MICROSOFT IS GETTING AHEAD of itself with a beta test that goes three versions ahead of the current release.
At present, the Insider Programme is testing update 19H1 (due in the spring), but despite there being no sign of 19H2 (Autumn 2019) yet, there's already an early build of what, as you'd guess is called 20H1 doing the rounds.
The news comes courtesy of Dona Sarkar, the boss of the Insiders, who is looking for testers already. There are apparently some aspects of 20H1 that need a longer lead time, though there's little detail of what that means.
Build 18836 is available from today to those who have opted to ‘skip ahead' on the Fast Ring of the programme.
Nobody will get their mitts on the earlier 19H2 update until 19H1 is deployed later in the spring.
Everyone is hoping against hope that this update will fix the myriad of issues that the most recent 1809 build brought to the table when it was released, then withdrawn, then released bit by bit, with the result that over four months after it was first released, many users still haven't upgraded from last spring's version.
With less than a year to go until Windows 7 reaches end of life, leaving Windows 8.1 as the last supported version that doesn't use the Nadella-led Windows-as-a-Service model, it's more important than ever that we don't see a repeat of the last debacle, and hopefully this longer testing period will become the norm, giving the company more time to iron out its often ambitious but flawed plans.
With thousands of machine that run Windows all using their own hardware which needs to be supported, it's an uphill battle to ensure compliance in time for release, and nobody wants to return to the dark days of Windows Vista, when absolutely sod all worked at the time of release. μ
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