Microsoft on Friday said it would soon tweak the Windows 10 preview program as its engineers push toward the July 29 launch of the final code to customers.
As of the next build to the Windows Insider program, Microsoft will require that participants associate their Microsoft Account -- typically the same username and password combination for accessing company services such as Outlook.com, OneDrive and Skype -- with the preview on their PC.
"You'll need to connect the MSA [Microsoft Account] that you registered for the Windows Insider Program with (and accepted the 'Microsoft Windows Insider Program Agreement') in order to continue receiving new Windows 10 Insider Preview builds (both Fast and Slow rings) from Windows Update," wrote Gabriel Aul, the engineering general manager for Microsoft's operating system group who regularly blogs about the preview.
Most testers have already done so, but those that haven't need to toe the line. "We're introducing new infrastructure in Windows Update to help us deliver new builds more effectively to Windows Insiders, and ensure that we're flighting builds to people who have registered and opted in to the program," said Aul.
Part of that move is due to the impending release of Windows 10, another to the fact that Microsoft will -- contrary to past practices with beta programs -- continue Insider after the initial launch.
Insider will then become Windows 10's fastest release "branch" -- Microsoft's label for the multiple update cadences it will offer users -- and receive new features, functionality and UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) changes before those on other tracks. Within Insider, users can select from different "rings" -- subsets that denote how rough-edged the builds are -- as they will be able to do if updating on the other tempos, "Current Branch" and "Current Branch for Business."
Aul also reiterated what he had said previously on Twitter, that Insider participants would receive the July 29 first stable release starting that day.
"As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated," Aul said. "Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh."
Constant questions from participants about those aspects of the preview have generated confusion, as different Microsoft support representatives gave conflicting answers on the firm's support discussion forums, and some blogs repeated the contradictory information.
Aul's comments will not apply to those who have been running the Windows 10 Enterprise version of the preview, however. That SKU (stock-keeping unit), as opposed to the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions, is not eligible for the free upgrade to the final code. Instead, users must download and activate Windows 10 Enterprise from their volume licensing account, which is generally controlled by IT staff.
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