Microsoft provides detailed explanation for the absence of new Windows 10 preview builds

Arif Bacchus

Windows 10 Logo Featured Image Generic Hero

Looking for more info on the Windows Insider program? Check out our Windows Insider Page for the latest builds from all the channels, information on the program, links, and more!

Windows Insiders have not had any new fast ring builds to download the past two weeks, and many in the program have been wondering why this has been the case. Well, in a new post to the Feedback Hub, Microsoft is reaching out to the Windows Insider community, providing one very detailed explanation for the lack of new builds these past 14 days.

The post was penned by Jason Howard, a program manager in the Windows Insider engineering team. Howard divided the post into two parts, explaining the bugs and their impact on the last two release candidates which ended up never made it to the desktops of Fast Ring Windows Insiders. We will begin by highlighting the issues with build 16262, which was supposed to drop last week.

It turns out that in build 16262, there was an issue which impacted printing from the Photos application and in other situations. The folks at Microsoft running the Windows Insider Program logged the issue and hoped to flight a build with the issue intact. Unfortunately, the problem became bigger over time. Jason Howard explains:

We know a lot of folks use this app, but a bug of this type wouldn’t normally stop us from sending a build to the Fast ring. We logged it and put it on the known issues list for the flight and were planning to move forward. As we gathered more data from testing in the Selfhost ring internally, we found that this bug was much larger in scope.

It turns out this bug affected an entire class of functionality and would potentially impact nearly 40% of users in various ways (printing, adjusting settings, pairing Bluetooth devices, etc.). Once the scale of the bug was fully understood, the decision to waive off the flight was made.

Next up, with build 16267 (the build candidate for this week) came issues with install failure and rollback during deployment. You may recall Dona Sarkar tweeting about these issues, and the cancellation of this build was a “tough call” according to Howard.  With this so, Microsoft decided to keep the build in the internal Selfhost ring and review data for an extra day, but the bug was too impactful. Here is what Jason Howard had to say:

During testing we found a bug that was causing an install failure and rollback during deployment. PCs would boot into the offline phase to begin the install and during the process, users would hit a blue screen failure. The affected PCs would roll back to their current build successfully, but this experience was semi-broad in scale.

Some users were able to retry the install and it would succeed, but the secondary attempt success rate wasn’t high enough to consider this a proper workaround. And while this bug didn’t leave any PC in a bad/unusable state, it’s tough for Insiders to explore and provide feedback on a new build if it can’t be installed!

It’s great to see some explanation for the lack of new builds. The last thing Windows Insiders would want is a build which would break their PCs. Jason Howard is calling the waving off “rarely an easy decision,” and he also highlights that Microsoft is eager to show off builds just as how Insiders are eager to to receive them.

We are just as eager to show off our latest and greatest builds with Windows Insiders as you all are to receive them and see what’s new. We don’t like having to announce “no builds this week”, but this is why we test internally to try and catch as many bugs as possible…. This is why we test internally to try and catch as many bugs as possible. We have flight rings for a reason! Your feedback and insights are immensely appreciated and we want to ensure that you have a great experience while you check out the new builds.

So, while you await new builds, be sure to keep your feedback coming to Microsoft in the Feedback Hub, as Jason, Dona, and the entire Windows Insider team are listening and working to make Windows 10 great again. And, be sure to keep it tuned to OnMSFT for all your Windows 10 news and information!