Kudos to Microsoft: Resurrecting the Release Preview ring for Win10 1809 brings 17763.165 to heel

Somebody at Microsoft deserves a medal. There’s a new, test version of the next Win10 1809 cumulative update floating around – KB 4469342 – and it’s being distributed through the Insider Release Preview ring. That is precisely where it should be.

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I’m starting to think that the people now in charge of Win10 version 1809 know what they’re doing.

First, we saw a rudimentary list of known bugs in 1809, along with a point-by-point notice of what’s being done, and what you can do to fix the bugs. At this moment, the list includes all of the major bugs that I’ve seen:

  • Mapped drives don’t reconnect – there’s a script you can run every time you re-boot. MS “will provide updates in the 2019 timeframe.”
  • Trend Micro’s OfficeScan and Worry-Free Business Security (love the irony) packages trigger bluescreens. MS is blocking rollout on machines with the bad Trend Micro software, and Trend Micro has issued updates.
  • Older AMD Radeon HD2000 and HD4000 graphic processors trigger bluescreens. MS is blocking rollout on machines with those GPUs and “is investigating this issue.”

That, my friends, is an amazing development.

Now we’re seeing a revelation that’s nothing short of revolutionary. The folks in charge of Win10 1809 are using the Insider Release Preview Ring in precisely the way it was intended.

This morning, Microsoft released KB 4469342, a new cumulative update for 1809 that brings the build number up to 17763.165. Instead of pushing it out the Windows Update chute – the default action for untested “C week” cumulative updates since the earliest days of Win10 – Microsoft put it in the Release Preview channel.

Amazing. That’s just the way the Release Preview channel is supposed to work. As best I can tell, it’s never been done before.

Here’s what Microsoft’s official Insider Program overview documentation says:

Release Preview Ring

If you want to be on the current public release of Windows 10 but still get early access to updates, applications, and drivers without taking the risk of moving to the Development Branch, the Release Preview Ring is your best option. The Release Preview Ring is only visible when your Windows build version is the same as the current Production Branch. The easiest way to go between the Development Branch to the current Production Branch is to reinstall Windows using the Media Creation Tool, see instructions at Download Windows 10, or, for Mobile, the Windows Device Recovery Tool, see instructions at Windows Phone Device Recovery.

That’s the way to run a cumulative update railroad. The structure's been that way since the beginning. And finally, finally, somebody inside Microsoft decided to use the Insider Preview ring the way it was intended.

Until this morning, we’ve seen “C week” or “D week” cumulative updates for Win10 versions that exclusively include non-security patches. They’re untested in the outside world before they're pushed out the Windows Update chute.

Earlier this year, these untested non-security cumulative updates were released in the normal Windows Update cycle. Lately, they haven’t been pushed onto Win10 machines…unless you “Check for updates.” So there's been some improvement.

The next big question: Will this cumulative update go out to all machines through Windows Update on Thanksgiving week (“C week” this month), or will Microsoft show some restraint – as it should – and hold the non-security update until next month’s Patch Tuesday?

I have hope.

Join the (suitably muted) celebration on AskWoody.

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