years of its availability but to get there they need to get Windows 10 into production distribution channels to test the mechanism that will deliver this update to end users.
Up until now Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 test builds to its Insider Program through a distribution and update system specifically for that collection of testers. However, with Windows 10 scheduled for availability to all Windows users on 29 July they need to test the actual infrastructure that will be used and Insiders will be the testers.
In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft's Gabe Aul informed Windows Insiders of that process.
"We’re suspending the availability of Windows 10 builds briefly while we prepare for that, and the next build that we flight to you will be delivered using the production channels. Starting tomorrow, we will also not be delivering any additional ISOs at this point as we really need Insiders to be using, stressing, and validating our distribution and upgrade processes. We’ll make ISOs available again in the future, but for now we ask you to upgrade your current build via Windows Update once the next build is released."
Soon Microsoft will pull Windows 10 builds 10162 and 10166 from Windows Update, no matter what ring you have opted into, and the downloadable ISOs of 10162 will be removed from the Windows Insider site along with the product keys we have been using since the program began last fall.
Once the Windows team has everything in place for testing the upgrade pipes they will let us know via their normal channels such as Twitter and the Blogging for Windows site.
Bottom line is that this will likely be the final prerelease build of Windows 10 that we will receive as Windows Insiders. Following RTM the Insider program will continue to receive new builds as Windows 10 is continually updated and maintained as Windows as a Service.
So what build will we see as Microsoft asks us to test the production distribution?
I certainly do not believe they are just going to redistribute 10166 since most Insiders are already on that latest build.
Could they be preparing to send out RTM to Insiders? That is a very strong possibility in my opinion or at the very least it will be one of their release candidates for RTM.
We should have the answer to all of these questions in the next few days.