Some Windows Insiders may not get all Fast Ring features as Microsoft begins A/B testing

Laurent Giret

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!

Microsoft announced some pretty big news for Windows Insiders today. First of all, the Timeline feature that was unveiled back at Build 2017 should ship with the next Insider build for Fast Ring Insiders. Additionally, the company discussed for the first time the new “Sets” feature that should roll out to select Windows Insiders in the coming weeks.

As we previously reported, the new “Sets” feature is Microsoft’s solution to bring tabs to UWP apps like Office Mobile. This seems to be great feature to make Windows 10 users more productive, but it won’t be available to all Fast Ring Insiders right away.

Just like it did with Story Remix earlier this year, Microsoft will do some A/B testing, and even the “Sets” name could change in the future. Dona Sarkar, head of the Windows Insider Program explained today:

We’re going to start doing controlled studies with some of new features for Windows 10 we’re working on. We’ve been doing this on a smaller scale – like trying out different Hub icons in Microsoft Edge to see which one people like more. Now we’re going to start doing these with entire features. This means that a smaller percentage of you will initially get certain new features in builds and others may not get these new features for a while, as we compare the usage and satisfaction of these features versus people who don’t. Eventually everyone will get these features—but it just could be awhile. With this approach, it also means that we will make these features broadly available when they are ready, not necessarily tied to the next major feature update of Windows 10.

In the coming weeks, one of the first features to take this new approach will be a feature we’re calling “Sets” (we may end up calling it something else by the time it ships).

If you joined the Windows Insider Program to live on the bleeding edge and get early access to all the latest and greatest from Microsoft, the company doing more A/B testing going forward could be disappointing news for you. More importantly, the Windows Insider chief explained that major Windows 10 features like Sets won’t necessarily ship with Redstone 4 but “when they are ready.” Considering that some new features like My People launched in a quite unfinished state with the Fall Creators Update, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Do you understand the company’s reasons to do some A/B testing for new Windows 10 features, and do you think this can be positive for the development of Windows 10? Let us know what you think in the comments below.