Microsoft says that those testing the Windows Technical Preview on the default slow ring will now be prompted to download Windows 10 build 9879, the third milestone release of the pre-release OS. But here's the weird bit: According to the firm, fully 90 percent of testers are in that slow ring.
I'm curious why that's so. But in this case it worked out well for everyone: As originally delivered, build 9879 was incredibly buggy and unreliable, and of course it was the first build to revert to the more limited Windows 7-style OneDrive integration that will become the norm in the shipping product. But since only 10 percent of the people testing pre-release Windows 10 builds experienced these issues (as part of the fast ring), most testers should have a more reliable experience since Microsoft has delivered a fix for some of the bugs.
In my experience, things have improved dramatically since yesterday's fix. And it appears that the constant File Explorer slow-downs and crashes that I experienced after both the initial upgrade to build 9879 and a subsequent clean install are a thing of the past. (Knock on wood.)
But why would the vast majority of people who signed up for the Windows Insider Program—seriously? 90 percent?—opt to stick in the slow ring? Wouldn't this crowd be inherently interested in getting new builds and features as quickly as possible?
I can only surmise that most of those people don't even know about the slow ring/fast ring switch and that they are inadvertently stuck in the slow ring because they don't know any better. That is, because you have to both find and then opt into the fast ring, most testers aren't even aware this is a possibility.
Some will argue that our experiences with build 9879 "prove" that sticking to the slow ring is the right way to go. But the way I look at this is you're either testing it or you're not. And I have a hard time believing that most people interested in testing Windows 10 don't want builds to happen as quickly as possible.
On that note, here's how you enable the fast ring. Launch PC Settings and navigate to Update and Recovery and then Preview Builds. Then, under "Choose how fast you'd like to get new builds," choose "Fast."
You know, be a real tester and stuff.