[German]has released the first preview build 18362.10000 of Windows 10 version 1909 (19H2 development branch) for Windows Insider in the Slow Ring. The feature update is expected for fall 2019 (October).
It had long been speculated if and when Microsoft would provide the first insider preview builds from the 19H2 development branch for Windows Insider. Because the Fast Ring is blocked by the builds of the 20H1 development branch. And in the Slow Ring, Microsoft tested the preview updates for Windows 10 V1903.
— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) 1. Juli 2019
Now Microsoft has commented on the upcoming function update version 1909 in a blog post Evolving Windows 10 servicing and quality: the next steps.
Improvements for business users
The next feature update for Windows 10 (known as 19H2 in the Windows Insider program) will include a select set of features for performance enhancements, enterprise features, and quality improvements. What that exactly means, however, remains in the nebulous.
Users from the Insider Program who are using Windows 10 Version 1903 can switch to the new 19H2 version of Windows 10 via the Slow Ring. Microsoft is currently testing the provision of the feature update there in a new way (quote: to deliver these updates in a less disruptive fashion, we will deliver this feature update in a new way, using servicing technology – like the monthly update process).
It means: This feature update will be delivered like a cumulative update – just patching, and not exchanging the whole operating system (as feature updates will do).
Jon Wilcox has published an article in the tech community Moving to the next Windows 10 feature update for commercial customers. He wrote about the delivery process for this feature update:
- If devices in your environment are running Windows 10, version 1903, you can take advantage of this new servicing option to update from Windows 10, version 1903 to 19H2 and benefit from a reduced file size and faster installation time.
- For those devices in your environment running Windows 10, version 1809 or earlier versions of Windows 10, the update process will remain unchanged. You will have the option to update to 19H2 just as you did with previous releases.
- As a September-targeted release, 19H2 will be serviced for 30 months for those devices running Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education editions.
Somewhere I read that the feature update should only bring improvements for OEMs.
Available in Slow Ring
The feature update is now rolled out in the Slow Ring for Windows Insiders. Microsoft plans to offer new functions in future insider builds of this development branch as soon as they are ready. And after the release of Windows 10 Version 1909, business customers should switch to this version, because only this version receives 30 months of support (Version 1903 has only 18 months of support for business customers, just as long as for consumers).
Some insiders may not see the new features immediately because Microsoft uses a Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR). Not all insiders get the builds there, so Microsoft can get better feedback about the overall quality of the build. See the Microsoft article for details. All in all, this raises more questions for me than the articles from Microsoft answer. For me, it seems that this is the end of Windows as a Services (WaaS) with semi annual feature updates. I guess, we will have one feature update per year in spring with 18 months support, and a ‘stability update’ with 30 months support for business environments.