Windows Insiders have been clamoring for a new test build for their mobile devices for a few weeks and today they finally received Windows 10 Mobile Build 10549.
However, this upgrade comes at a significant cost in that a blocking bug in this new release prevents users on the most recent Insider build (10536) from upgrading directly.
Frankly, I am surprised they have released 10549 with such a significant bug in it. This is not the first time they have had an upgrade bug that delayed new Insider mobile builds however, this is the first (*) time they have released a build with such a significant blocking issue.
Update: (*) This is actually the second time. Build 10136 from June was also only available to Windows Phone 8.1 users and required a reset if Insiders wanted to test it.
In order to install Windows 10 Mobile build 10549 users must first re-flash their phones to Windows Phone 8.1 using the Windows Device Recovery Tool. Next step is to setup the device by going through the setup process and logging with the Microsoft Account that is registered with the Insider program.
Luckily once the phone is working users can go directly to the Store and download the Windows Insider app, register the phone for the Insider Fast Ring, reboot and then grab the 10549 update released today.
I opted to not restore any backups when I reset the Nokia Lumia 830 back to Windows Phone 8.1 but then I am not using the device as a daily driver and only for testing.
There is no doubt many out there who are trying to run these Windows 10 Mobile Insider builds as their daily drivers despite the warnings to the contrary and the ask from Microsoft today is huge.
On top of this upgrade bug there are also reports that Cortana continues to consume massive amounts of battery when running in the background and it has prompted Gabe Aul to recommend turning Cortana off as a work around in this build.
It certainly appears Windows 10 Mobile is troubled on its way to an expected released in December.
Let's take a look back at the timing of the last few mobile releases for Insiders:
- 14 Oct - Build 10549
- 14 Sep - Build 10536
- 12 Aug - Build 10512
- 10 Jul - Build 10166
In the middle of the Aug and Sep releases we received an education about the trials and tribulations of software development and how the process through the various internal and ultimately external rings works. Special care was taking to point out that there had been multiple builds just prior to the release of 10536 that had blocking bugs themselves. This resulted in a new build hitting the internal rings to make its way towards an Insider Fast Ring release.
You might recall that Gabe held a Twitter vote about releasing build 10536 a few days before we actually received it on 14 Sep. That expected build had a Windows Store bug that would cause it to crash in rare circumstances. Of course, Twitter voted overwhelmingly yes to get the build but during the final prep of that build they found an upgrade bug they considered a blocking bug and did not release that build. Ultimately, a new version of Windows 10 Mobile 10536 was prepped and we received that build a few days later.
Pre-release software is buggy - just the nature of testing.
However, just four public testing releases in four months is not much of a testing program at this point nor does it give testers much confidence that the mobile operating system is moving forward towards its release.
There certainly appears to be plenty of work to be done over the next two months or so to get us there - I just hope it is worth the wait.