Late this past week we learned a lot about how Windows Insiders will close out the pre-release testing of Windows 10 before its availability on 29 July.
One thing we learned was that any Insider will get to upgrade their Windows 10 Insider Preview installation to the final code and have a fully registered copy of Windows 10 RTM on that system. As long as they use their Microsoft Account on the next build and later that will be automatic and no need to revert a system back to Windows 7 or 8.1 to do it.
Those Insiders who have moved to Windows 10 as a daily driver will appreciate that a lot.
We also found out that clean installs will be possible once that upgrade has happened thanks to some digging from Rod and further confirmation from Gabe Aul our Windows 10 Ring Master.
In his blog post and on Twitter Aul indicated that the next build of Windows 10 will be ready soon. While that is a very vague term I expect that release to happen early next week.
We are now inside of 40 days until the general availability of the Windows 10 upgrade for users of Windows 7 and 8.1. We know that Microsoft needs to get the Windows RTM code to partners prior to the 29 July date so those OEMs have time to install the final version on new hardware that will be available as of 29 July.
So for the sake of this discussion let’s assume Microsoft wants to get that code into their hands at least two weeks prior to its availability. As a digital distribution that is quick and easy plus those OEM’s have been running Windows 10 right alongside of the Insiders and even getting some partner specific builds.
So that means a mid-July RTM date and that leaves us with about three weeks until RTM.
Microsoft needs at least two builds to Insiders to get their system in place for testing build distribution to validated Insiders with their connected Microsoft Accounts.
The first build, which I expect will be out early next week, will remind Insiders to connect their Microsoft Account with that installation or they will not be able to download the following build. That following build will be the first one to require Insiders to be using their Microsoft Account and I am sure Microsoft does not want to wait to test this capability with RTM on 29 July 2015.
The reasons behind this setup and testing is to verify the mechanism and process Microsoft will use to distribute new builds in the post Windows 10 RTM Insider Program.
The fastest we have ever received a follow-on build was 10 days when Windows 10 build 10130 was released after 10122.
So based on the average/typical timing with builds from Microsoft that brings me to the conclusion that we are likely looking at just two more pre-release builds of Windows 10 to Insiders before RTM is sent out to partners in mid-July.